top of page

Report | Maidenhead United (a)

Maidenhead United 3 : 4 Notts County | Vanarama National League | 10 December 2022

Despite England crashing out of the World Cup Notts fans still had something to cheer about, as their side came out on the right end of a 7 goal thriller. It meant Notts remained top of the league, when it looked like they would lose their spot at the summit. A result that in previous seasons wouldn’t have gone their way, the Magpies showed they can dig deep and grind out results.

Notts started the game the stronger of the 2 sides, and it didn’t take them long to take the lead. Less than 10 minutes in, the main man Ruben Rodrigues had opened the account for the afternoon, after skipper Kyle Cameron provided his first of many shot assists of the afternoon. A strong start for the visitors, one they would look to build on.

It was Rodrigues who went closest next, a free kick from the midfielder going narrowly wide, before talismanic forward Macaulay Langstaff tested Gyollai for the first time that afternoon. It wouldn’t be the in form forward’s last sight of goal either. However, for all of County’s pressure, it was Maidenhead that got the next goal. Sam Barratt had forced Slocombe to turn the ball behind for a corner, and from that set piece the man we highlighted in our preview, Emile Acquah, was there to turn the ball home. A scruffy goal for County to concede.

The visitors responded well though, answering back almost immediately, with the lead retaken through another Portuguese midfielder, Quevin Castro. In truth the effort was probably a cross, but that did little to deter the celebrations as Notts regained the lead. They wouldn’t make the same mistake as last time, instead pressing their advantage while on top to double their lead. This time it was through Langstaff, as he finished off a move to score his 20th goal of the season. That made Langstaff the first striker in England to hit 20 in the 22/23 season.

That sent the sides into the break with the visitors carrying a comfortable lead, but the second half would be anything but routine. Just 2 minutes into the second period the dangerman Acquah had his second of the afternoon, providing the nightmare start for County. A composed finish from close range, Acquah reminded the visitors that Maidenhead weren’t out of the contest just yet.

The contest was heating up, with Palmer receiving a rare booking, and Luke Williams saw it fit to introduce Sam Austin, with him entering the action in place of goalscorer Castro. Maidenhead continued to pressure though, and it paid off as they drew level once more, as Kane Ferdinand beat the high line, before finishing past Slocombe. This was just the 3rd time Maidenhead had scored 3 goals in a single game this season, the other 2 occasions coming against sides in the relegation zone. Perhaps even more bizarrely was the fact this was the first time Notts had conceded more than 2 goals in the league (the only other occasion being against Coalville in the FA Cup).

Scott then came on for O’Brien as Notts went in search of a goal, and the travelling fans caught their first glimpse of new man Bostock, who came on for carded Palmer with 10 to play. With time ticking away Notts fans may have felt the familiar story of heartache was repeating itself, but a marauding run from skipper Cameron put those thoughts to bed. He drove forward from left centre back, before putting a beautiful curling cross towards the back post. Waiting there was Langstaff, who rose to the occasion, literally, as his acrobatic effort was coolly slotted past Hungarian stopper Gyollai. This restored Notts’ lead with just 5 to play, a crazy end to a frantic afternoon.

Despite there being 6 added minutes, Notts faced very little drama, seeing out a win which had pulses racing. It ensured Notts remained at the summit, and a brilliant Langstaff brace took his tally to 21 and Notts’ point haul to 51. A good afternoon for the travelling Magpies.

Maidenhead proved to be tougher opposition than faced in the previous few games, however, it's clear Notts made it difficult for themselves, not just with conceding the goals but their general game management that wasn't as finely tuned as we have become accustomed to.

That said Notts still managed just over 75% ball possession despite being reduced to a below average 13 shots on goal.

We mentioned the threat posed by Emile Acquah and whilst you would hope for better defending for his two tap-ins he was very much the key outlet for Maidenhead both centrally and more often than not down the channels. This is evident in the performance by match action radar above which shows Maidenhead were close to matching Notts for wing play, a metric that Notts normally dominate in.

Maidenhead were well organised and something not displayed in the stats above is a reduction in the number of progressive pases from Notts which is testament to Maidenhead squeezing the space in between the lines meaning it was harder for Notts to pick out those progressive passes. In fact to try and combat this we saw the three centre backs driving forward with the ball more in order to break the Maidenhead lines, especially Kyle Cameron whose advanced play and direct running with the ball saw him involved in 3 of the 4 goals.

We spoke about Notts making hard work of the result and this is evident when analysing the xG data which suggests Notts' xPTS would be 2.25 and a win percentage of 68.33%.

Macaulay Langstaff had the highest value chances with an xG of 1.51 from 5 shots on goal followed by Ruben Rodrigues who recorded an xG of 0.73 from just 2 goal attempts.

Quevin Castro's cross come shot goal barely recorded 0.01 xG meaning that goal goes in once every 100 on average.

Acquah's xG of 0.70 from just two attempts at goal confirm the close up nature of both of his goals.

Moving on and season stats updated below.

Langstaff's acrobatic winner ensured Notts remained on top of the table after 22 games meaning Luke Williams record in the league so far sees his team averaging 2.32 points per game and a win percentage of 68.18.

Langstaff now has 21 goals from 22 games and Ruben Rodrigues' goal means he has now been directly involved in 15 goals this season, scoring 6 and 9 assists, currently the highest number of assists in the league.

As it stands both Notts and Wrexham are on target for clearing 105 points which is quite phenomenal, in fact, as it stands Notts are already 20 points clear of 8th place.

Player stats updated. Sam Slocombe and Kyle Cameron remain the only two of the squad to play every minute in the league so far this season.

A quick turnaround this week as Notts look to welcome Gateshead to Meadow Lane on Tuesday night, a game that will mark the halfway point of the season. Look out for our Q2 mid-term report that will be out at some point shortly after the Gateshead report.

As always, thanks for reading.



For Notts County Stats:

Richard - @notts_stats

Tom - @tomhwilliams23

Colin - @Colin_Sisson



Official Partner


523 views0 comments