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Report | Scunthorpe (h)

Vanarama National League | 25 March 2023


A crowd just 500 shy of a record set by the Magpies earlier this season saw a much more entertaining fixture this time round, with Notts running out 4-0 winners in a thoroughly one sided affair. The Iron scarcely made a dent in the black and white defence, in what can only be described as a one sided beat down.

And it was the case from the very first minute, as Notts should have led after just 60 seconds. Nemane did some brilliant work, finding space before picking out John Bostock. The cultured midfielder was played slightly further forward than we have been accustomed to seeing him in, and he was given a great chance early on as a result. But he couldn’t get a true connection on the shot, allowing a Scunthorpe defender to get across and block.

It didn’t take Notts long to open the scoring though, as after just 8 minutes wingback Adam Chicksen hit goal number 11 for the season, a simply ridiculous feat. It was a lovely move too, starting right at the back with Bajrami. He played a delightful ball out to the right, which saw a sumptuous dummy from Rodrigues allow it to make its way through to Nemane. The French wingback drove forwards, returning the ball to Rodrigues who had continued his run, leaving the Iron in a compromised position. Ruben then played the ball across the face of goal, where it worked its way to Chicksen, who tapped in once again.

It wouldn’t take long for Notts to double their lead, this time a Scunthorpe player turning into their own net. A quick throw in high up on the right saw a link up between Rodrigues and Nemane once again, but this time Langstaff drifted over to get himself involved in a rare piece of build up play. He drilled a ball into the danger area, causing Ben Richards-Everton to turn into his own net. A devastating start from the Magpies saw them with the game wrapped up after just 10 minutes.

Despite Notts’ continued dominance, they did see an ominous incident just moments after their 2nd. With the linesman failing to raise his flag Jacob Butterfield went in late on Slocombe. Already carrying a knock, the keeper was visibly in pain, and unfortunately for Notts he was forced off. It casts a small shadow over what was an otherwise perfect afternoon. It did however mean a Notts debut for loan keeper Archie Mair, who acquitted himself very well.

The remainder of the half saw Notts continue to dominate. A wonderful reverse pass from O’Brien found Nemane in the box, who swivelled instantly, creating a lovely angle for him to get a shot away. Unfortunately he was forced slightly wide, meaning his shot didn’t trouble Bilson too much at his near post.

O’Brien was once again at the heart of the action, with Bajrami playing a wonderful, long, raking pass in behind the Scunthorpe defence. O’Brien rose brilliantly, cheating the ball down into the path of Langstaff. He leaned back slightly too much however, meaning he got underneath his volley, sending the ball flying over the crossbar.

That sent the sides in at half time with Notts 2 goals to the good. The visitors opted to make a double change at the break, Danny Elliott replacing Cameron Wilson, and Dean Rance on for his debut in place of former Magpie Sean Shields. It wasn’t to be as fruitful as Rance’s last trip to the Lane however.

Notts started the second half as they finished the first, completely on top. Rodrigues, once again high on the right, played a wonderful ball into the box. Langstaff was there to meet it, following some clever movement, but he would have been disappointed to send his header wide.

After the hour mark it was Rodrigues to Langstaff again. The former played a perfect pass through to find the equally superb run of Langstaff, and it looked as though he had given Notts even more breathing space. Credit must be given to Bilson in the Scunthorpe net, leaping to his right to make an acrobatic stop, tipping the ball onto the bar. A wonderful effort met with an equally strong save.

Notts then made their final changes of the game, a double switch which saw both wing backs, Nemane and goalscorer Chicksen, replaced by Sam Austin and Frank Vincent. The 2 natural midfielders did brilliantly in the wide areas, a credit to both them and Luke Williams’ coaching.

It didn’t take Austin long to make a massive impact, as he always does, with the talented midfielder adding yet another assist to his tally. Palmer had driven forward before releasing him down the right, and in true Sam Austin fashion, he delivered a wonderfully clipper ball into the area. This time Langstaff got his header right, firing past Bilson to make it 3-0, and move ever closer to those records.

The Magpies didn’t relent though, and with Macca in search of both the club and league record Notts did all they could to provide him with chances. And that they did, as Palmer got forward into an advanced position, only to be picked out by another disguised pass from Rodrigues. He pulled it back into the path of Langstaff, who made no mistake once again, firing it into the net for the second time in 2 minutes. A club record equalled, as Langstaff brought his tally to 39 goals, all of which came from open play. It’s a goal that means he now needs just 1 goal to match the league record, an incredible feat.

It’s a goal he arguably should have had, with 3 chances falling his way in the closing 10 minutes. The first was almost a carbon copy of his second goal, with Palmer cutting back from an advanced position. This time however, the Iron defence managed to get a block in. The second of the late chances came on his left foot, with the ball loose in the area, but Bilson was equal to it once more. Finally, in stoppage time he got a snapshot away on the turn, but he failed to hit the target, sending it over. That would be the final action in a one sided affair, one that saw Notts score their 101st goal of the season; there are still 6 games left to play.


So many things to admire about the performance and the stats drill home just how one-sided this game was.

Notts had a total of 883 passes, their second highest pass count since the last time they played in front of a 16k+ crowd against Yeovil where they recorded 846 passes. Scunthorpe by contrast managed just 196 passes.

So dominant was the display that Notts recorded over 80% possession, 86% territory, 82% pressing and a massive 93% of the games wing play.

The Magpies had 17 attempts on goal, not including the own goal, compared to just one blocked shot on goal for The Iron.

When it comes to the xG analysis it really is quite frightening with Notts' expected points for this game being their highest of the season at 2.98 xPTS and an expected win percentage of 98.77%.

It's arguable that Langstaff had done more than enough to get his hattrick, maybe even more having 9 attempts on goal with a total xG value of 2.16, the highest individual xG value of the season.

Butterfields 31st minute blocked shot barely recorded a value but have rounded it up to 0.01, the lowest recorded xCG of the season.

All in all not Scunthorpe's finest hour!


Season stats updated below.

It was fitting that Langstaff's first brought up the 100 goals scored in the league for Notts and then for him to equal Tom Keetley's 93 year old record.

This is only the third season in Magpies history where 100+ league goals have been scored, the most league goals to date was in the 1959/60 Division 4 promotion season where Frank Hill saw his players record 107 goals.

Back to present day and Saturday saw the third own goal scored by Notts opponents this season and Adam Chicksen remarkably moved onto 11 goals for this season.

Ruben Rodrigues now has 17 assists to his name and Sam Austin's 25 minute cameo saw him record his 13th assist of the season.


Player Stats - National League:

Plenty of talk about who gets the clean sheet after Archie Mair came on for the injured Sam Slocombe. Well the record books will show that neither player conceded a goal during their appearance so essentially they both get a clean sheet.


Six left to play and we go again tonight away at Altrincham.

As always thanks for reading.



For Notts County Stats:

Richard - @notts_stats

Tom - @tomhwilliams23

Colin - @Colin_Sisson



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