Rekeil Pyke’s fifth goal of the season sealed a home win against Gateshead as Wrexham returned to the top of the Vanarama National League.
Paul Rutherford’s cross was turned into the Heed net by defender Fraser Kerr in the first half, before Brad Walker headed in the Dragons’ second after the break.
Luke Armstrong pulled one back late on for Gateshead but Pyke’s stoppage-time effort deflected in and the win, combined with Salford’s draw at Eastleigh, puts Wrexham back in first place.
With Sam Ricketts calling for an improved performance from the mid-week win against Hartlepool, Wrexham made three changes.
Fit-again Luke Summerfield returned in midfield, while Chris Holroyd and Rutherford started up front – Akil Wright and Rekeil Pyke dropping to the bench, with Jordan Maguire-Drew not in the 16.
It was the visitors with the early chances though, as Wrexham took time to find their rhythm, and Armstrong’s ambitious long-range effort was high and wide on six minutes.
Steve Rigg’s shot was charged down by Pearson on nine minutes, but moments later the Heed striker beat the skipper and dragged a right-footed shot wide.
Wrexham responded well, however, and good pressure on Heed keeper Aynsley Pears won the ball high up the pitch in the 13th minute, before James Jennings stung his palms with a rising, 25-yard strike.
And the Dragons were in front on 18 minutes after brilliant work from Rutherford, who nutmegged his marker and raced to the byline, and Gateshead's Fraser Kerr turned the subsequent cut-back into his own net, as keeper Anynsley Pears was left grasping fresh air.
Wrexham controlled possession better without threatening Pears from then on, although Holroyd beat him to a through ball, wide of the area, on 35 minutes and the Heed keeper was booked for his late tackle the stop the Reds' striker.
Holroyd then almost doubled the advantage in first-half stoppage time, but the striker hooked his close-range volley over from Summerfield’s testing free-kick.
Greg Olley led the Gateshead charge almost straight from the restart, but he shot straight at Rob Lainton after a driving run.
Six minutes later, former Dragon Scott Boden beat the offside trap but Lainton parried his shot clear.
Again, Wrexham got a grip of the game, however, without troubling Pears in the Gateshead goal – until Walker doubled the lead.
Summerfield’s 69th minute corner was cleared, but Rutherford crossed back in and Walker beat Pears to head in his second Wrexham goal.
Walker tried his luck again on 77 minutes, controlling Stuart Beavon’s pass with his chest and volleying goalwards from distance, but his speculative effort was well wide.
Rutherford then fed substitute Pyke after a fast-paced counter-attack on 86 minutes, but the striker turned and shot just wide from the edge of the box.
Armstrong pulled one back with two minutes remaining, prodding in from close-range after Pearson and Lainton combined to keep out his first two efforts.
But any thoughts of a nervy conclusion were banished shortly afrewards as Pyke sealed victory in the first minute of stoppage time, as following a fine run from Luke Young, he turned onto his right-foot and watching as his deflected shot roll into the bottom corner of Pears' net.
Wrexham are now one point clear of Leyton Orient at the top of the Vanarama National League, with Salford a point further back in third.
Wrexham AFC: (4-3-3): Lainton, Roberts, Lawlor, Pearson, Jennings, Walker (Wright 88), Young, Summerfield, Rutherford, Holroyd (Pyke 71), Beavon (Deverdics 83).
Subs: Dibble, Fondop.
Gateshead: (4-2-3-1): Pears, Tinkler, Williamson, Kerr, Barrow, Hunter (Mellish 46), White, Rigg (Molyneux 58), Olley, Armstrong, Boden.
Subs: Foden, Thompson, O’Donnell.
Referee: Gary Parsons (Hampshire)
Gateshead: Pears (35, late tackle)