Wrexham progressed into the First Round Proper of the FA Cup, after the returning JJ Hooper scored off a brilliant move to overcome Chesterfield in the replay of the fourth qualifying round.
A brilliant run into the box by captain James Jennings found Hooper at the near-post, who steered the ball into the roof of the net.
After a draw and a lose against Chesterfield in recent fixtures, Wrexham finally beat the Derbyshire side, to look forward to an encounter against Rochdale in the first round of the Cup.
Wrexham made four changes from the side that drew 1-1 at the Proact Stadium against Chesterfield. Hooper, Michael Chambers, Akil Wright and Devonte Redmond all came into the starting eleven for Luke Summerfield, Luke Young, Shaun Pearson and Mark Harris.
Hooper returned to the side after injury and his impact was clear to see in the previous cup draw against Chesterfield. His inspiring performance off the bench managed to earn Wrexham the replay.
James Horsfield made his first home appearance for the Reds, in order to impress the fans in his short loan period at the Racecourse.
A win against Chesterfield would see Wrexham play Rochdale AFC in the first round of the FA Cup.
The Wrexham players made a bright start, as the likes of Wright were bombing up and down the wing, supplying some dangerous crosses.
Bobby Grant wanted to capitalise on his goal in the reverse fixture, but his thumping effort went over in the sixth minute, marking a positive start for the Reds.
A dangerous corner in the 12th saw the ball rebound off Wright’s back straight to Jake Lawlor from a couple of yards out. However, the defender’s stretch and poke pushed the ball over the bar.
The Spireites were looking flat until the 16th minute, where Anthony Spyrou managed to take the ball past Rob Lainton in the Wrexham goal. His pull-back was destined to meet Liam Mandeville at the far-post, by Horsfield was on hand to snuff out any danger, showing his full composure.
Some great play between Wright and captain Jennings, saw Paul Rutherford being able to pull away on the edge of the box. The cross from Jennings was met with a strong header, but the ball flew over the bar in the 22nd.
Mandeville and former Wrexham player Scott Boden played some good football in the 26th minute, but Boden’s swivel and curling effort was no problem for Lainton.
Hooper returned to the Racecourse with a bang, as he opened the scoring on the half hour mark. A great run and touch saw Jennings fly down the wing and into the box. His drilled pass found Hooper at the near-post, who managed to steer the ball into the roof of the net.
The Spireites seemed to be getting on top after the Wrexham goal, as the Reds struggled to mount an attack.
The next 15 minutes of play saw no action for the fans at the Racecourse. However, a Chesterfield free-kick in the 45+1 minute found the head of Boden free in the Wrexham box, but he could only direct it straight at Lainton.
The Dragons went into half-time with a deserved 1-0 lead, however they would need to pick themselves up for the second half, as the intensity dropped towards the end of the first.
The Derbyshire side started the second half on the charge, but the ‘Red Wall’ was hanging on.
The Chesterfield pressure was building and needed some sort of release. This came with Jay Sheridan in the 51st minute, as his shot flew into the empty Kop.
Ten minutes had past and Wrexham were toiling away, as they struggled to even get a touch of the ball.
Gevaro Nepomuceno had a free-kick on the hour mark, which forced Lainton to dive to his left to parry the ball out for a corner.
The Reds were starting to find a way out under the Spireites pressure, as Hooper and Grant were starting counter-attacks.
Boden was set through by Mandeville in the 65th minute, but the strong leg of Lainton managed to keep the attempt out.
Both sides made substitutions a couple of minutes later, as the goal-scorer came off for Mark Harris, as he Hooper returns to full match fitness.
The Wrexham counter finally amounted to something in the 72nd minute. Horsfield provided a great run into the space and fed through the free substitute in Harris. He urged himself into the box and got a shot off, but Luke Coddington saved well and managed to keep Rutherford’s rebound out as well.
The substitution of Luke Young for Devonte Redmond seemed to be paying off, as he was linking the defence and attack brilliantly for the counter.
The Spireites had a somewhat lucky free-kick in the 79th minute on the left-wing. Boden flicked on a header and just evaded the post and the running Tom Denton.
Wrexham hearts were in their mouths with ten minutes left on the clock, as Chambers nearly rebounded the ball into his own net off a Jennings clearance, but Lainton was luckily positioned well to save easily.
Pandemonium shook the Wrexham box, as Denton’s effort was blocked in the six yard box, along with red bodies throwing themselves on the line in the 84th.
The Dragons were doing everything they could to keep out the on flood of blue and white shirts, as Jake Lawlor and Chambers stood strong.
Lainton became the new hero of Wrexham Football Club, as a cross teased the home defenders to find McGlashan at the back post. His effort was somehow blocked away by the sprawling Wrexham keeper in the 90th minute.
Grant was set through and had all the time in the world to kill the game off, but Coddington produced a fantastic save to stop Grant’s ineffective chip in the 90+2nd minute.
Wrexham escaped a corner scare late on to hear the sound of the final whistle. Hooper’s goal was the difference in this close affair, meaning Wrexham progressed to the First Round Proper of the FA Cup.
Wrexham: (4-1-2-1-2): Lainton (GK), Jennings ©, Lawlor, Chambers, Horsfield, Barton, Wright (Summerfield 86’), Redmond (Young 70’), Rutherford, Grant, Hooper (Harris 67’).
Subs not used: Dibble (GK), Tollitt, Oswell, Carrington.
Chesterfield: (4-4-2): Coddington (GK), Yarney (Wakefield 76’), Rowley (McGlashan 65’), Spyrou (Denton 71’), Mandeville, Nepomuceno, Gerrard, Boden, Smith ©, Hollis, Sheridan.
Subs not used: Buchanan, Evans, McKay, Fondop.
Referee: Joe Hull (Manchester)
Chesterfield: McGlashan (69’, Foul)
Man of the Match: Barton