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Kick off 17:30 (UK)

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29 April 2023 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

Kick off 17:30 (UK)

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Match Reports

Report: Notts 1-1 York

Langstaff's 42nd goal cancelled out

29 April 2023

Macaulay Langstaff's solitary goal - his 42nd of the season - wasn't enough to beat York City but it did confirm his status as the National League's 2022-23 top scorer.

In a week when he was also named Fans' and Players' Player of the season, the Teessider celebrated with a clever finish in the first half - only for Shaq Forde to level late on.

It meant we finished on our highest-ever points tally of 107, having also broken club records for wins, goals scored and fewest defeats.

Despite second place being guaranteed, Luke Williams pulled no punches with his team selection.

Sam Slocombe returned to the side after sitting out the previous weekend’s drubbing of Maidstone – and he was guarded by a back three of Kyle Cameron, Aden Baldwin and Connell Rawlinson.

In front of them were Matt Palmer and John Bostock, with Adam Chicksen and Aaron Nemane playing as wing backs and Ruben Rodrigues pairing up with Sam Austin in support of Langstaff.

In what transpired to be another first half of complete dominance, Langstaff commenced the pressure on the visitors’ goal by seeing a header diverted narrowly wide by a defender inside three minutes.

Rodrigues followed up with a 30-yard free-kick which flew just wide, before both Austin and Baldwin sent shots a couple of yards over from outside the area.

Langstaff was next to have a go, brilliantly knocking Rodrigues’ clever pass out of his feet and seeing his left-footed snapshot saved.

And then it was the Portuguese’s turn as he latched on to Nemane’s downward header, sending his shot into a well-positioned defender.

Langstaff was proving a constant menace and saw another effort saved on 31 minutes, shortly before Bostock also drew a comfortable save from Ryan Whitely.

It was one of the most one-sided halves of football you could ever wish to see and, inside stoppage time, we got the goal we deserved – and there was no surprise to see Rodrigues and Langstaff link up, the former’s superb, incisive pass unlocking the door for the latter to brilliantly steer the ball beyond the onrushing keeper.

There were no changes at the break and Rodrigues was prevented from following in Langstaff’s footsteps within five minutes of the restart, being fouled just outside the area and seeing his subsequent free-kick brilliantly saved by Whitley down to his left.

Williams made his first change shortly afterwards, sending Richard Brindley on for Rawlinson, and Slocombe was called into action for the first time moments later as Nemane’s slip allowed a City forward into the area, only for his low effort to be pushed behind by the keeper at his near post.

Whitley was then the star man at the other end, producing a world-class, one-handed save to somehow divert Austin’s powerful strike over the bar.

That proved out to be the midfielder’s final contribution as he made way for Cedwyn Scott moments later, and the substitute drew the keeper into another good save shortly afterwards as his deflected header was kept out.

We kept up our efforts to double our lead and came within inches of doing so on 77 minutes when Langstaff outpaced former Magpie Mark Ellis to fire a shot across goal and against the base of the post. There was concern in the aftermath as Langstaff required treatment, but he was fine to continue.

With time ticking away it looked like we were destined for a deserved victory but the visitors had other idea as, with less than two minutes to play, Forde sprung the offside trap and produced a calm finish beyond Slocombe.

We were given six additional minutes to find a winner – and so nearly did on three occasions, with Whitley continuing his inspired display.

Firstly, he instinctively pushed Rodrigues’ header over the bar when it looked destined for the net.

Moments later, he hung on to Chicksen’s header – before making one of his best saves of the day, acrobatically flicking Langstaff’s glancing effort over the bar to ensure his side left with a point.

STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron, Baldwin, Rawlinson (Brindley 56'); Chicksen, Nemane; Bostock (O'Brien 76'), Palmer, Austin (Scott 66'), Rodrigues; Langstaff

UNUSED SUBS: Jones, Vincent

BOOKINGS: Rawlinson 43', Rodrigues 77'

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