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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Notts County vs Wrexham AFC

Phil Parkinson's side return to face a familiar rival on the road

27 October 2023

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Notts County vs Wrexham AFC

Phil Parkinson's side return to face a familiar rival on the road

27 October 2023

It’s a fixture that needs no introduction as the Red Dragons head to Meadow Lane to take on a familiar rival of recent years.

A rivalry built upon the brilliance of both Phil Parkinson and Luke Williams’ sides made for a mouthwatering climax to the National League, and the two are set to do battle once again.

The success of both last seasons has been replicated once more, as they both sit second and third respectively in Sky Bet League Two.

Unsurprisingly, their key players in Macauley Langstaff and Elliot Lee have both powered their teams into the promotion places.

For Lee, he made it goal number nine in Tuesday night’s victory, meanwhile, Langstaff made it to double figures and his eleventh goal of the season.

It’s set to be another bumper crowd at the weekend, with a sold-out away end of just shy of 3,000 travelling to Nottingham this Saturday.

THE RECAP

It wasn’t a classic at the STōK Cae Ras in midweek, but what an important victory it proved to be when the Red Dragons edged out Sutton United.

As ever, they came up against adversity with Ryan Barnett and Eoghan O’Connell both substituted after sustaining injuries.

Phil Parkinson has confirmed that they will both experience specialist appointments, but it once more proved the importance of squad depth.

Paul Mullin sent Wrexham ahead with a sensational strike, which he hit from 30 yards out and dipped over the outstretched hand of the United stopper.

After the opener, there weren’t many chances to report of with the Red Dragons dominating possession but not carving out enough clear-cut chances to go with it.

The second half began similarly, but the visitors began to grow in the game using their height and physicality to their advantage.

It wasn’t long until Matt Gray’s side made the contest all square with Aiden O’Brien finishing past Arthur Okonkwo after a well-worked move.

Needing to find the winner, sustained Wrexham pressure told on the U’s defence with a venomous volley from Lee in the 89th minute securing all three points.

EYE ON THE OPPOSITION

It has been another remarkable start to the season for Notts County, with them sat hot on the heels of league leaders Stockport County.

A strong summer of recruitment from Williams and his backroom staff saw two smart additions of the experienced David McGoldrick and the flair of Dan Crowley proving successful.

Just like Wrexham, they arrived in the EFL with a bump suffering a 1-5 defeat against Sutton United on the opening day.

It wasn’t to be the honeymoon return on the opening day, but they have more than made up for it since.

Back-to-back victories against Gillingham and Newport County have pushed them into second place in the table with 30 points.

The attacking trio of Langstaff, McGoldrick and Crowley has seen the Pies net 24 goals between them in 15 matches.

However, they do have defensive frailties, as their aggressive front foot style can leave them sometimes precarious when attacking.

The rare defeats they have had in league football have been heavy, with a 5-1 defeat to Sutton United, a 5-4 defeat to Colchester United and a 1-4 loss to Mansfield Town.

Speaking ahead of the game during his press conference Head Coach Luke Williams added his side is remaining level-headed ahead of the contest.

He said: “We know it’s a really big game, but it probably doesn’t have the same magnitude as it does from the outside.”

“I think both teams will have a similar mentality that it is just another league game that we both want to win.

“Both clubs have been in a very schedule and we’ve both found that all the opponents have faced are very good.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

There have been plenty of enthralling meetings between the two clubs, but the one that stands out more than most for Reds fans came back in April this year.

Both sides were locked into the title race which culminated in a dramatic battle in what was dubbed the biggest non-league game in history.

It was a game that was hyped in anticipation, and it delivered to the absolute maximum.

The first half went by with both sides seemingly impossible to separate until a real moment of quality from John Bostock.

A free-kick from Bostock was lifted over the Wrexham wall by the wand of his left foot and sailed past Ben Foster and into the top corner.

Almost the perfect time to score before the break proved to count for nothing as the Red Dragons' resurgence roared into life right at the restart.

An exquisite through ball from James Jones fell to the on-running Paul Mullin and he slid the ball unchallenged past Sam Slocombe and into the bottom corner.

In the 70th minute, it was Mullin who turned out to be the creator as his whipped cross found Jacob Mendy who slotted into the bottom corner to take the lead.

Five minutes after going behind County found themselves level. Parkinson’s men switched off from the Notts' corner and Kyle Cameron’s diving header unmarked beat Foster and the game was level once again.

The chaos at the Cae Ras continued in the 78th minute as Mullin laid off Lee inside the twelve-yard box and he thrashed the ball home to put Wrexham ahead.

Six minutes of added time were awarded by the referee, and it looked as though the three points were all but Wrexham’s but there was to be one last twist in the tale.

A deep cross in the 96th minute struck the arm of Eoghan O’Connell, which resulted in a penalty in the dying embers of the match.

Cedwyn Scott stepped up to try and clinch a valuable point for the Magpies, but a remarkable double saves from Ben Foster denied the number 10.

The ‘Hand of Foz,’ secured the victory and ultimately provided the springboard for the title run-in.

HOW TO WATCH

As the fixture falls inside the Article 48 blackout window, the match is only available to watch overseas, but UK supporters can tune in via our 'audio only' commentary option. 

You can buy your iFollow Wrexham match passes here, costing £10 each, and pass subscribers can enjoy live, multi-angle match coverage with graphics and instant replays, delivered by 24/7.tv.


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