By Bruce Pope
BBC Sport at the Millennium Stadium
If ever the football fates wanted one team to win a match, it was Wrexham in the LDV Vans Trophy final.
Tough luck on Southend, who for the second year running came away from Cardiff with a 2-0 defeat.
But at least the Shrimpers have the likelihood of promotion from League Two to warm them on the long drive from Cardiff back to Essex.
Wrexham are battling against League One relegation, but Sunday's victory might just be the spark to turn their fortunes around.
The rest of football is well aware of the north Wales club's plight and much of the pre-match build-up centred around the efforts to help Wrexham.
Almost all the 32,216 fans present applauded the efforts of Wayne Price and Stuart Smith, who walked the 150 miles from Wrexham's Racecourse Ground to the Millennium Stadium to raise £10,000 for the club and charity Nightingale House.
What the competition sponsors, Leyland Daf, thought of this duo making a point of not using vehicular transport is anyone's guess, but hats off to them anyway.
If they want company for the return journey they should ask Carlos Edwards to join them, as the Wrexham wing-back - sporting a natty red hair-rinse for the occasion - covered at least that far in his travels up and down the right flank.
There was also a procession of signed shirts from all 92 Football League clubs that will be auctioned off on 18 May, again warmly applauded.
Carlos Edwards sported a natty red hair-rinse for the occasion
That set the scene for a rather cordial start to the match, with the only early fireworks part of the pre-match show that also included two 'tongues of flame' to help the Dragons settle in.
Also settled in for the show were Wales boss John Toshack and Sir Alex Ferguson - there to watch son Darren captain Wrexham, and no doubt get a taster for when he brings Manchester United down to face Newcastle in their FA Cup semi-final next Sunday.
With the sunshine streaming down onto the Wrexham fans occupying the east and north sides of the ground, it was fitting that the Dragons started the brighter.
Southend boss Steve Tilson showed he is in no way superstitious by sending on his goalkeeper in a number 13 shirt.
In fact Darryl Flahaven had a match to be proud of and the two goals that eventually flew past him were neither his fault nor down to bad fortune.
Despite both Flahaven and the equally excellent Ben Foster, in the Wrexham goal, being made to work, there was still a slightly surreal carnival atmosphere in the ground.
Southend fans batted blow-up beach balls between themselves, while giant inflatable daffodils sprouted in the Wrexham seating.
Wrexham's Dennis Lawrence models the Carlos Edwards look
There was also a fine flag hung from the Wrexham end bearing the legend 'Eat more chips, don't let salad win' - just the sort of support a club needs when the chips are down and the salad days have been left behind.
A half of pleasing, pretty football had come and gone, and the second period was 15 minutes old when a switch was suddenly flicked.
The fans got edgy as they realised that one mistake at 0-0 and their grand day out - and precious silverware - would be utterly spoilt.
Bread of Heaven rang out from the Wrexham faithful on their feet, answered by "England, England, England" as both sets of fans added national pride to the party.
The players caught the mood and at last they were snapping and snarling at each other and into the tackle, cranking up the thrill level to something more fitting to a cup final.
Extra time always has a drama of its own and Juan Ugarte finally broke the deadlock 10 minutes into overtime, flicking on Dennis Lawrence's header from a corner to score.
The Spaniard from the Basque country basked in the glory, making up for a couple of missed chances earlier in the match, and Wrexham were on their way.
Skipper Ferguson rounded things off a minute from the end, clattering in a rebound to secure the trophy and make dad proud.
The fans and players stayed long after the presentation, each cheering the other and showing a spirit that might just dig them out of their eight-point relegation hole.
The money that comes from this cup run, expected to be anywhere between £250,000 and £500,000, will also make a huge difference to a season that saw Wrexham enter administration.
Whatever the future now holds - and there is sure to be plenty of nail-biting and hand-wringing ahead - this one win has given Wrexham the hope and confidence that maybe, just maybe, they can pull through.