Notts County 3 - 1 Altrincham | Vanarama National League | 01 October 2022
Notts headed into Saturday’s clash with Altrincham in 3rd place, and would have finished the weekend on the top of the table, had Wrexham not scored a 96th minute winner. Even so, a 3-1 win sees Notts move up 1 place to 2nd, courtesy of Chesterfield handing Maidenhead their first away win of the season. It also means that Notts will be involved in a 1st v 2nd game on Tuesday for the first time since the Magpies won League 2 back in 2010.
Notts set the tone early, putting pressure on Altrincham from the start, pressure that never really relented. After 5 minutes we almost saw a repeat of Quevin Castro's free kick from the win away at York. This time it was slightly closer to goal, but was also only slightly less accurate, as Castro’s strike hit the underside of the cross bar before bouncing clear. An early scare for the visitors, but one they responded too well, with forward Marcus Dinanga racing clear, before smashing against the bar himself. A warning shot of their own, and a chance that really shows the perils of playing a high line.
Notts regained control of the game, and retained their composure, not growing frustrated at the fact the final ball was lacking. Langstaff uncharacteristically missed a chance from 8 yards out, as a result of a Brindley cross, and 5 minutes before half time Scott had a big penalty appeal turned down, much to the chagrin of the Magpies. However it wouldn’t be long before Notts’ patience paid off.
With minutes left to play before the break, Cedwyn Scott received the ball on the edge of the area, before firing a low shot towards the bottom left corner. Welsh keeper Byrne was only able to parry, and of course there would be only one man waiting in the danger area; Macaulay Langstaff. This marked Langstaff’s 13th goal of the season, extending his lead as the top scorer in the country, with a trademark Macca finish. All credit has to go to Langstaff’s intelligence and positioning; he’s in the right place at the right time and is able to grab an easy tap in as a result.
Many sides would be happy to go into the break one up, but Notts did not relent, and just 2 minutes later that man Langstaff was at it again with another poachers finish. The credit for the goal really must go to Adebayo-Rowling, who showed immense quality on his first start for the Magpies. The ball was clipped over the top by Scott for Adebayo-Rowling down the right, but the wing back still had several yards to make up on Altrincham’s Jones. Make up those yards he did, showcasing explosive pace, before looking to squeeze it in at the near post. After the ball came back off the upright Adebayo-Rowling laid it off perfectly for Langstaff, who was waiting inside the 6 yard box to tap home his 14th of the season. 14 goals in just 11 games, it’s a crazy rate, one which we all hope he can maintain.
With no changes being made at the break a lapse in concentration immediately halted Notts’ momentum. Altrincham got a goal back, with Marcus Dinanga grabbing his first goal of the season. A few moments later Austin and Francis made their way onto the pitch in place of Castro and Scott, but they were unable to prevent Altrincham almost levelling the score, as Conn-Clarke got in behind the Magpies backline, only to fire wide.
Notts seem to be awakened by the threat of an equaliser, as soon after Adebayo-Rowling once again made himself a menace down the right hand side. Another burst of pace saw him enter the box near the by-line, before clipping a sumptuous ball onto the head of Langstaff. The talisman thought he had a hattrick, as his header appeared to loop over the line into the far corner, but on closer inspection is was actually left wing back Adam Chicksen who got the final touch, his 3rd goal of the season. Regardless of the goal scorer, County once again had their 2 goal lead, one which they never looked like surrendering.
Williams rang the changes as Nemane came on for the scorer of the third, Chicksen, and whilst Notts did make it fairly routine a couple of Kyle Cameron mistakes led to minor scares.
Conn-Clarke once again fired wide, before Cameron’s misplaced pass forced Slocombe into action, making a fine save to maintain the lead. Notts did have a late chance, as Byrne parried a Nemane shot, but this time Langstaff was unable to get the tap in. A 3-1 win that sees Notts move into the top 2, and whilst it wasn’t the best performance of the season it was a thoroughly professional one from all involved.
Much of what is posted above is become quite a common site now with Notts normally outscoring the opposition on possession and passing stats etc.
There were less attempts on goal than normal in this game and in the actions radar it's nice to see that despite appearing to be lacking in some of the usual intensity we have become accustomed to this season Notts still managed to outscore Altrincham in pressing and also winning more of the duels.
The biggest conundrum is the xG stats and 'that' Chicksen goal.
At the time of writing Wyscout, who we use for our match and player data, had given the third goal to Langstaff. However, this is probably because this is how it was presented by the relevant news agency and/or match data collection people.
We now know the club have credited Chicksen with the goal and The National League have followed suite so we have applied an xG rating to take this into account. This means that Langstaff get's an assist and Chicksen gets 0.75 xG value for the goal.
Based on this Notts were still good value for the win with an xPTS of 2.32 and a win % of 70.84.
Goals + Assists:
Goals and assists table updated and Adebayo-Rowling getting an assist on his first start and because of the Chicksen goal misses out on another assist which now goes to Langstaff.
Slocombe and Cameron the only players to feature in every minute for Notts in the first 11 games. Notts games are averaging 98.18 minutes per game.
Progress chart compared to last season updated.
Points needed updated and as mentioned in the last report the original averages may have to be revised if the top 3 continue to accrue points at the current rate.
Notts record updated.
A quick turnaround for probably the biggest game of the season so far on Tuesday night at home to league leaders Wrexham.
Hopefully we will get a detailed opposition analysis out at some point tonight.
As always, thanks for reading.
Your Notts County Stats Team:
Richard - @notts_stats
Tom - @tomhwilliams23
Colin - @Colin_Sisson
Data - Wyscout
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