And they will remain concerned ahead of Wembley that, in the 10 previous seasons of play-offs in the Conference, no team finishing fifth in the final league table have ever gone on to be promoted.
But the odds on
the FA Trophy winners'
chance to make it third time lucky, at least as regards a second trip to Wembley in five weeks, always looked to be shortening from the moment that Ashton slotted his controversial, late tie-turning penalty at the Racecourse Ground five nights earlier.
Mike Williams came in at left-back in place of Mickey Demetriou, while Martin Devaney replaced Marvin Johnson on the right wing and Danny Pilkington came in on the left flank, Danny Jackman shuffling across to fill the injured James Vincent 's central midfield role.
Harriers, who have this season been very much a second-half team, started brightly for once.
Michael Gash's delicate header from Lee Vaughan's cross hit the post and visiting keeper Chris Maxwell made a good save from a header by Dunkley, who then had a penalty shout after going down under a challenge from Stephen Wright.
But Wrexham, who had beaten twice by Steve Burr's Harriers during the regular season, this time did it when it mattered. And they took a big stride towards Wembley just before the half hour when they went in front.
Jay Harris slipped in Ormerod, running unmarked down the inside right channel, and the veteran striker clipped home a right-foot shot from 20 yards.
Wrexham in the Conference
2008 - Relegated from the Football League after finishing bottom of League Two
2009 - Finished 10th
2010 - Finished 11th
2011 - Finished fifth. Lost in play-off semi-finals
2012 - Finished second. Lost in play-off semi-finals
2013 - Finished fifth. Reached play-off final
It might have been 2-0 early in the second half when, after Dunkley had clumsily fouled Morrell, Clarke's cross was headed just wide by David Artell.
But, after Devaney had stolen in behind, only to be twice thwarted, Dunkley gave Harriers a lifeline when, after seeing his header blocked from Kyle Storer's cross, the home centre-half scrambled in the rebound.
Parity on the day was only to last five minutes, however.
Clarke's low free-kick wide out on the left somehow sneaked its way into the net at the near post past a distracted Lewis.
And, when substitute Adrian Ciesiwicz was adjudged to have been brought down by Josh Gowling, Ashton's second penalty of the tie put the lid on it, to send the 1,650 visiting Welshmen into further vocal rapture - and secure that return trip to Wembley.
As for the Harriers, like Wrexham two years ago, they felt the pain of finishing runners-up and not making it all the way,
In 11 seasons now since the Conference play-offs came in have that season's runners-up ended up getting promoted.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Kidderminster Harriers manager Steve Burr told BBC Hereford & Worcester:
"Wrexham are a good side. But to be better next season it means we've got to win it.
"Maybe they'll wake up and realise that this division warrants two teams going up, and then a play-off, like every other league.
"But we knew the rules of the competition.
"It's just hard to take when you get so close."
Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell told BBC Radio Wales:
"I'm made up, but I've reiterated to them all that's there's nothing to celebrate. We haven't done anything yet.
"We thoroughly deserved to go through over the two legs. We were strong.
"They asked a lot of questions of us but we managed to stand up to it and get the goals at the right time.
"But it was hard work. We put a lot of effort in on Tuesday night and, right at the end, there were a few with empty tanks."
Live text and stats
Sunday, 28 April 2013
(HT 0-1)(agg 2-5)
Ashton (pen) 85
02 L Vaughan
06 Williams yellow card (Gittings 77)
04 Storer yellow card
14 Pilkington (Johnson 62)
26 Devaney yellow card
20 Gash (Rowe 69)
23 N Vaughan,
03 Ashton yellow card
32 Artell yellow card
12 Keates (Little 86)
10 Ormerod yellow card (Cieslewicz 61)
11 Morrell (Adebola 69)
Ref: Seb StockbridgeAtt: 6,202
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+4:54 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
90:00+3:51 Effort on goal by Jay Harris from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.
90:00+2:48 Callum Gittings takes a shot. Comfortable save by Chris Maxwell.
90:00+1:49 Unfair challenge on Adrian Cieslewicz by Lee Vaughan results in a free kick. Jay Harris takes the free kick.
90:00+0:41 Marvin Johnson delivers the ball, David Artell manages to make a clearance.
87:55 Foul by Ryan Rowe on David Artell, free kick awarded. Chris Maxwell restarts play with the free kick.
87:17 The ball is sent over by Marvin Johnson.
86:54 Unfair challenge on Danny Jackman by Glen Little results in a free kick. Daniel Lewis takes the direct free kick.
86:09 Kyle Storer concedes a free kick for a foul on Glen Little. Free kick taken by Chris Maxwell.
84:45 Substitution Glen Little replaces Dean Keates.
84:45 Adrian Cieslewicz provided the assist for the goal.
84:45 GOAL - Neil Ashton:Kidderminster 1 - 3 Wrexham Penalty taken left-footed by Neil Ashton and scored. Kidderminster 1 (2)-(5) 3 Wrexham.
84:00 Penalty awarded for a foul by Josh Gowling on Adrian Cieslewicz.
83:09 Inswinging corner taken by Johnny Hunt from the right by-line, Anthony Malbon manages to make a clearance.
82:08 Corner taken by Kyle Storer from the left by-line, Chris Maxwell makes a comfortable save.
80:45 Jay Harris takes a shot. Daniel Lewis makes a save.
79:24 Lee Vaughan crosses the ball.
78:24 Anthony Malbon takes a shot. Save made by Chris Maxwell. Corner taken left-footed by Danny Jackman from the right by-line,
clearance made by Neil Ashton. Corner taken short by Danny Jackman.
77:09 Cheyenne Dunkley fouled by Dele Adebola, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Daniel Lewis.
76:01 Daniel Lewis restarts play with the free kick.
76:01 Substitution Mike Williams goes off and Callum Gittings comes on.
76:01 The official flags Dele Adebola offside.
75:19 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Neil Ashton by Marvin Johnson. Free kick taken by Neil Ashton.
72:27 Ryan Rowe takes a shot. Blocked by Jay Harris. Corner taken by Marvin Johnson.
71:21 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Marvin Johnson from the left by-line.
71:00 Stephen Wright gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marvin Johnson. Kyle Storer takes the free kick.
68:36 Substitution Andrew Morrell goes off and Dele Adebola comes on.
68:36 Substitution Ryan Rowe on for Michael Gash.
68:16 Booking Martin Devaney goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
Correction - 68:07 GOAL - Joe Clarke:Kidderminster 1 - 2 Wrexham Joe Clarke hits the back of the net with a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the penalty box to the bottom
left corner of the goal. Kidderminster 1 (2)-(4) 2 Wrexham.
68:07 GOAL - Joe Clarke:Kidderminster 1 - 2 Wrexham Joe Clarke scores a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Kidderminster
1 (2)-(4) 2 Wrexham.
Correction - 67:03 Martin Devaney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martin Riley.
67:03 Martin Devaney concedes a free kick for a foul on Martin Riley.
65:57 Header by Anthony Malbon from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
64:39 Corner taken by Johnny Hunt.
64:34 The ball is swung over by Adrian Cieslewicz, Cheyenne Dunkley manages to make a clearance.
63:56 Unfair challenge on Cheyenne Dunkley by Adrian Cieslewicz results in a free kick. Daniel Lewis takes the free kick.
63:02 GOAL - Cheyenne Dunkley:Kidderminster 1 - 1 Wrexham Cheyenne Dunkley finds the net with a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Kidderminster 1 (2)-(3)
62:05 Handball by Johnny Hunt. Kyle Storer sends in a cross, Cheyenne Dunkley takes a shot. Save made by Chris Maxwell.
60:32 Direct free kick taken by Daniel Lewis.
60:32 Substitution Marvin Johnson joins the action as a substitute, replacing Danny Pilkington.
60:32 Substitution Adrian Cieslewicz is brought on as a substitute for Brett Ormerod.
60:32 Booking Brett Ormerod goes into the referee's book.
60:27 Brett Ormerod gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Daniel Lewis.
59:30 Johnny Hunt crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, save made by Daniel Lewis.
59:30 Booking Booking for Mike Williams for unsporting behaviour.
59:25 Unfair challenge on Brett Ormerod by Mike Williams results in a free kick.
59:06 The ball is delivered by Jay Harris, clearance by Lee Vaughan.
57:47 Neil Ashton takes the free kick.
57:47 Booking Kyle Storer booked.
57:26 Unfair challenge on Joe Clarke by Kyle Storer results in a free kick.
55:43 Centre by Michael Gash, clearance made by David Artell.
55:09 Shot from 6 yards from Martin Devaney. Blocked by Martin Riley.
53:38 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kyle Storer on Jay Harris. Chris Maxwell takes the direct free kick.
52:31 The assistant referee signals for offside against Brett Ormerod. Daniel Lewis restarts play with the free kick.
50:33 Anthony Malbon is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Chris Maxwell takes the indirect free kick.
49:37 Neil Ashton fouled by Martin Devaney, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Chris Maxwell.
48:41 Cheyenne Dunkley takes a shot and went wide of the right hand upright.
47:59 Brett Ormerod is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Daniel Lewis takes the indirect free kick.
47:10 Anthony Malbon is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Chris Maxwell restarts play with the free kick.
46:04 Andrew Morrell fouled by Michael Gash, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Johnny Hunt.
45:01 The second half has started.
45:00+1:50 The referee blows for half time.
44:39 Mike Williams produces a cross, clearance by Johnny Hunt.
41:01 The ball is delivered by Danny Pilkington, comfortable save by Chris Maxwell.
39:58 The ball is swung over by Martin Devaney, Martin Riley makes a clearance. A cross is delivered by Lee Vaughan, Chris Maxwell
makes a comfortable save.
37:57 Anthony Malbon takes a shot. Chris Maxwell makes a comfortable save.
36:03 Danny Pilkington has an effort at goal. Stephen Wright gets a block in. Corner taken by Danny Pilkington from the left by-line
played to the near post, clearance by Joe Clarke.
31:58 Dean Keates concedes a free kick for a foul on Cheyenne Dunkley. Free kick crossed by Danny Pilkington, save by Chris Maxwell.
31:45 Martin Devaney crosses the ball, clearance made by Martin Riley.
30:58 Effort from the edge of the box by Danny Jackman goes wide of the right-hand upright.
30:07 Martin Devaney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Clarke. Direct free kick taken by Neil Ashton.
29:00 Assist by Jay Harris.
29:00 GOAL - Brett Ormerod:Kidderminster 0 - 1 Wrexham Brett Ormerod gets on the score sheet with a goal from just inside the area to the top left corner of the goal. Kidderminster
0 (1)-(3) 1 Wrexham.
27:46 Free kick crossed by Danny Jackman, Chris Maxwell makes a comfortable save.
27:46 Booking Neil Ashton receives a caution.
27:40 Unfair challenge on Martin Devaney by Neil Ashton results in a free kick.
26:10 Neil Ashton challenges Lee Vaughan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Lewis.
25:44 The ball is sent over by Johnny Hunt, Lee Vaughan makes a clearance.
22:15 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jay Harris by Danny Jackman. Johnny Hunt restarts play with the free kick.
17:32 Cheyenne Dunkley challenges Johnny Hunt unfairly and gives away a free kick. Chris Maxwell restarts play with the free kick.
16:43 The ball is delivered by Anthony Malbon, clearance made by David Artell. Corner taken by Danny Pilkington played to the near
post, clearance made by Jay Harris.
15:27 Centre by Danny Pilkington, Stephen Wright gets a block in.
12:42 Danny Pilkington sends in a cross, Cheyenne Dunkley takes a shot. Save by Chris Maxwell.
12:05 Corner taken right-footed by Danny Pilkington to the near post, clearance by David Artell.
12:05 Booking David Artell receives a yellow card for dissent.
11:48 The ball is delivered by Danny Pilkington, Michael Gash has a headed effort at goal from close in that bounces off the post.
11:19 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Anthony Malbon by Johnny Hunt. Direct free kick taken by Lee Vaughan.
Correction - 4:54 Foul by Cheyenne Dunkley on Andrew Morrell, free kick awarded. Strike comes in from Johnny Hunt from the free kick, Daniel
Lewis makes a comfortable save.
4:54 Cheyenne Dunkley challenges Andrew Morrell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Johnny Hunt restarts play with the free kick.
3:07 Centre by Neil Ashton, clearance made by Cheyenne Dunkley.
2:13 The ball is swung over by Dean Keates, clearance by Lee Vaughan.
1:47 The ball is sent over by Michael Gash, clearance made by Neil Ashton.
0:00 The match gets underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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