Match Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Notts County
Wycombe Wanderers host Notts County at Adams Park on Saturday knowing that a draw is enough to see them promoted to League One
This is it. It's the final game of a long campaign and if the players can hold their nerve, we will all be rewarded with fixtures against the likes of Southampton and Charlton next season.
The permutations for promotion this weekend are as follows:
If Wycombe Win they will be promoted.
If Wycombe Draw they will be promoted.
If Wycombe Lose they will be promoted if either Exeter or Bury fail to win.
If Wycombe lose and both Exeter and Bury win, the Chairboys can still be promoted on goal difference as long as they only lose by one goal and Bury only win by one goal.
The alternatives are unthinkable.
Notts County are currently 20th in the league with 44 points from 45 games, 20 of those points having been won on their travels.
Their away record this season is 4 wins, 8 draws and 10 defeats.
The Magpies arrive at Adams Park on Saturday with nothing to play for except pride and a chance to spoil the Chairboys' promotion party.
However, Wycombe would do well to remember that it pays to beware the wounded animal, and Notts County come into this game following a painful week both on and off the field.
On Tuesday evening the Magpies club chairman and one of his fellow directors survived an attempt to oust them from the board following a vote of no confidence tabled by the supporters trust at a special general meeting.
Manager Ian McParland is also in the firing line, with County fans furious after last Saturday's 3-0 defeat at home to Dagenham which was the Magpies' fifth consecutive loss.
Speaking to his club's official website earlier this week, McParland made it clear that he intends to spoil Wycombe's planned celebrations.
'It's our job to spoil the party and we're very much focused on going down there and getting something,' he said.
'We've had five losses in a row and we don't want to make it six going into the Summer. We owe it to our supporters to finish the season with some sort of performance and result, and we will be doing our best to achieve that.'
One of County's main attacking threats this season has been pacy forward Jonathan Forte who scored 8 goals during his loan spell from Scunthorpe United. The good news for Wycombe is that Forte has now returned to his parent club and will not play on Saturday.
Chester (Home)..........2-1 Loss
Rotherham (Away)......2-1 Loss
Grimsby (Home).........2-0 Loss
Morecambe (Away).....1-0 Loss
Dagenham (Home)......3-0 Loss
Notts County Goal Stats.
Total Goals Scored.....47
Away Goals Scored....25
Total Goals Conceded....68
Away Goals Conceded...37
Clean Sheets....6 (Worst record in League Two)
12 different players have scored for The Magpies in all competitions.
Top Goal Scorers
Striker: Delroy Facey..............9
Midfielder: Richard Butcher......8
Striker: Jamie Forrester...........8
Striker: Jonathan Forte............8 (Now back at Scunthorpe)
Midfielder: Myles Weston.........4
Striker: Sean Canham............4
Wycombe Wanderers are currently 2nd in the league with 78 points from 45 games, 42 of those points having been won at Adams Park.
Their Home record reads 11 wins, 9 draws and 2 defeats.
The Chairboys expect their biggest home crowd of the season on Saturday for a match which will see them gain automatic promotion if they avoid defeat.
A home game against a Notts County team with the worst current form in the division is all that stands between Wycombe and League One football next season.
After a great start to their campaign, which saw them go 9 points clear in December, Wycombe faltered earlier this year and looked in danger of missing out on a top-three spot altogether.
However, a revival which began with victory against Darlington at the beginning of April has seen the Chairboys take 13 points from the last possible 18 to give themselves the chance of glory on Saturday.
Gillingham (Home).....1-0 Win
Exeter (Away)...........1-0 Loss
Aldershot (Home)......3-0 Win
Luton (Away).............1-0 Win
Port Vale (Away)........1-1 Draw
Wycombe Goal Stats.
Total Goals Scored.....53
Home Goals Scored....31
Total Goals Conceded....31
Home Goals Conceded...14
Clean Sheets....21 (Best record in League Two)
16 different players have scored for the Chairboys in all competitions.
Top Goal Scorers
Striker: Matt Harrold.........12
Midfielder: Chris Zebroski...7
Striker: John Akinde...........7
Midfielder: Matty Phillips.....4
Striker: Jon-Paul Pittman....3
League Form Guide
Wycombe:........Played:-22, Points:-32, Average:-1.45 Pts per game.
Notts County:....Played:-22, Points:-20, Average:-0.90 Pts per game
Last Five League Games
Wycombe:...WLWWD - 10 points
Notts County:....LLLLL - 0 points
Last Five Home Games
Wycombe:.....LDDWW - 8 points
Last Five Away Games
Notts County:...LWDLL - 4 points
Against Bottom-Half Opposition
Wycombe:....Played:- 23, Won:- 11, Drawn:- 8, Lost:- 4, Points:-41
Against Top-Half Opposition
Notts County:..Played:- 23, Won:- 3, Drawn:- 6, Lost:- 14, Points:-15
Earlier this season Wycombe beat Notts County 2-0 at Meadow Lane with goals from Matt Harrold and Lewwis Spence.
Last Season, John Sutton, Scott McGleish and Matt Bloomfield gave Wycombe a 3-1 win at Adams Park, with the Magpies winning the return fixture after Richard Butcher scored the only goal of the game.
Altogether the two sides have met on 27 occasions with 15 wins for Wycombe, 6 for Notts County and 6 draws.
Previous Meetings At Adams Park
1995/96 Lg1: Wycombe 1 Notts County 1
1996/97 Lg1: Wycombe 1 Notts County 0
1998/99 Lg1: Wycombe 1 Notts County 1
1999/00 Lg1: Wycombe 2 Notts County 0
2000/01 Lg1: Wycombe 3 Notts County 1
2001/02 FAC Wycombe 3 Notts County 0
2001/02 Lg1: Wycombe 3 Notts County 0
2002/03 Lg1: Wycombe 3 Notts County 1
2003/04 Lg1: Wycombe 1 Notts County 1
2004/05 Lg2: Wycombe 1 Notts County 2
2005/06 Lg2: Wycombe 2 Notts County 0
2006/07 Lg2: Wycombe 0 Notts County 0
2007/08 Lg2: Wycombe 3 Notts County 1
The Referee for this match is Trevor Kettle.
Mr. Kettle has been a National List Referee since 2003. His last Wycombe match was January's 2-1 win over Bury at Adams Park. So far this season he's refereed 33 games and has issued 100 yellow cards and 10 reds.
Wycombe Team News
With the news that Matt Harrold and Leon Johnson are back in full training, the Chairboys appear to have no injury worries apart from long term absentee Scott Shearer.
Predicting a Wycombe line-up this season has been a tricky business, but here's my guess for Saturday:
Hunt McCracken Sinclair Woodman
Zebroski Holt Sawyer Doherty Pittman
Subs from: Jones Oliver Johnson Bloomfield Phillips Beavon Harrold
Good Luck Wycombe
Wycombe 2 Notts County 1
Weekend Rivals Watch
Exeter (3rd) are away to Rotherham (14th)
Bury (4th) are at home to Accrington (16th)