Wrexham scored two dramatic extra-time goals to clinch a 2-0 win against Southend and lift the LDV Vans Trophy final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
Spanish striker Juan Ugarte nodded in his 19th goal of the season after 99 tense minutes before captain Darren Ferguson sealed a memorable triumph against Steve Tilson's high-flying Coca-Cola League Two side.
While Wrexham will rightfully savour this success, manager Denis Smith will know that an altogether tougher fight lies ahead if they are to stave off relegation to League Two and safeguard the club's continued existence.
The Dragons lie eight points adrift of League One safety after being deducted 10 points for entering administration last December.
The club's 133-year existence remains under threat if owner Alex Hamilton remains committed to the 12-month notice he served on Wrexham to vacate the Racecourse Ground in July.
But this was a deserved success against Southend, who arrived in the principality unbeaten in 17 games but who may end up replacing Wrexham in League One next season.
Wrexham made one change from the side which drew 2-2 at Barnsley last Tuesday, promising youngster Mark Jones replacing Levi Mackin.
Southend, beaten finalists last season against Blackpool, were unchanged from their 2-0 victory against Bristol Rovers last Friday.
Wrexham, fielding their customary 3-5-2 formation, should have opened the scoring after 11 minutes.
A hopeful punt by defender Steve Roberts allowed Ugarte to capitalise on hesitancy in the Southend defence and race goalwards.
The former Real Sociedad player had Chris Llewellyn completely unmarked to his right.
Rather than simply lay the ball square to his strike partner, the Spaniard opted to try and add to his 18 goals by firing in a shot which was blocked.
It was an opportunity which should have produced a goal and Wrexham were dealt a blow soon after when Roberts was forced off through injury and replaced by Shaun Pejic.
Southend striker Freddy Eastwood had so far shown little semblance of the form which has brought him 20 goals following his switch from non-league Grays Athletic last October.
But the 21-year-old almost pounced on a loose ball inside the Wrexham penalty area which forced Dragons defender Craig Morgan made a vital clearance six yards from goal.
Veteran Southend defender Spencer Prior then forced Wrexham `keeper Ben Foster into a smart save with a thumping header from the resulting corner before Wrexham came within inches of opening the scoring.
Jones hit a superb 25-yard shot but was desperately unlucky to see his see his effort sail narrowly wide with Southend `keeper Darryl Flahavan beaten.
Eastwood then came alive again on the half hour mark when his ferocious 20-yard effort shaved the post as Southend began to look lively on the counter-attack.
And as the pendulum of attacking began to swing towards Southend in the closing stages of the opening period, Shrimpers midfielder Mark Bentley fired in a 25-yard free-kick which drew an outstanding save from Foster.
The tempo of the game dropped after the restart but shortly before the hour mark, Foster was forced to give another glimpse of his fledgling talent.
The 21-year-old, on-loan from Stoke, excelled himself for a third time when he produced a superb save to deny Bentley from six yards after the largely ineffective Wayne Gray presented his team-mate with a golden opportunity.
With 19 minutes remaining Wrexham almost grabbed the lead in bizarre circumstances when Bentley looped a wayward back header onto his own bar.
Ugarte followed up and looked to have squeezed the ball between Flahavan and the post, but Southend somehow survived to ensure a tense period of extra-time.
The Shrimpers began extra-time brightly but shortly after Eastwood had fired over, Wrexham snatched the lead after 99 minutes of goalless action.
Dragons skipper Ferguson sent over a corner from the left flank and defender Dennis Lawrence nodded the ball goalwards before Ugarte, in typical predatory style, sent a header over the line from barely two yards before Ferguson's late tap-in sealed victory.
Wrexham manager Denis Smith saluted his players after their deserved 2-0 LDV
Vans Trophy victory against Southend and then revealed the financially-crippled
club is in talks with a potential buyer.
The Dragons chief said: 'I know there are things going on and hopefully that
will be announced next week. It's still down to Mr Hamilton agreeing to sell,
but realistically, there are genuine people out there with the money prepared to
take the club over.
'Hopefully he'll accept it, but we'll have to wait and see. It wouldn't be a
straightforward club - you are buying the ground and other properties - so there
is a lot to go into this deal.
'Normally you would just buy from one person - the administrator - but you're
having to deal with lots of different people to put the deal together.
'So, I think the offer might go in during the next week; whether that will go
through in the next week I very much doubt.
'There are some very good vibes coming from this deal, but whether it will go
through or not, you will have to ask Mr Hamilton.'
Smith praised his players for their performance and believes it can help
inspire them to beat relegation despite their perilous position.
'We believe that we can stay up,' he declared. 'It will be a tough order but we played tremendously well today and I thought
we played tremendously well at Barnsley.
'The league games are vitally important because it's no use doing this and
then getting relegated. We know we are a decent team. After all the injuries
we've had, today I was actually able to pick a team.
'So I think we are getting back to where we were before all this happened
(administration and 10-point deduction) and if I'd kept the injuries away, we
could have been near the play-offs.
'We missed chances early on and in the first 20-25 minutes we dominated the
game. When you dominate that much you should put one in the net. If you don't,
people come back at you and they did. But we got what we deserved in the end.'
Southend arrived in the principality unbeaten in 17 games but, as in last
season's final against Blackpool, the Shrimpers lost 2-0.
Tilson admitted Wrexham had deserved to win and set his sights on securing
victory in the club's five remaining games to secure automatic promotion.
The Shrimpers chief said: 'I am obviously disappointed at losing 2-0 again,
but we've got five league games left to go and promotion is our number one aim.
'When you get to a final you want to win it, but it was a lot better
performances than last year and I think they just edged it on the day. They took
their chances and we didn't.
'The one good thing is we've got Leyton Orient on Friday and being a local
derby, that should be enough to get the players up for that game.'