Published: 29/10/2023 10:52

Author: Oliver Heathcote

Notts County’s two game winning streak was broken as they were defeated 0-2 by an inform Wrexham side at Meadow Lane.

After an even affair for the majority of the game, a deflected strike from Elliot Lee and substitute Ollie Palmer proved to be the difference between the two teams, sending the Welsh side home with 3 points.

Notts came into the game having made 4 changes from their previous victory at home to Newport, looking to exploit a Wrexham defence, who had conceded 27 goals so far this season. Kyle Cameron and David McGoldrick both came straight back into the starting lineup after their one game suspension, replacing Rawlinson and Morias. Longest-serving player Jim O’Brien replaced Austin in the midfield and Nemane came in to right wingback, at the expense of Tobi Adebayo. The Magpies needed to prevent the attacking threat of the high-scoring visitors and ensure that they would take their chances to get the victory. 

Notts were slow to start the first half, with Wrexham looking comfortable with their game plan. This left Notts penned into their own half, struggling to materialise any clear cut chances. However, when County did keep the ball on the floor, showing patience, they looked to be a threat. This resulted in a massive chance for Langstaff after Cameron’s fantastic cross found the striker’s head, only to skew his effort straight at the goalkeeper. 

The away side responded by almost taking the lead themselves, with Mendy’s low cross take a deflection off Jones, which looped over Slocombe and narrowly missed the far post. The first half ended as a fiery encounter, after a coming together between Jones and Mullin, with the away striker supposedly kicking out at the Magpies’ left wingback. However, both teams were inseparable as it was a stalemate at half time. Both teams enjoyed spells of chances, but neither seemed to have a final end product.

The second half started much like the first, with Wrexham dominating the aerial side of the game, but Notts threatening when the ball was on the deck. Notts did have a few chances, most notably from Cameron, whose effort from range, found the hands of Okonkwo in the Wrexham goal. Eventually the deadlock was broken by the away side, with Elliot Lee’s effort taking a big deflection, looping the ball over Slocombe into the back of the net. It was an unlucky goal for Notts to concede, as it took an unfortunate deflection, however, the Magpies needed to make sure that their heads did not drop, as they were still in this game.

County were almost level, with a fantastic save from Okonkwo denying a McGoldrick effort. It was the closest Notts had came to scoring, so they needed to make sure that they stayed resilient. However, 3 minutes after the opener, the away side doubled their lead, with a long kick from the goalkeeper not being able to be dealt with. The ball eventually fell to Ollie Palmer, who found the bottom left corner of the goal. The scoreline somewhat flattered Wrexham, who although were winning more battles than the Magpies, gave away some vital chances. The heads of the players looked to have dropped as the remainder of the game expired rapidly, with the Welsh side in a comfortable position. Notts did have a couple of efforts which failed to trouble the goalkeeper, as the referee brought an end to a disappointing afternoon for Notts.

It was a tough defeat for Notts County to take, with the game arguably being an even affair. However, Wrexham were able to take two of their chances, proving to be the difference between the two teams who came up from last year’s National League competitive campaign. The away side’s game plan worked to perfection, as they won the majority of the aerial battles, with the home side lacking a response. Overall, a disappointing defeat with an improvement required for next week’s FA Cup fixture against Crawley Town.

Starting XI: 1 Slocombe - 28 Macari, 15 Baldwin, 4 Cameron, - 11 Nemane (67’), 6 O’Brien, 18 Palmer (77’), 10 Jones - 17 McGoldrick, 7 Crowley, 9 Langstaff

Subs Used: 8 Austin (67’), 14 Randall (77’)

Not Used: 26 Stone, 5 Rawlinson, 21 Adebayo, 25 Mahovo, 33 Tipton

Attendance: 16,083 (2,863 away)