top of page

Preview | York City (h)

With the season all but over, Notts fans will already have one eye on the playoffs. They first must welcome York to Meadow Lane, who themselves have very little to play for, as barring a 14 goal swing they will be safe. As such, it may be a slightly more open affair, and it will be intriguing to see what team Luke Williams goes for with the playoff semi final round the corner.

Rotation was a key feature last time out, and we expect much of the same for this fixture. Williams will want to maintain momentum as much as possible, ensuring Notts go into the playoffs in as strong form as possible. A return to the side for Macaulay Langstaff could be seen, as could a first start for Junior Morias.

Momentum - Notts County Manager Luke Williams | (Image Dan Westwell)
Momentum - Luke Williams | (Image Dan Westwell)

Current Form:

A draw at home to Aldershot last time out was enough to ensure York are more or less safe from relegation thanks to a much better goal difference than Torquay who face title winning Wrexham in their last game of the season.

Despite missing out to Wrexham for the title Notts go into this last game top of the last 6 form table and a win on Saturday would certainly do much to increase their confidence ahead of the play-off's knowing they are the form team.

Although just doing enough to avoid the drop York have equipped themselves well this season despite the managerial turmoil. One of things that Michael Morton has managed to do is improve their game when out of possession, increasing their passing stats, pressing and territory to compliment the fact they already possess a high challenge intensity.


Tactics & Players:

Interim boss Michael Morton has set the Minstermen up in a 5-3-2 of late, with an emphasis on solidity in order to get his side over the line. It’s a system that has garnered mixed results, but it is one that fares better against sides in the playoff spots; they have beaten both Barnet and Chesterfield this month. The 3 centre backs allow for more solidity, with the wing backs pushing on, providing width and attacking threat.

However, while the system allows them to get more bodies behind the ball, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have more success defensively. They’ve conceded 8 goals in their last 3 games, and if Notts play anywhere near their capacity you’d expect them to continue this trend. The Minstermen have shown good character in recent weeks though, with them securing a point last week against Aldershot, and also coming from behind to beat the Spireites. They’ll be a stern test for Notts on Saturday evening.

The front 2 lead the line, but it is midfielder Olly Dyson who carries the most attacking threat in the side. He springs forwards from the right side of the midfield 3, with his attacking flair adding to the attacking phase. The 23 year old England C international has really impressed this season, with his tricky runs and ability to pick up space playing a crucial role in York’s survival hopes. Dyson has 10 goal contributions this term, 4 goals and 6 assists, showing not only how well rounded he is as an attacker, but also how important he is to York’s side. If Dyson is afforded space at Meadow Lane he will impress, and Notts must nullify his threat as soon as possible.

Attacking intent - York City's Olly Dyson | (Image: Tom Poole)
Attacking intent - Olly Dyson | (Image: Tom Poole)

At the heart of the back 3 is former Magpie Mark Ellis, who will make his 2nd visit to Meadow Lane this weekend, having played a part in Torquay’s 4-0 loss earlier in the season. While things didn’t work out for Ellis on the south coast, he has been a revelation for the Minstermen, showing the leadership qualities he demonstrated during his time with Notts. He has brought robustness to the back line, and at the centre of the back 3 he is able to dictate and organise. He’s also brought and element of toughness which they perhaps lacked before, and his influence on their survival cannot be underrated. He will be looking to score yet another memorable goal at Meadow Lane; he’s yet to score in a York shirt, a real surprise when you consider how strong he is in the air.

Robust - York City's Mark Ellis | (Image: NLP)
Robust - Mark Ellis | (Image: NLP)

Watford loanee Shaqai Forde is expected to lead the line alongside captain Lenell John-Lewis, and between them they have 22 goals, a decent return. The pair compliment each other well, with John-Lewis providing a more physical and robust foil for the talented finisher that is Forde. In the last 7 times they have started together, on 6 occasions at least 1 of the pair have scored. This shows a clear understanding between the 2, and it is by far York’s most effective front pairing. If Morton sticks with them up top they could cause Notts some issues, especially if the latter have one eye on the playoffs already.



York currently sit 19th in the league on 50 points from their 45 games resulting in 1.11 PPG.

6 of their 13 victories this season have come on the road including impressive wins at Chesterfield, Bromley, Southend and Woking.

In attack they are averaging 1.20 goals per game with an xG of 1.27 so are pretty much performing as expected in front of goal.

Defensively they are conceding 1.38 goals per game with an xCG of 1.33 so again very much as expected.

York City Away Form:

P 22 | W 6 | D 4 | L 12 | F 27 | A 30 | GD -3 | PTS 22

Leading Scorers:


Macaulay Langstaff - 41 (xG 34.86)


Lenell John-Lewis - 14 (xG 19.10)


Notts at home can only mean one thing with the bookies, firm favourites.

At the time of writing you could get 11/50 on a Notts win, 12/1 for an away win and 5/1 for the draw.

Based on these odds Notts are deemed to have a 81.97% chance of winning. York come in at 7.69% chance of the win and 16.67% for the draw.

Final thoughts:

A game with very little jeopardy could result in a number of changes in the starting 11 for Notts and a game played without the usual tempo expected from a competitive match.

However, knowing Luke Williams as we do, he's unlikely to let standards drop and will no doubt look to compete in every area of the pitch as he looks to maintain the level of intensity that pushed Wrexham so far as they go into the play-off's.

Whilst there is still a job to be done Notts fans should really see this as an opportunity to celebrate what has been a multiple record breaking season for The Magpies and look forward to the play-off's with a degree of confidence.




For Notts County Stats:

Richard Ogando - @notts_stats

Tom Williams - @tomhwilliams23

Colin Sisson - @colin_sisson

Official Partners

Analysts Bar Podcast - @analysts_bar


Betting odds and score predictions are only used as another means to assess current form and sporting industry expectations of possible result. Notts County Stats do not receive any remittance from gambling organisations. We also understand that for some people gambling can have a harmful impact. If you are concerned about the way you gamble please seek advice here Be Gamble Aware