This Tuesday, Notts County welcome visitors Boreham Wood in a National League clash which can see the Magpies maintain their 5-point lead or add to such, if Wrexham drop points in their game against Bromley.
There’s no ignoring the huge task at hand here for Luke Garrard (Boreham Wood Manager) and his side who come to Meadow Lane with hopes of being the first team to beat Notts at their home ground in a league fixture since February 2022. A Boreham Wood win this Tuesday would break a 17-game unbeaten streak for Notts County as they aim to better the record set in 1930 which stands at 19.
In the reverse fixture at LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park, Notts county drew 2-2 with ‘the Wood’ with Notts County taking the lead twice during the game through a Ruben Rodrigues penalty in the 7th minute and a Kairo Mitchell strike 68 minutes in. Ultimately Notts were pinned back with equalisers on 39 minutes through Danny Elliot and again at the 83rd from a Tyrone Marsh penalty. Heartbreak for the travelling Notts fans.
Notts will be on the search to recoup some dropped points back in August and continue their unbeaten streak at home within the league this season which has helped launch them to the top of the table, 5 points clear of title rivals Wrexham and 12 points from 3rd place Chesterfield. The title race currently has reignited the shouts for a three-up three-down system to the football league. Of the 61 points gained this season 30 of those have been at home, registering 9 wins and 3 draws with 0 losses.
Boreham Wood have had a change of pace from earlier in the season, gaining over half of their 32 points in the first 8 games. This has left them sat comfortably mid-table at 13th but with only 5 points between them and the first play-off spaces, it’s still all to play for. The Wood do have a better return away from home than they do on their own turf with 18 of the 32 points coming from away matches, registering 5 wins, 3 draws and 4 losses.
Notts come into this game with fantastic form in recent matches with 4 wins of the last 5, with a draw to Oldham on New Year’s Day being the only recent upset for ‘The Magpies’. The previous fixture saw them beat ‘bogey club’ Aldershot at the EBB Stadium for the first time since Notts dropped to the fifth tier. In the previous 5 fixtures, Notts have scored an impressive 15 goals whilst conceding only 6.
Boreham Wood arrive at Meadow Lane after drawing at home with League One side Accrington Stanley in the third round of the FA Cup 1-1 on Saturday, which saw a late equaliser from Lee Ndlovu, clinching their replay at the ‘Wham Stadium’. In the league however they have won 1 of the last 5 games in a 2-1 victory over a struggling Oldham Athletic at the beginning of December. In the previous 5 they have registered 3 points with 1 win, 1 draw and 3 losses. In these games, Boreham Wood have scored 4 and conceded 6.
Boreham Wood have a real attacking threat of striker Lee Ndlovu who has scored 9 in 23 games so far this season with a MPG of 171. He recently scored a brace in their victory over Oldham Athletic and will be looking to add to his tally against Notts County. A player Notts also have to keep an eye on his former Notts man Zak Brunt who is currently on loan at ‘The Wood’ from Sheffield United. He has scored 4 goals this season for Boreham Wood and will be a thorn in the side of the Notts midfield with his playmaking and ability to break a back line.
Notts County undoubtedly come into this game with their own attacking threat with the Portuguese maestro of Ruben Rodrigues. Upon his arrival at Meadow Lane, Rodrigues rarely broke into the first team but over recent seasons he has been linked with League 1 and higher clubs as he has shone in black and white stripes. He is currently on fantastic form himself with 9 goals this season and 3 of those coming in the previous 4 matches. Notts captain Kyle Cameron, who took himself off in the previous fixture, is also someone Boreham Wood need to be wary of with his ability to make marauding runs forward, breaking the midfield lines and providing quality crosses into the box. Cameron only has 1 goal to his name this season but his contributions to attacking threat cannot be undisputed.
Luke Williams has said the squad are ‘in a good place’ for the remainder of the season in terms of injury wise and Notts must ‘maintain’ the current quality.
Notts County come into this game as favourites however that is to be expected with the clubs’ standards and positioning in the league. Boreham Wood will be no easy challenge for the magpies and with momentum of going into the fourth round draw for the FA Cup, there is no guarantee of a Notts accustomed, dominant, possession based winning display.
*Article provided by Matthew Dudley (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @Official_NCFC Notts celebrate during a hard earned win.