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Match 34 - Wrexham (h)

Ian Burchnall chalked up his first win in charge of the Magpies in a game where failing to get out of the starting blocks could well have given his Notts County players mountain climb, and not for the first time.

There were a couple of surprises when the team sheet was announced as Burchnall handed a return to the first team for Adam Chicksen. The left sided defender finally showed everyone that he still retains some of the footballing pedigree that preceded his short time at Meadow Lane with an almost faultless 90 minutes.

There was even better news with Callum Roberts and newcomer Lewis Knight both getting minutes late on.

It was heart in mouth's stuff for Notts in the first 15-20 minutes as Wrexham, who were without influential goal scorer Kwame Thomas who suffered a season ending injury in training the previous day, pushed hard for an early goal. Somehow it never came and when forward Jordan Ponticelli limped off after just 23 minutes it seemed to galvanise some belief amongst the confidence stricken Notts players who eventually played there way back into the game.

And it was a goal from an unlikely source that secured the points for the Magpies. A left footed corner from Jordan Barnett was met by the towering Connell Rawlinson who's header was guided into the net by fellow centre half Mark Ellis for his second Notts goal since joining the club on loan from Tranmere.

Wrexham rallied but the Notts defence stood firm and there was further controversy when match official Steven Copeland, who had earlier booked Kyle Wootton for an infringement despite the Notts strikers shirt clearly being ripped off his back, gave the Notts striker his marching orders for a second bookable offence in the dying minutes.

Wootton will now not be available for the trip to Woking.

Key match stats:

Progress updated and the win sees a move up to 5th after all Good Friday games completed.

Results tracker updated:

Points needed and I've now adjusted the targets to represent predicted points totals for the current season. Based on this Notts are currently predicted for a finish just outside the top 3.

League segment chart updated. Grey bar shows total points available for that segment. Green bar shows total points gained and yellow bar the PPG for that segment.

The defeat at Dover is still included in this visual (matches 1-6). The game at Woking will be the last match in the current 6 game sequence.

Points by time segment. How many points would have been accumulated if games had finished at 15, 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90 minutes.

The pattern continues to show Notts tend to get stronger in the second half of games. The Dover points have not been included in this analysis.

Onto player stats now and remember you can use the search function to see individual players or click on a column heading to sort highest to lowest etc.

Minutes played updated and with Michael Doyle currently sidelined Connell Rawlinson is now the player with the most match minutes for the club this season.

Goal contribution table updated. Again, you can find this on the website and sort columns etc.

Goal participation by minute detailing player goal contribution efficiency. Cal Roberts back in the minutes means he now tops the contribution table confirming just how influential he was prior to his injury.

Goals scatter chart updated. Starting to see a few more dots outside the box.

Goals by time segment updated.

On to the xG data now and Angus for Wrexham had a couple of good chances early on for the visitors. After that it was very even for most of the game until Ellis scored on 79 minutes with a 0.57 goal. Wrexham had a couple of decent chances after that but the Notts defence stood firm.

Breakdown below of the key xG stats below and despite the win Notts still need to be creating more chances.

Player xG stats below and Ellis' goal, which was the only attempt on target, scored a higher xG than all the other 5 attempts added together.

Ian Burchnall's record updated.

Preview | Woking (a) | Vanarama National League | 15:00

Monday 5th April 2021 | Kingfield Stadium

So onto Woking where Notts will be hoping for a repeat of the win at home in December, a dogged 1-0 victory that saw Kyle Wootton have a penalty saved before scoring the winner late on.

Unfortunately Wootton will have to it this one out following his indirect red card at home to Wrexham.

Hopefully the result on Good Friday will ensure confidence levels are increased in the Magpies camp and with a difficult trip to Hartlepool to follow this one, heading back with 3 points in the bag is essential.

Recent form radar shows that Notts are performing better than Woking in all areas, even those where Notts have been pretty poor.

Goals for/against by time segment for Woking suggests they are vulnerable to conceding in the last 15 minutes of each half.

xG for Woking and after a decent start to the season and a couple of big wins after about 9 or 10 games their goals to xG ration has dropped in recent games and they are now averaging just over a goal a game.

That drop off in goals is more apparent when looking at Woking's expected points where their performances in recent games have warranted a better return on points than actually gained which would suggest they should not be taken too lightly.

Season xG and xPTS for Notts updated. There is a gap opening again between actual and expected goals again confirming more chances need to be created for results to be sustainable.

That trend we see in the xG chart above is apparent in the xPTS below where you can see Notts have been securing more points than performances probably deserve.

Hopefully with Cal Roberts returning from injury and the inclusion of Lewis Knight there will be more chances created, the points tally increases and the xPTS starts to rise.

Notts seem to be clear favourites with the bookies where you will be lucky to get more than 5/4 for a Magpies away win.

Those of us who have watched Notts this season will know that form doesn't always mean much and it all depends which Notts County turn up so odds of 21/10 for a Woking win seem quite generous.

If you're on the fence you can get circa 12/5 for the draw.

Based on these odds Notts have a 44% chance of winning and Woking 32%.

With Michael Doyle looking unlikely to be fit to start this one it's another chance for Ian Burchnall to look at the likes of Regan Griffiths again in midfield. Dion Kelly-Evans will be itching to get back in the starting eleven but that will be unlikely unless Burchnall reverts to a back four.

There will be questions to ask of the fringe front men with Wootton missing out and it will be interesting to see if there is a recall for Elisha Sam or whether the likes of Knight or Roberts are fit enough to start which might mean no target man for Notts.

On the face of it, even without the likes of Wootton and Doyle Notts should still have enough about them to secure the win but you can guarantee it won't be easy and it certainly won't be a given.