Notts In Friday Night Cup Action

Notts County welcome Wrexham AFC back to Meadow Lane for the second time this season for the Buildbase FA Trophy Quarter Final.

The Magpies come into the fixture off the back of a 3-3 draw away to Solihull Moors. A brace from Ruben Rodrigues and a beautiful header from Alex Lacey ensured Ian Burchnall’s side at least took a point away from the game, despite leading on two separate occasions.  The result meant that Notts remained seventh in the Vanarama National League coming into the break from league action and one they will welcome given the list of absentees increasing constantly.

As for the injuries, both Kyle Cameron and Richard Brindley are missing this evening through injuries. Cameron was substituted in the twenty-eighth minute in the Magpies’ 1-1 draw with Yeovil Town last weekend after pulling up clutching his hamstring. Richard Brindley has been absent since the defeat to Chesterfield and will not be available until the away trip to Stockport County next Tuesday evening.

The in-form Elisha Sam and consistently brilliant Matthew Palmer are also both unavailable for selection for this encounter. The duo missed the away trip to Solihull Moors to what was expected to be COVID-19 and Burchnall stated firmly that the pair will be in no state to compete for the club’s place in the Semi-Finals of the Buildbase FA Trophy. Moreover, Zak Brunt is also unavailable due to featuring already in the competition for Southend United at the beginning of the season but beyond Brunt, that concludes the absentees list for Notts County this evening. In lighter news, the trio of Ruben Rodrigues, Cal Roberts and Kyle Wootton are available and have an increased pressure of performing well to give the club the best opportunity of progression. As a trip to Wembley edges nearer, you can expect a very, very strong Notts County performance. 

As for Wrexham AFC, they come into the fixture off the back of an impressive 4-2 victory over Boreham Wood in the week. Goals on the night from Oliver Palmer, Aaron Hayden, James Jones, and Paul Mullin ensured the Red Dragons maintained their title charge, edging within six points of leaders Stockport County. It will be interesting to see how the visitors line-up this evening given the stakes they are playing for in the Vanarama National League. Supporters online were in favour of fielding a weakened side due to league focus, but I expect them to line up full strengthened given when you are at this stage of the competition you may as well play to win it.

Wrexham have faced Notts County twice already this season and have failed to beat them on both occasions. The first encounter resulted 1-1 in a game where both goals came from the main men up front in Paul Mullin and Kyle Wootton. The second encounter resulted 3-1 to Notts County in a fixture where the Magpies were forced to field a mixed side given the COVID-19 cases in the squad. However, a brace from Kyle Wootton and a goal from Jayden Richardson cancelled out Bryce Hosannah’s wonder strike that gave his side the lead.

In conclusion to this, although they have failed to beat their opponents twice this season already, Phil Parkinson’s side are unbeaten in six and come into this game as slight favourites to progress due to Notts’ staggered recent form. It must be said, although the fixture is a Buildbase trophy encounter, those in attendance at Meadow Lane tonight are in for what is set to be an incredible game of football.  

So, what can we expect from this fixture? 

As already mentioned, an incredible game where two of the league’s strongest sides battle it out for a place in the Semi-Finals. I cannot see the game being split by a handful of goals, in fact, there may only be one goal in it. The difficult part of all is predicting which way the game will go.  If a penalty shootout transpires, that would state everything about the difficulty in splitting the two sides yet because Notts have defeated Wrexham already this season with a weakened side, I believe they will be able to repeat that and do it again.

My prediction: Notts County 1-0 Wrexham AFC. 

Current form:

  • Notts County:  DWLDD
  • Wrexham: WWWWW

Probable line-ups: 

  • Notts County:  Jaros, Chicksen, Rawlinson, Lacey, Kelly-Evans, Vincent, Francis, Brunt, Rodrigues, Roberts, Wootton.
  • Wrexham:  Lainton, Hayden, Tozer, McFadzean, Young, Hall-Johnson, Jones, Cleworth, McAlinden, Palmer, Mullin. 

Venue & time:

  • Meadow Lane, 7:45pm Friday 11th March 2022.

*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).

*Main image @Official_NCFC Notts will be hoping to reach the semi-finals for a third successive season.

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