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REPORT | Notts County 1-0 Wrexham

Magpies win frenetic top-of-the-table clash

4 October 2022

Match Reports

REPORT | Notts County 1-0 Wrexham

Magpies win frenetic top-of-the-table clash

4 October 2022

Despite a flurry of second-half Wrexham chances, Macauley Langstaff's 15th goal of the season proved the difference as Notts County won a frenetic top-of-the-table clash at Meadow Lane.

Langstaff struck after a superb start to the game by Notts County, and but for Mark Howard in the Wrexham goal the Magpies could have built a commanding lead by half-time.

But after the break, it was roles reversed as Wrexham peppered the Notts County area but could not find the crucial equaliser.

The result ends Wrexham's eight-game unbeaten run, and means County move top of the table, with the Red Dragons dropping to second.

Phil Parkinson named an unchanged starting XI from the team which beat Oldham on Saturday, with the only change being Tom O’Connor’s return to the bench in place of Jordan Tunnicliffe.

Notts County started the game at a phenomenal pace, however, and Langstaff had his first sight at goal just two minutes in.

Mark Howard parried Langstaff’s close-range header clear and then stuck out a boot to deny Aaron Nemane from the rebound – Aaron Hayden completing the clearance on the line.

At the other end, Ollie Palmer snatched possession and burst towards the area on five minutes, but with Paul Mullin unmarked alongside him, Palmer dragged his shot wide.

Notts remained on top, however, and Cedwyn Scott’s turn-and-shot forced a fine fingertip save from Howard just a minute later.

The hosts’ pressure told on 13 minutes, however, from a brilliantly-worked free-kick move after Callum McFadzean had pulled Nemane down.

Adam Chicksen took the free-kick short, and Matty Palmer ran on – having dummied the initial set-piece – to receive a pass into the area and pull back for Langstaff to tap in.

The lead was nothing more than Notts had deserved, but Wrexham managed to take the sting out of Notts’ attack and build some pressure as the half wore on.

On 25 minutes, Jordan Davies plucked a long ball out of the sky as he ran through the middle, but he shot early and well over the bar.

A minute later, Anthony Forde’s cross was headed only as far as Luke Young in space outside the area but the Wrexham captain dragged his long-range shot wide.

From the resultant goal-kick, County played the ball short and Sam Slocombe scuffed his clearance, but Young opted to pass and with Palmer and Mullin in offside positions, Wrexham could not capitalise.

The game ebbed once more, as the Magpies came back into the game, and Kyle Cameron and Ruben Rodrigues both missed half-chances before Aaron Nemane’s cross was turned just over on 39 minutes.

Both teams suffered injuries in the first-half, with Jim O’Brien replaced by Geraldo Bajrami on 33 minutes, before Jordan Davies picked up an injury and was replaced by Elliot Lee in the 41st.

In the first of five additional minutes at the end of the first-half, Mullin beat the onside trap to race onto a long ball, but shot over from a tight angle with team-mates waiting in the middle.

Notts were not done for the half either, and Langstaff went through the middle in the fourth added minute and shot early, but Howard again parried clear.

Four minutes after the restart, Palmer ran onto a long ball and cut inside onto his right foot, but Slocombe parried his shot wide.

Chicksen’s loose backpass then nearly played Mullin in moments later, but Slocombe was out quick to clear.

Wrexham’s pressure continued when Aaron Hayden went marauding forward on 52 minutes and threaded a ball through to Palmer, but the striker took too long to decide what to do and ran into Slocombe.

It was a sign of Wrexham’s dominance at the start of the half, however, that Slocombe picked up a yellow card for time-wasting after just 59 minutes.

James Jones had the ball in the net on 67 minutes, after running onto Mullin’s through ball, but the offside flag was raised.

Mark Howard was then called into action at the other end, getting a strong hand to Scott’s low effort from 20 yards.

The frenetic pace of the game continued, and Hayden headed wide at the back post from Jones’ deep cross on 73 minutes.

Cameron’s header, from Matty Palmer’s corner, was saved low by Howard on 75 minutes, while Liam McAlinden – just on for Wrexham, alongside Sam Dalby – had a shot deflected wide at the other end.

From the resultant corner, McAlinden crossed for Hayden, but the defender headed straight at Slocombe at the back post.

Both sides traded chances again, with Young making a crucial last-ditch tackle to deny Rodrigues on 81 minutes before Lee's shot was saved at the other end.

County managed the final ten minutes well, however - surviving Wrexham's bombardment of the area and playing out five minutes of stoppage time smartly to claim a narrow win.

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