Report | Scunthorpe United (a)
Scunthorpe United 1 : 4 Notts County | Vanarama National League | 03 December 2022
Regardless of the opposition us here at Notts Co Stats always put the same level effort into our opposition analysis and we'd like to think in most cases we're never too far off the mark.
This was particularly the case in this game, we identified that Notts’ main success would be down the flanks, in behind their defence so it was great to see this happening, particularly with Adebayo-Rowling who constantly found joy at the by line, with the first chance of the game coming as Rodrigues picked out the wing back with a clever pass. His ball to the back post just evaded Chicksen, with Notts firing an early warning shot at their hosts.
Just a minute later Rodrigues had found Adebayo-Rowling in behind again, showing Scunthorpe’s vulnerability. This time he looks to pick out out Langstaff, but the Iron defence do well to deal with it. Still, Notts clearly had a blueprint for success established early on.
Unfortunately for the Magpies, the opening goal didn’t go their way, a swift break against the run of play sees Canadian-Northern Irish forward Caolan Lavery netting his 4th goal of the season. The 30 year old forward raced away, before slotting it home, but his celebrations in front of the travelling Notts support would come back to haunt him.
Scunthorpe’s lead was extremely short lived, as 4 minutes later Notts had drawn level through Quevin Castro. A nice passing move, Notts worked the ball into Rodrigues, who calmly laid off the ball for Castro. Just outside the area, the big Portuguese midfielder swept home with a first-time finish, coming good on the warnings he had presented to Scunthorpe earlier.
From that point on it looked like a game that would only go one way. Loanee keeper Dewhurst was kept extremely busy, denying Rodrigues from a free kick, but another strike from outside the area would beat him. This time it was the returning Jim O’Brien who supplied the finish, a low drive into the bottom corner to give Notts a deserved lead.
Clearly buoyed by his earlier effort, O’Brien then looked to make it a brace with 40 minutes on the clock. From almost the exact position he had scored his first, O’Brien struck a shot which was deflected into the path of Dewhurst. The changing direction of the ball deceived the young keeper, who was only able to palm the ball away. Unsurprisingly, the quickest to react was Magpies talisman Macaulay Langstaff, who prodded home the rebound for his 19th goal of the season. That gave Notts a 3-1 lead before half time, and effectively killed all hope the hosts had of getting back into it.
Notts had played well, but in truth Scunthorpe had made it easy for their visitors. The sheer amount of times Notts had clear shooting opportunities from the edge of the area will have disappointed the Iron faithful. Whilst we highlighted they aren’t the most aggressive of pressers, the complete lack of closing down was extremely detrimental. Their midfield 2 failed to pick up Castro and O’Brien, who both had chances in the first half.
Due to being in control, Notts started the second half at a lower pace, and the only real chance actually fell to Scunthorpe. The ball once again fell for Lavery, but his shot was unable to trouble Slocombe in goal. Notts then made their first change of the day, as goalscorer Castro made way in place of Sam Austin. With the game opening up more, and with legs tiring, the energetic runner seemed like the natural selection.
It wasn’t long before another goalscorer, Jim O’Brien, made way, with Ed Francis replacing him. A strong return to action from the 34 year old midfielder, one he capped with a fine goal. Langstaff almost grabbed his brace, as Rodrigues, who ran the show all afternoon, picked him out yet again, but a clearance off the line denied the forward. That was his last involvement, as he made way for Cedwyn Scott, a substitution that meant all 3 County goal scorers had left the field of play.
It wouldn’t take long for the latest sub to make an impact though, as he showed his class in a rare showing in his preferred central striker position. A melee in the box saw the ball bounce to Scott, who made no mistake from close range, smashing the ball past a stranded Dewhurst. That meant Notts led by 4 goals to 1, and also meant they drew level as the league’s top scorers. The Magpies would then control the last 10 minutes of the game, comfortably seeing out the win that saw them rise back to the top of the table.
Not quite the landslide of stts we saw following the Yeovil game but still a very dominant game from Notts statistically.
Just shy of 80% ball possession would normally be lauded by most as impressive, but at Notts it is very much becoming the norm.
Both the shot segments and xG timeline clearly show how the first half was much busier than the second in a game where Scunthorpe eventually succumbed to the Notts possession and set up camp deep in their own half.
Looking at the xG data Langstaff's goal and only shot of the game recorded a very high 0.66 xG, this was closely followed by Scott's goal which recorded a 0.45 xG.
Rodrigues has the most attempts at goal (4) with a combined xG total of 0.63 with his first chance early on being quite a high value miss at 0.30 xG.
Notts average xG per shot equaled 0.18. Scunthorpe's chances were all quite low in value meaning they averaged a very low 0.04 xG per shot.
Based on this Notts' xPTS (expected points) resulted in 2.73 and expected win percentage came out at 87.62 suggesting that Notts were more than good value for the win.
Moving on and season stats updated below.
Player stats updated:
Wrexham dropping points at York means Notts end the day back on top of the league table and look forward to a trip away to an inconsistent Maidenhead in a weeks time. Preview to follow.
As always, thanks for reading.
For Notts County Stats:
Richard - @notts_stats
Tom - @tomhwilliams23
Colin - @Colin_Sisson