A spirited comeback with ten men, from 2-0 down away to Maidenhead United, was not quite enough for Wrexham – in front of co-chairmen Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds for the first time – as Josh Kelly’s late winner spoiled the party.
Kane Ferdinand and Jay Mingi scored in quick succession to stun the visitors, before Bryce Hosannah’s straight red card added to Wrexham’s woes.
But with Rob and Ryan in the stands to watch their first live Wrexham game, Paul Mullin pulled a goal back before half-time and Jordan Davies’ screamer levelled proceedings.
A Hollywood-style comeback was not to be, however, as – against the run of play – Kelly scored what proved to be the winner.
Phil Parkinson named an unchanged eleven as he hoped to make it three wins on the bounce after Saturday’s resounding win against Barnet and will be disappointed in the way the game unravelled.
Ferdinand opened the scoring 20 minutes into the tie after some good play down the left-hand side resulted in him rising early and heading past Christian Dibble.
Three minutes later, the hosts had doubled their advantage as a miscommunication between Reckord and Brisley, left Mingi with space to drive towards Dibble’s goal and he calmly slotted home.
The half went from bad to worse on 31 minutes when Hosannah was shown a straight red card – after much deliberation between the officials – for what was later revealed to be an elbow.
However, Wrexham got a goal back after Davies’ free kick was headed onto the crossbar, and Mullin managed to bundle the ball over the line for his ninth goal of the season.
Just after half-time Davies put Wrexham back on level terms after a surging run culminated in a powerfully driven shot which was out of reach for Lovatt in the Maidenhead goal.
A superb five-minute cameo from Phil Parkinson’s side was thwarted only by some heroics from the Maidenhead defence.
Shaun Brisley’s header was blocked on the goal line and the resulting flash rebound from Davies missed the target among that.
Kelly darted inside onto his right foot and finished low from 20 yards, however, to snatch victory for Maidenhead on 75 minutes.
Wrexham: Dibble (GK), French, Hayden, Brisley (Jarvis 83’), Reckord, Tozer, Davies, McAlinden (J. Jones 86’), Hosannah, Mullin, Angus (Ponticelli 74’).
Subs not used: Lainton (GK), Lennon
Bookings: Tozer 71’,
Red Card: Hosannah 31’
Maidenhead: Lovatt, Massey, Sheckleford, Havilland, Mingi (Adams 62’), Ferdinand, Smith, Upward, Beckwith, Kelly (Sparkes 81)’, Blissett.
Subs not used: Adams, Sparkes, Asonganyi, Acquah