WREXHAM end the year third in the National League after beating Altrincham 2-0 at Moss Lane.

The Reds, back in league action for the first time in 17 days, continued their good run of form by securing a deserved victory with defenders Aaron Hayden and Bryce Hosannah getting the goals.

It means Phil Parkinson's side have only lost once in nine league outings and head into 2022 just one point behind leaders Chesterfield.

Covid-19 cases in the Wrexham squad meant the Boxing Day fixture at home to Solihull Moors was postponed but Parkinson was able to name a strong side at Altrincham.

Defender Hayden and leading scorer Paul Mullin, both rested for the last game when the Reds registered a 5-0 win against Gloucester City in the FA Trophy third round, returned to the starting XI.

Wrexham were quick out of the blocks and had the first sight of goal in the sixth minute.

Luke Young sent in a corner and Jordan Davies' header was cleared off the line but Rob Lainton was soon called into action at the other end, the Reds' goalkeeper brilliantly tipping Ryan Colclough's free-kick over the bar.

Davies latched onto a brilliant pass through the middle but was just unable to bring down the ball and the chance went begging as Wrexham, enjoying the majority of possession, continued to apply pressure.

Hayden's header from Davies' free-kick was saved by keeper Tony Thompson but Wrexham took the lead in the 23rd minute.

Davies sent in a cross from the by-line which was nodded back into the danger zone by Ben Tozer and Hayden headed home.

Mullin tried his luck from 25 yards but Thompson made a comfortable stop while Joel Senior only just fired wide at the other end.

However, Wrexham had been on top and the visitors went 2-0 up in the 38th minute.

Jordan Ponticelli's looping header from Reece Hall-Johnson's cross came back out off the woodwork and Hosannah headed the loose ball into the back of the net to register his first Reds' goal.

Altrincham didn't let their heads go down and David Fitzpatrick's shot deflected wide for a corner and Kennedy Digie somehow headed wide from close range when he had the goal at his mercy.

James Jones had the final opportunity of the first half for Wrexham but his low drive was saved by Thompson.

Davies was forced off with a shoulder injury early in the second half with Max Cleworth replacing the midfielder, while Tozer's shot was superbly turned behind by Thompson as Wrexham pressed for more goals.

Dean Furman fired over for Altrincham and Colclough's shot was deflected behind for a corner as the home side enjoyed a good spell.

Kwame Thomas replaced Ponticelli with 10 minutes to go for his first league appearance of the season while Jake Moult went close to pulling a goal back for Altrincham.

Wrexham had been less effective after the break but it was another away win for Wrexham who go into the New Year in excellent form.

Altrincham (4-1-2-3): Thompson; Senior, Mullarkey, Digie, Fitzpatrick; Moult; Marriott (Furman 32), Porter (Mooney 81); Kosylo (Leitch-Smith 46), Hancock, Colclough. Subs not used: Densmore, Drench.

Wrexham (5-3-2): Lainton; Hall-Johnson, Hayden, Tozer, Lennon, Hosannah; James Jones, Young, Davies (Cleworth 54), Mullin, Ponticelli (Thomas 81). Subs not used: Dibble, Green, Angus.

Attendance: 3,145 (1,166 from Wrexham).