WREXHAM'S four match winning run came to an end as they lost 3-1 at promotion rivals Notts County.

Phil Parkinson's side went ahead but the Reds had to play 80 minutes with 10 men following Harry Lennon's dismissal and it proved too much in the end.

However, it could have been a different story at 2-1 when leading scorer Paul Mullin had a penalty saved, and the Magpies scored a controversial third goal.

Despite the first defeat since the end of November, Wrexham remain in the play-offs ahead of a three-week break from National League action.

Parkinson named the same side that started the 2-0 win at Altrincham last Tuesday.

Jordan Davies, who has signed a new long-term contract keeping him at The Racecourse until the summer of 2025, dislocated a shoulder in the victory but the midfielder was passed fit to take his place in the team.

There was an electric atmosphere when the game got under way and Wrexham made a dream start by taking a fourth minute lead.

Hall-Johnson won the ball in the County and unleashed an unstoppable 25 yard shot that flew past goalkeeper Anthony Patterson.

The County stopper then made a comfortable save to keep out Lennon's header, but County were back on level terms in the 10th minute.

Kairo Mitchell's goalbound effort was blocked on the line by Lennon, who was shown a straight red card by referee Paul Marsden, and leading scorer Kyle Wootton converted the resulting penalty.

Wrexham had a good chance but Paul Mullin's header from Hall-Johnson's cross was saved by Patterson.

Reds' keeper Rob Lainton made a comfortable stop from Mitchell at the other end while Mullin had claims for a penalty rejected after going down in the area when he tried to make room for a shot.

Wrexham were coping well with being down to 10 men, keeping County at bay and also maintaining an attacking threat, but the home side went 2-1 up on 39 minutes.

Centre-back Kyle Cameron ventured forward and delivered a cross from the left which was headed home by Wootton.

It remained 2-1 at the break while County had the first real chance of the second half but Lainton did well to deny Wootton.

Wrexham were presented with an excellent opportunity to equalise when referee Marsden awarded a penalty following a high foot by Ed Francis on Reds' captain Luke Young.

However, Mullin's spot-kick was saved by Patterson who went the right way.

County capitalised by taking a 67th minute lead.

Adam Chicksen sent in a cross and Jayden Richardson's header was adjudged to have crossed the line despite Davies' superb headed clearance.

Wrexham had to go for it but they were almost caught out as County broke, although Ben Tozer made a superb goalline clearance to deny Richardson.

Mullin brought a save out of Patterson but Wrexham slipped to defeat in their first game of 2022.

Notts County (5-3-2): Patterson; Richardson, Brindley, Lacey, Cameron, Chicksen; Vincent, Francis, Palmer; Mitchell (Sam 46), Wooton. Subs not used: Slocombe, Roberts, Nemane.

Wrexham (5-3-2): Lainton; Hall-Johnson, Hayden, Tozer, Lennon, Hosannah (Angus 85); James Jones, Young, Davies (Thomas 87); Mullin, Ponticelli (Green 74). Subs not used: Dibble, French,.

Attendance: 8,890 (1,992 from Wrexham).