IT'S six years since Wrexham's last ever play-off match and Martin Riley still feels the pain of losing at Wembley.

Andy Morrell's side secured a top-five finish for a third season in a row in 2012-13 and overcame Kidderminster Harriers 5-2 on aggregate in the last four to reach the Conference final for the first time.

That set up a winner-takes-all showdown at the national stadium with Welsh rivals Newport County who scored two late goals to triumph 2-0 and win promotion back to the Football League.

Centre-back Riley admits he felt for Reds fans after coming so close to ending the club's spell in non-league.

"It was bitterly disappointing," said Riley.

"After the season we had, the group of players we had, being up there for most of the season and playing pretty well, it was horrible to lose.

"The play-offs are a bit of a lottery, anything can happen in one game, and we just came out on the wrong end of it.

"Without doubt it was one of my worst moments in football.

"The club where it was, all the players could feel how disappointed the fans were not to get back in the Football League where they deserve to be."

Wrexham, who finished fifth, were underdogs in the semi-finals against Kidderminster who only missed out on the title to Mansfield on the final day of the regular season and took the runners-up spot.

A 2-1 first leg win at The Racecourse was followed by a 3-1 victory in the return clash at Aggborough and Riley admits Wrexham headed into the final in confident mood after beating the highly-fancied Harriers.

"We played really well over the two legs," said Riley.

"If you had put money on it, it would have been us to go up; on paper we looked fairly comfortable going into the final.

"But football is football and it does not work out like that.

"We had a few chances on the day but they punished us."

Riley believes Wrexham would be more than holding their own in the Football League if they had won the all-Welsh affair.

"Newport were a strong team and look at them now," said Riley.

"They are still in League Two and I am sure if we had gone up, we would have pushed on and stayed in the league for years to come."

As it is, Wrexham are spending an 11th season in the fifth tier but the Reds have booked a play-off spot for the first time in six years.

Riley, who returned to The Racecourse in 2016 and won the Player of the Year award before being released by Dean Keates at the end of the season, hopes his former club can finish the job off.

"I was not very happy with the way my second spell at Wrexham finished," said the 32-year-old, who spent this season playing for Alfreton Town in National League North.

"But that was nothing to do with the club or the fans.

"They will always have a special place in my heart and I always look out for Wrexham.

"100 per cent I want them to get promoted."