London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Notts clinch promotion to EFL with shootout win

Notts clinch promotion to EFL with shootout win

Notts County twice battled back from a goal down before beating Chesterfield on penalties in an astonishing National League promotion final at Wembley to reclaim their status as 'world's oldest football league club'.

Notts County had missed out on automatic promotion by just four points to title winners Wrexham

Substitute goalkeeper Archie Mair, brought on to replace Sam Slocombe in the 120th minute, crucially saved spot-kicks from Darren Oldaker and Jeff King before Cedwyn Scott sealed a dramatic 4-3 shootout triumph.

Victory for the 161-year-old Magpies, who were founder members of the Football League in 1888, ended their four-year non-league exile while defeat consigned Chesterfield to a sixth season in the National League.

Ruben Rodrigues had bounced a volley off the turf and over goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons to level at 2-2 in the second half of extra time to ensure the showdown would be decided from the spot.

Armando Dobra's curled finish had restored Chesterfield's lead in the first period of 15 additional minutes after an enthralling game ended 1-1 at the end of normal time.

A calamitous start from Notts goalkeeper Slocombe - which had the Magpies defending a rare indirect free-kick inside the box after just two minutes - cost them dearly as his challenge on Andrew Dallas allowed the striker to put Chesterfield ahead from the spot.

The Spireites had Notts scrambling to stay in touch at the break as the side that won a club-record 32 league games during the regular season struggled to muster a meaningful response.

Sam Austin sent a shot over the bar from the edge of the area and Connell Rawlinson wastefully steered a header wide for a much-improved Notts after the break.

Liam Mandeville squandered a late chance to seal victory moments before Notts veteran John Bostock caught Fitzsimons out with a set-piece that skipped in at the near post.

Dobra edged the Derbyshire club back ahead three minutes after the restart, and after Macaulay Langstaff and Rawlinson went close to again restoring parity, it was Rodrigues who ensured the final would be decided from 12 yards.

After four years and three failed play-off attempts - including defeat by Harrogate in a 2020 promotion final played behind closed doors at Wembley during the Covid-19 pandemic - Notts finally secured their English Football League (EFL) return at the end of a record-breaking season.

Luke Williams' side were pipped for automatic promotion and the title by Hollywood-funded Wrexham, who topped the table with an all-time high 111 points.

The 107 points the Magpies collected to finish second would have got them straight up as champions in every other season before this one.

The club-record wins total and 117 goals in a campaign - which included a record 25-game unbeaten league run between September and February - would have counted for nothing if they had lost at the national stadium.

Chesterfield finished one spot below Notts in the table, but the gap between the two was 23 points.

They were the only side, other than Wrexham and Notts, to have a spell at the top of the table early in the season - and they pushed Notts to their limits at Wembley in an incredible energy-sapping game.


Goalkeeping calamities and heroics


Penalty shootout hero Archie Mair joined Notts on loan from Norwich City

Chesterfield were presented with a bizarre chance almost immediately after kick-off when they conceded an indirect free-kick in the penalty area.

Notts set their entire side up a yard in front of the goalline to block Jeff King's effort from the left of the penalty spot, but the uncertain start by the Magpies quickly got worse.

Slocombe raced out to try shut Dallas down on the edge of the area, but caught the Spireites forward as he tried to lift the ball beyond the keeper.

Dallas collected himself and went straight down the middle to beat Slocombe from the spot to put Chesterfield ahead after five chaotic minutes.

Nervy Notts struggled to match frenetic Chesterfield for much of the first half, but Austin had a chance to level from close range in the 17th minute when he stretched to meet a lofted cross from Aaron Nemane.

Dallas continued to torment Notts' backline down the left, calling Slocombe into action as the forward attempted pull a dangerous ball back across goal.

It was not until the 37th minute that Notts managed to register a shot on goal with Nemane sending an effort directly into Fitzsimons' hands.

Austin and Rawlinson were off target in search of a second-half equaliser, only for Bostock to deliver with a clever free-kick after a Slocombe error at the other end almost gifted Chesterfield the win in normal time.

Dobra had Chesterfield ahead again in extra time and while Langstaff went close to adding to his National League record 42 goals and Rawlinson also flashed a chance wide, it was Rodrigues who salvaged Notts' hopes.

On-loan keeper Mair, in just his fifth game for Notts, played an instrumental role off the bench with his penalty saves and, after Bostock made a mess of his spot-kick to seal it, Scott kept his cool to secure victory.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
World Court Orders Immediate Halt to Israeli Offensive in Gaza
Understanding FLiRT COVID Variants and Their Impact
Baltic NATO Members to Construct 'Drone Wall'
Global Life Expectancy Dropped By 2 Years Due To COVID-19
Macron Halts New Caledonia Voting Reform After Riots
Rishi Sunak Shelves Rwanda and Smoking Policies Ahead of Election
US Refuses World Court Jurisdiction
China Conducts Surprise Military Drills Around Taiwan
Grim Polls Predict Major Loss for PM Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak's Campaign for UK Election: Key Issues Highlighted
German Property Crisis Worsens as Foreign Investment Declines
Princess of Wales's Taskforce Calls for Business Investment in Early Childhood
Campaign Groups Condemn UK Report on Protests
Former Royal Marine Charged with Espionage Found Dead
Australian PM Calls for Julian Assange's Freedom
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
UK's Infected Blood Scandal: Conclusion Nears After Seven Years
Julian Assange Granted Right to Challenge US Extradition
Congo Army Thwarts Attempted Coup Involving Americans and a British Citizen
Ireland's Homeless Gain Voting Rights
Blinken orders crackdown on Israel-Hamas leaks
Julian Assange Faces US Extradition: Key Facts
Jacob Zuma Takes Campaign to ANC Stronghold Soweto
Attempted Assassination of Slovakia PM Robert Fico: Investigation Ongoing
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Spain Recalls Ambassador After Argentina President's Remarks
Rishi Sunak Faces Cabinet Backlash Over Proposed Changes to Foreign Student Visas
Rwanda Denies Entry to Human Rights Researcher
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
Blue Origin Resumes Space Tourism with 90-Year-Old Ed Dwight
Rishi Sunak and Wife Akshata Murty Wealthier Than King Charles
New Dutch Government Drives Wedge Through EU Liberals
Iranian President Raisi Missing After Helicopter Goes Down
Freemasons and ‘Global War Party’ Accused of Conspiring Against Georgia
Poland Supports Rolls-Royce's Nuclear Power Plant Initiative
European Ports Overflow with Unsold Electric Vehicles
Esprit Files for Bankruptcy in Europe, Putting Hundreds of Jobs at Risk
Chevron Halts North Sea Drilling Amid Rising Tax Burden
Jeremy Hunt Accused of Exaggerating Conservatives' Economic Record
Victoria Atkins Discusses Historical Gender Bias in the NHS
Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 50th Anniversary: Calls for Justice
Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty’s Wealth Rises to £651 Million
New Caledonia Riots Escalate After French Voting Rights Change
Renters Face Fierce Competition as Listing Times Shrink
Surge in Fake Science: 19 journals shut down due to fraudulent papers from 'paper mills'
Global Birthrates Decline, Raising Economic and Social Concerns
Boeing Faces Possible Prosecution Over 737 MAX Settlement Violation
Prisoner Escapes in France as Two Officers Killed in Van Ambush
German Court Rules AfD Can Be Monitored for Extremism
Jacob Rees-Mogg Criticizes Bank of England’s Inflation Strategy
×