DEAN KEATES admits Wrexham need to do much better in both penalty areas after their five-game unbeaten run was ended by Altrincham.

The Reds dominated the first half of The Racecourse encounter and had chances to take the lead with centre-back Theo Vassell coming closest as his early header struck the crossbar.

Those missed opportunities proved costly just before the break as Wrexham switched off at a corner and defender Richie Sutton scored the only goal of the match.

"I am massively frustrated," said Keates.

"We have cost ourselves with the set-play. Lost a man and he got a free header.

"On the flip side, we had four free headers at their goal but we didn't convert them like Altrincham did with their one chance.

"We had opportunities, we didn't take our chances and we got sucker-punched.

"That is not taking anything away from Altrincham, they came with a game-plan and we got caught out.

"I think if we had got a goal early-on, it would have been a different game."

Keates could not fault the quality of the balls into the area but rued poor finishing from his side.

"I had a moan at the weekend about the ball put into Bromley's box but I thought nine times out of 10, the balls put into the box were absolutely spot-on," said Keates.

"We arrived on a few of them, just not got enough not hitting the target. It is execution.

"I thought first half we were the better team.

"They had one break after we hit the crossbar. We had chances but didn't take them.

"We got down the side of them and had balls across the six yard box but not enough bodies making runs that we wanted them to do in the 18 yard box."

Not for the first time this season Wrexham failed to pick up an opposition player at a set-piece and Altrincham, promoted via the National League North play-offs last season, took advantage on the stroke of half-time to continue their superb start to life at a higher level.

"Set-pieces are a massive part of the game," said Keates. "No matter what level you play at it is massive, even more so down at our level.

"We pride ourselves on clean sheets and we conceded from a set-play.

"We need to learn from it. We go man-for-man, it is accountability, if you do your job your man doesn't score."

Wrexham were less creative in the second half and the 1-0 defeat means the Reds have slipped to seventh place ahead of Saturday's trip to leaders Torquay.

"The set-play right on the stroke of half-time was a bit of a body blow," said Keates.

"We changed the team-talk and we had to regroup.

"We created chances second half but we weren't as creative as we wanted to be, and I don't think the energy and the tempo was there."

Keates is looking for a reaction against the Gulls at Plainmoor.

"We have been in a good place over the last few weeks, full of energy and high tempo," added Keates.

"We had adversity on Tuesday, we have to show resilience now

"Second half we didn't really perform how we wanted to. We created chances but didn't take them.

"We have got a massive game at the weekend and we go again."