WREXHAM’S “royal box” was covered up and empty – almost as if they knew what was coming.

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney marked three years as club owners of the Welsh club on Friday but there was no celebration appearance.

Reynolds, though, was gracious enough to send a well-done message to the Bantams via social media straight after the game.

The Deadpool star tweeted: “The entire Bradford City squad played with so much heart today. Congrats.”

As Hollywood scripts go, Reynolds might have predicted the ending.

In the land where few visitors leave with anything, the Bantams seem to have the knack with a Carabao Cup win on penalties and now this.

Boss Graham Alexander certainly enjoys the trip to north Wales as the only League Two manager to leave the Principality with all three points – not once but twice.

Alexander cracked up when asked by a reporter afterwards for his “masterplan” in breaking a conundrum that has proved beyond so many others.

Wrexham’s home legacy spans well beyond this season. Before Alexander’s MK Dons plundered a 5-3 triumph on opening day, you had to go back to November 2021 for their last league setback at home.

That defeat to Yeovil – on the night that Derek Adams’ Bantams were losing their FA Cup replay in Exeter at the second attempt – was also the last time Wrexham fired a blank at the Racecourse Ground.

That underlines the size of achievement from a City side who had not tasted league victory since December 22. Football eh!

But then the Bantams make a habit of tearing up the form book at this time of year.

Rewind 12 months to the same weekend and they were pulling off a 3-2 win at a promotion-bound Stevenage who, like Wrexham, boasted the division’s most formidable record on their own soil.

Phil Parkinson was shaking his head at the final whistle, mystified at how his team had slumped to a third straight league defeat – a run simply unknown in these parts since the Valley Parade history-maker took the helm two-and-a-half years ago.

But nemesis Alexander could point to a classic away performance; full of heart, character and providing the ultimate sting in the tail.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: What Ryan Reynolds sent out straight after the gameWhat Ryan Reynolds sent out straight after the game (Image: Twitter)

Defending has not been an issue during this long wait for the next win and once again they repelled all that Wrexham could throw at them.

Ben Tozer shelled those missiles into the box from throw-ins while Ryan Barnett and James McClean looked to deliver a steady stream of crosses.

But City stood up to the physical test, heading, blocking, clearing.

Sam Walker, celebrating his first win for the club, set the tone with a commanding performance in goal.

From the moment that Tozer first hurled the ball into the mixer, the keeper came for everything and his confidence to take the initiative rubbed off on those around him.

It was no place for dithering in the six-yard box under a constant barrage.

Wrexham had been booed off at Salford the week before and City had to be primed for a response.

The first half, especially, saw the hosts pile forward and Walker had to be alert to deny Barnett with a diving save.

He also kept out Steven Fletcher’s header and Wrexham had a couple of wasteful misses as the ground, barring a magnificently noisy 1,100 away section, licked their lips for an inevitable goal.

But it never materialised as City stubbornly continued to stand their ground.

Not that there was too much going the other way.

Alexander had gone with three up front again, flanking the recalled Andy Cook with Calum Kavanagh and Harry Chapman.

Kavanagh had an early chance on the break but City were finding it tough to get on the ball. Chapman got in some half-decent positions but disappointingly offered little.

Things started to change when Lewis Richards was forced off before the break, prompting a reshuffle that saw Alex Gilliead switch to wing-back and Kevin McDonald return alongside Richie Smallwood in the middle.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Andy Cook holds his head after the penalty - but would have his revengeAndy Cook holds his head after the penalty - but would have his revenge (Image: Thomas Gadd)

The two old heads brought more control to City’s play, with McDonald's vision and the skipper biting into tackles, and the team came out with more conviction from the restart.

Jon Tomkinson should have done better with a header to kick off the second half before Parkinson went to his heavily-stocked bench to spice up the home attack.

Fletcher was seen off as well as Paul Mullin, who seemed to spend as much time on the floor pleading for fouls as vertical, but City still had to contend with Sam Dalby and the newly-signed Jack Marriott.

Hearts were in mouths as Elliot Lee’s glancing header bounced the wrong side of the far post.

But then came the big moment as Brad Halliday swung a ball into the Wrexham box.

Cook went down with Aaron Hayden at his back as the cross bounced through to Arthur Okonkwo – and ref Ben Speedie pointed to the spot.

Parkinson seethed on the touchline at the prospect of lightning striking twice. The Liverpool official had given City a penalty in the cup clash for another fairly innocuous challenge involving Hayden.

But Cook’s kick down the middle was blocked by Okonkwo’s legs, condemning the striker to a third miss of the season.

Like any true action hero, though, Cook was not finished.

It would have been easy for his head to drop at the latest setback in a challenging few weeks for the big man.

But Cook bounced straight back to demonstrate the will power that underpinned City’s efforts.

McDonald crunched into a tackle to squeeze the ball towards him on the edge of the penalty area but there was still plenty to do.

Cook’s sharp turn completely bamboozled Tozer and he resisted Hayden’s lunge enough to fire off a shot.

Okonkwo blocked but the ball spiralled straight up in the air where there was only going to be one winner.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ciaran Kelly clears from Andy Cannon as City defended stronglyCiaran Kelly clears from Andy Cannon as City defended strongly (Image: Thomas Gadd)

Cook’s follow-up header had enough oomph to see it over the line and spark bedlam among the travelling support. They’ve had to wait a long time to enjoy such a moment again.

One win doesn’t necessarily change the direction of a so far underwhelming campaign.

The off-field disgruntlement felt by a section of the fanbase towards absent owner Stefan Rupp will not disappear on the back of a single success, as impressive as it reads.

But this was a timely reminder that the only currency that really matters in football, whether playing or following, is results.

Flash in the pan or can City back it up in successive home games this week and then that massive EFL Trophy semi-final?

At least it has breathed a bit of interest in the season again.