ANDY MORRELL recalls how Wrexham secured a memorable FA Cup win against Brentford - before the game began.

The Reds faced the League One side in a second round tie at Griffin Park in December 2011 and pulled off a cup shock, winning 1-0 thanks to Jamie Tolley's first half volley.

While Tolley's strike sealed a place in round three, the midfielder had the Bees rattled in the tunnel in the run-up to kick-off.

"Brentford were going well and they got bullied in the tunnel before the game," said Morrell.

"Tolley shouting at everybody and just being a nuisance, he put them off and scared the wits out of them I think, and he was soft as!

"It was a winning one but we played really well, the lads stood up to the test and we managed to nick it with an unbelievable goal by him as well."

Wrexham's reward was a clash against Championship high-fliers Brighton and Hove Albion at The Amex Stadium.

Adrian Cieslewicz equalised to earn Morrell's men a replay and the Reds' player-manager gave his side a 1-0 lead with a a stunning strike back at The Racecourse.

However, Brighton levelled and advanced to the fourth round after winning the penalty shoot-out 5-4, with Wrexham captain Dean Keates missing the only spot-kick.

Wrexham gave an excellent account of themselves and Morrell feels it should have been them looking forward to a fourth round date with Newcastle.

"Everyone was not so sure when it got picked out against Brighton but I was like, 'new ground, 20,000 there, it will be brilliant and I think it's winnable'," said Morrell.

"Adrian scored a great goal, we didn't have a lot of the ball but we played really well.

"The home game got put back a day because it got called off and we had a right crack at it.

"It was a fantastic evening, under the lights at Wrexham with a full house; a sensational game and really we should have won it.

"We had a couple of chances in the second half, they obviously had chances as well but we could have nicked it and to go out on penalties was heartbreaking because it was Newcastle in the next round.

"It happens but we took a lot of credit for putting up three really good games against very good opposition."

The cup dream was over but Wrexham were going great guns in the Conference Premier and finished the season with an incredible 98 points, although it wasn't enough for automatic promotion as big-spending Fleetwood clinched the title.

Wrexham made winning a habit in 2011-12 and Morrell feels is shows teams can have a cup run as well as challenge for promotion, something he hopes the Reds can do under Sam Ricketts.

"Winning games breeds confidence and winning bigger games and beating bigger teams breeds more confidence," said Morrell.

"We had a great run, beating a league team in Brentford, and the whole thing was just momentum.

"Lincoln have done it, they did very well with a good cup run, so it is not impossible.

"And the squad Sam has put together, he has got players that can come in and do an equally as good a job as the players that are starting games at the moment.

"He will say just go and do it and the money from a cup run is brilliant for the club. You get good money for getting through these rounds and it all helps budgets in the push for the top spot."

Wrexham haven't reached the play-offs since 2013, when they were beaten in the final by Newport at Wembley, but the Reds are among the National League leaders under Ricketts and Morrell hopes they can finish the job off.

"It seems to go in cycles where you have a few years of really pushing and if you don't take that opportunity when you get it, it can be hard again," said Morrell.

"If you are doing well, teams come and poach your players. You have to start all over again and you are not necessarily going to replace like for like or like for better if you can.

"It has been turbulent, it has been up and down. They have had patches where they have been very good the last couple of years and really been pushing but not been quite able to get across that line and maintain that push.

"This year they have been nigh on sensational since the start of the season and done very well, is it the year where they can keep pushing and just get over that line?"