Notts County 1 - 1 Bromley | Vanarama National League | 01 November 2022
On what was a frustrating night for Notts, an end to end game finished just 1-1, a clash which boss Luke Williams felt could have ended 5-5. Despite the poor weather there was little doubt as to whether the game would go ahead, however a slight surprise came in Bromley’s performance, who opted to take the game to Notts, the first side to do so at Meadow Lane since Chesterfield. It paid off, as they walked away with a point, the first time Notts had dropped any in 8 games.
In his post match interview Luke Williams was full of praise for Bromley, noting that he accepted their second half time wasting was part of their game plan, as well as pointing out that the Notts players were fatigued having played so many games in such a short period, raising questions as to why only 2 of the 3 available subs were utilised. Either way Notts will look forward to a weekend where they will get a much deserved rest.
After a very respectful minute's silence, Notts got under way as they usually do, on the front foot looking for an early goal. Bromley may have been the physically more imposing side, but Notts’ quality, especially in the way in which they moved the ball, meant that the hosts started the game the better side. However it was the visitors who got the first real chance, and they would have led had it not been for the fantastic recovery defending of Aden Baldwin. Bingham had found Cheek in space, who then duly rounded Slocombe, and looked set to put the ball into the back of the net, but Baldwin made a fabulous recovery to keep the game level at 0-0.
The block would prove crucial, as just moments later Notts took the lead, striking the first blow in the end to end contest. Rodrigues received the ball in an advanced area, and as he always does looked to create, drilling a dangerous ball across the box. For a moment it looked as if Notts had spurned the chance, as top scorer Langstaff couldn’t quite reach it, but talismanic full back Adam Chicksen was there to net his 6th goal of the season.
Another low cross caused havoc in the Bromley box just 2 minutes later, as Nemane this time got down the right and looked to have set Langstaff up for his 18th of the season, but the forward misfired, sending the ball over the bar in disappointing fashion.
Chicksen then did his job at the other end of the pitch, preventing a cross reaching the dangerous Cheek, the action continuing in what was a frantic game of football.
Arsenal loanee keeper Tom Smith then made a huge save, turning a Scott effort onto the post, keeping the Ravens in the game. This wouldn’t be the first time Notts rattled the woodwork on an evening of fine margins, but Smith must be given massive credit for his save. That save really quelled Notts’ momentum, as Bromley took over for the remaining 15 minutes of the half, creating chances of their own.
Sam Slocombe had to be at his best to make a string of fine stops, denying Forster, Bingham and Cheek, but Notts seemed as if they were just trying to hang on to half time. The finest of the saves was to prevent Cheek, who had been freed by a sumptuous Harry Forster cross, a threat we identified in our match preview. The balls in were consistent, and each time Notts looked vulnerable, such was the quality of the delivery.
It was Notts’ turn to attack just before the break, as this time Rodrigues clattered the post, his effort from the edge of the area just inches away from doubling Notts’ lead despite being fouled in the process. Whilst it may not have seemed so at the time, it was a pivotal moment in the match, as had Notts gone into the break 2 to the good the way the game played out would have been much different.
Notts came out on top to start the second half, and defender Chris Bush had to be at his best to deny a ball in from the left, as Scott looked to set up Langstaff. Notts then saw 2 efforts, one from Palmer and one from Cameron, denied, but whilst the Magpies were getting shots away they were being reduced to doing so from range. Smith was once again called into action as Langstaff raced clear, but a stunning stop from the young keeper kept the score at 1-0.
In a game more reminiscent of basketball, Bromley immediately countered, forcing a stop from Slocombe, before Notts replied once again, and once again hit the woodwork, this time as Baldwin picked out Langstaff, who swivelled before crashing a great effort on his weaker foot against the bar. Notts had squandered chances, and whilst they had gone close on several occasions they would soon pay the price for being wasteful, as Bromley answered back, levelling the score through Michael Cheek.
A corner found the big forward free at the near post, allowing him to head home his 3rd goal of the season, 2 of which had been headers. His movement and aerial threat had been a thorn in Notts’ side all night, and they finally paid the price on the hour mark, with Cheek scoring at the Lane in 2 consecutive seasons. Question marks must be raised however as to why Rodrigues and Scott were the men nearest Cheek, a towering striker who is clearly their best threat in the air.
Smith then made 2 wonderful saves, the pick of the pair a diving effort to tip over a long range strike from Palmer, keeping the game level. Both sides then made their only changes of the game, as Jude Arthurs came on for Harry Forster for the visitors, and Quevin Castro and Richard Brindley entered the action in place of Connell Rawlinson and Cedwyn Scott for Notts.
It was Smith who once again covered himself in glory, making a massive save to deny Castro from close range. Castro was heavily involved after coming on, hitting a free kick just over, and with 6 minutes added Notts may have felt they could have pressed for a winner. However, it was not to be, as chances became hard to come by, and Bromley saw out the game, grabbing a well earned point on the road.
Bromley were pretty much the first team to come to Notts this season with a chance of matching the Magpies up in a number of areas. Despite a good start for the home team Bromley started to have some success of their own, looking to capitalise on uncharacteristic errors from the Notts midfield.
However, when analysing the data and specifically the xG data Notts had done enough, based on quality of chances, to win comfortably.
The xG timeline is also an interesting indicator of how the game panned out with both teams matching each other blow for blow until the last 15-20 mins, where it becomes clear Bromley were happy to settle for the draw and Notts raised the tempo of their game but just couldn't quite find the winning goal.
Bromley are a team who like to have the ball and in general have posted better than average possession and passing stats. However, Notts still managed nearly 69% possession and recorded better numbers than Bromley in pretty much all areas.
Based on the xG data Notts expected win% was 62.19% compared to Bromley's at 15.97%. Additionally Notts' expected points came out at 2.08 compared to 0.70 xPTS for Bromley.
Goals + Assists:
Progress chart compared to last season updated.
Points needed updated.
Notts record updated.
A tricky away trip to Roots Hall on Tuesday night for Notts against a Southend team in very good form. The Shrimpers will be full of confidence but Luke Williams will be expecting a reaction following the Bromley draw ensuring this will be a very good test for both teams.
Preview to follow soon.
As always, thanks for reading.
For Notts County Stats:
Richard - @notts_stats
Tom - @tomhwilliams23
Colin - @Colin_Sisson