WREXHAM reached the fourth round of the Scottish Challenge Cup after beating Ayr United 6-5 on a penalty shoot-out.

The Reds' first ever match in the competition at The Racecourse ended in a 1-1 draw after normal time.

Youth team player Jake Bickerstaff put Wrexham ahead on his senior debut in the second half but Ayr equalised through Sam Roscoe with four minutes remaining, meaning the match was decided on a penalty shoot-out.

Both sides scored their opening five penalties and after Ayr's Luke McCown's effort was saved, Jake Lawlor converted his spot-kick to take Wrexham through.

Hughes said he would take the opportunity to rest players with the league being the priority and he made 10 changes from the side that drew against Maidenhead in midweek with only Ben Tollitt retaining his place.

Lawlor, currently serving a four game ban in the National League, was allowed to play in the competition while Doug Tharme also made the team after he was recalled early from a loan spell at Telford.

Although first team players were still on duty - back-up keeper Dawid Szczepaniak made his debut - there were starts for Max Cleworth and Jake Bickerstaff, with other youngsters filling the substitutes bench alongside Christian Dibble.

Ayr made five changes and they were all enforced as three players were away on international duty with Scotland under 21s and the other two were injured, and a lack of bodies meant the Honest Men only named three substitutes instead of seven, and one of those was a goalkeeper.

Both teams cancelled each other in the early exchanges and although Ayr saw more of the ball, they were forced into a change when Arron Muirhead limped off and had to be replaced by Finn Ecrepont after debutant goalkeeper Ellis Hare-Reid just beat captain-for-the-day Paul Rutherford to Tollitt's pass.

McIntosh won a corner which came to nothing and then fired wide after being set up by Bickerstaff when he should have done better.

In the thick of the action, McIntosh was off target with a header from Jazzi Barnum-Bobb's cross and Bickerstaff's drive appeared to have been tipped around the post by Hare-Reid from Devonte Redmond's pass but a corner wasn't given as the Reds' created more half chances.

Ayr had their first sight of goal in the 35th minute as Michael Moffatt brought a save out of Szczepaniak but Wrexham went upfield and almost took the lead following their next attack.

McIntosh was thwarted by Hare-Reid and Tollitt's goalbound follow-up was blocked by Luke McCowan but it remained goalless at the break.

Kris Doolan effort's at the start of the second half was deflected wide for Ayr but a good move from Wrexham almost led to a goal as Bickerstaff raced onto Barnum-Bobb's pass and his inviting cross into the danger zone was just beyond McIntosh.

Ayr responded with Alan Forrest not far away with his attempt and he then centred for Doolan who failed to direct his close range effort on target.

But Wrexham took the lead in the 70th minute as a cross wasn't dealt with and Bickerstaff found the back of the net with a low shot.

Tollitt fired into the side-netting as Wrexham pressed for a second goal but Ayr equalised with four minutes remaining.

Szczepaniak pulled off a brilliant fingertip save to deny Forrest but Roscoe headed home from the resulting corner.

Forrest was inches away from an injury time winner but the match went to a penalty shoot-out where Wrexham prevailed.

Wrexham (3-4-3): Szcepaniak; Cleworth, Lawlor, Tharme (Beaumont 87); Barnum-Bobb, Redmond (Jones 79), Barton, Rutherford; Bickerstaff, McIntosh (Williams 72), Tollitt. Subs: Dibble, Huxley, Parry, Robinson-Murray.

Ayr United (4-4-1-1): Hare-Reid; Geggan, Roscoe, Bell, Muirhead (Ecrepont 14); Forrest, Kerr, Docherty, McCowan; Moffat; Doolan (McKenzie 72). Sub not used: Graham.

Referee: Steven Gregg.

Attendance: 1,697 (421 from Ayr).