JAMES JENNINGS says Rekeil Pyke "set the mark" with his performance against Maidenhead United and described the striker as a "defender's nightmare".

Pyke, on a season-long loan deal from Huddersfield, turned in a man of the match display as Wrexham beat the Magpies 1-0 at The Racecourse on Saturday.

Having had a goal disallowed before the break, Pyke continued to cause problems in the second half and set-up Luke Young for the winning goal, earning praise from team-mate Jennings.

"I like playing with Rekeil," said Jennings. "He set the mark on Saturday.

"He listens to you, he is a young, hungry lad, blistering pace and power. He has got it all and I don't think he realises how good he is.

"He can hurt teams with his pace and his cleverness, it was great movement, a great ball across goal and Luke followed it in and got the winner."

Pyke was handed a first start since recovering from a hamstring problem and Jennings says the 21-year-old is difficult to play against.

"He was a little bit unfortunate picking up the injury at the start of December and maybe it took him a while to get going which is only natural," said Jennings.

"He has come back in the last few weeks, trained well, looked bright and sharp.

"He gives you that different dimension and when you have got that much pace and power in this league, it is a defender's nightmare."

Wrexham ended a run of five successive defeats as they registered a first win of 2019 to give the promotion challenge a welcome boost.

"It was crucial that we got the win, no matter how it came; whether it was ugly or whether it was pretty," said Jennings.

"But I was quite pleased with the performance that we put in. We had to be patient and it took a while to grind them down.

"We came in at half-time and the gaffer said they were scared of us, they were trying to slow the game down and do everything they could to stop us playing so we had just had to make sure that the intent was still there.

"We stuck to our game plan and it took a while but it was a great feeling when we scored."

Jennings admits it was important that Wrexham, who boast a decent defensive record, got back to keeping clean sheets following an indifferent start to the year.

"I don't think Maidenhead hurt us but at the same time, we had to make sure that we locked it up at the back because there have been times this year that we have conceded a goal that we wouldn't normally do this season," said Jennings.

"The gaffer said it was crucial that we kept a clean sheet. We had plenty of chances, there was a spell where you thought 'it is going to be one of those days, it is not going in'.

"We should have had a penalty but we stuck to the plan and the ability came through."

Jennings hopes victory will give fifth placed Wrexham, who remain four points behind leaders Leyton Orient, a lift ahead of Saturday's trip to Boreham Wood.

"It comes to a point where you get fed up of losing games," added Jennings.

"But it is down to us as players to go out there and do it.

"We had to kind of get rid of that fear factor and make sure that we made it happen.

"That win will give the players more confidence and we want to go on a run now."