Wrexham overtaken in race for automatic promotion after shock defeat ends 28-game unbeaten run

Wrexham slipped up in their race for automatic promotion to the English Football League (EFL) after suffering a shock 3-1 defeat at FC Halifax Town on Friday, ending their 28-match unbeaten run in the league.

The result sees the team owned by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney drop to second in the table. Notts County leapfrogged the Welsh side at the top of the standings with both teams level on 100 points ahead of their season-defining clash Monday. County sit above Wrexham on goal difference alone, having played a game extra.

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"The lads aren't used to losing," manager Phil Parkinson said after the match. "They're a bit stunned in there because we know we didn't really deserve anything from that second period and the first period we had chances to be out of sight.

"The players are quiet because they care a lot and they're used to winning. But today is a real reminder for us that in any game of football there's no divine right to turn up and win. You have to be strong as a team and be resilient.

"We've got a terrific game on Monday to bounce back."

County joined Wrexham as the first two sides to hit 100 points in England's top five leagues since Manchester City in the 2017-18 season. If either side win when they meet at the Racecourse Ground on Monday, they will become favourites to claim promotion to the EFL.

Wrexham opened the scoring in Friday's match but three second-half goals by opponents Halifax sunk the Welsh club to their first league defeat since October, which came against promotion rivals County.

Only the division's top side is granted automatic promotion and the six teams below all battle for the league's second promotion spot through the playoffs. Wrexham finished second in the league last season and were dumped out of the playoffs in the semifinals.

They previously could have secured promotion back to England's fourth tier by April 15 if results went their way, but this defeat means that is no longer possible and adds extra significance to their match against County on Monday.

Wrexham have been in the fifth tier of English football since their relegation from League Two in 2008.