IT was more than six years ago but Andy Morrell still feels sick when he thinks about Wrexham's play-off final heartbreak.

Wrexham finished in the top five for a third season in a row in 2012-13 and after beating Kidderminster Harriers in the two-legged semi-final, had a second Wembley final in the space of two months to look forward to against Newport County.

The first ever appearance at the national stadium ended in a memorable FA Trophy success but it was Newport who were promoted to the Football League, winning the all-Welsh affair 2-0.

"Every time I think about it I feel sick still to this day," said Morrell.

"It is a few years down the road but it is still frustrating. So close yet so far."

The winner-takes-all encounter was heading for extra-time but County striker Christian Jolley opened the scoring in the 86th minute and Aaron O'Connor's injury time striker compounded Wrexham's misery.

"It was a good game, our preparation was good and we played alright," said Morrell.

"We missed a couple of half chances and then just at the end we didn't quite have enough to get over the line and the two lads they'd brought in on good money ended up taking them up.

"That seems to be the difference in a lot of leagues in a lot of seasons."

Wrexham went into the game without key striker Danny Wright, who dislocated his elbow in the run-in with a play-off place already secured, while Kevin Thornton and Rob Ogleby were also missing.

In the absence of Wright, Morrell started himself but the former striker still thinks that he should have instead gone with on-loan frontman Dele Adebola.

"It was frustrating to lose Danny in a nothing game as well," said Morrell. "He was the only one I played out of everyone else and he fell on his elbow.

"Kevin Thornton, another big game player, wasn't fit either and he had a great game in the FA Trophy final.

"We were a bit unfortunate with that but are there things I would have done differently?

"In hindsight, maybe I would have started Dele instead of me.

"I know it was a big decision because he had done fantastically well, it may have been one of those big games where he showed what he was all about and he did well when he came on.

"That is probably the only one that sticks in the throat but it might have gone even worse for us had I done that so I just went with what we had."

Wrexham were facing another season in the fifth tier but things didn't go well and Morrell, who had taken over in September 2011 after Dean Saunders left to manage Doncaster, stood down in February 2014.

Although he didn't achieve promotion, Morrell took Wrexham as close as they have ever been to ending the Football League exile dating back to 2008.

"I am very proud of what I achieved with Wrexham," said Morrell.

"I am really grateful for the opportunity I had and the group of lads I managed to get together when I was there because they were very good and very hard working, and some very good players as well.

"It is just such a shame that we couldn't quite get over that line.

"We got so close playing so well and it has been tough for Wrexham ever since."

Wrexham will renew rivalries with Newport after they were paired in the second round of the FA Cup.

"When I saw it drawn out, I thought 'wow!' It's crazy how things crop up," said Morrell.

"Straight away on twitter people were saying revenge mission, we owe them one and all that.

"It will be a really good home tie for Wrexham, Newport are going well, a lot to play for and a lot of Welsh pride at stake."

Morrell believes Wrexham will fancy their chances of causing an upset against the League Two side.

"Everyone loves a good cup run, Wrexham have had some unbelievable ones in the past and were pretty much known for it," said Morrell.

"Newport will have something to say about that but the good thing for Wrexham is it is a home tie where they have been very strong, and Newport won't overly be looking forward to going up there and pitting their wits against them."