Notts County look to extend their unbeaten run to 19 games this Saturday when they make the away trip to Chesterfield FC.
The visit will be their first to the Technique Stadium since March 2022, as they face a top-of-the-table bout against the Spireites.
Over the weekend, National League leaders County saw an early FA Trophy cup exit to relegation-threatened Maidstone United.
Their 2-2 draw in normal time led to a loss on penalties, while The Spireites also faced a chastening recent result; a 4-0 thumping in a midweek FA Cup replay away to Championship side West Brom.
Despite the cup upset for County, Luke Williams’ side remain well positioned in the league with a chance to keep the three-point gap they hold at the top of the table above second-placed side Wrexham.
It is worth mentioning, however, that Paul Cook’s Chesterfield have four games in hand over County after a string of postponements because of bad weather and their FA Cup run.
The absence of games has created an inconvenient fixture pile-up for Chesterfield, so the challenge will be to remain consistent while repeatedly playing Saturday and Tuesday over the next two months.
Notts County have had no trouble finding the back of the net in 2022-23, leading the league with 69 goals.
This is 20 more than their opponents this Saturday (49).
Scoring a total of 29 goals in their last nine matches on the road, the Magpies have looked more than comfortable in scoring away from home and will look to exploit the inconsistent defence of Chesterfield.
The Derbyshire side have picked the ball out of their own net a total of 12 times in their previous five matches.
After the Magpies saw relegation from the Football League in the 2018-19 season, they are well on track to see the heights of League Two again, with this being their best run in the National League to date.
Nor, arguably, will the collective quality on show have been higher
— Adam Summerton (@adamsummerton) January 18, 2023
Since facing back-to-back relegation from Leagues One and Two a few years ago, Chesterfield’s drop down to the National League initially resulted in mixed results, including a 14th-place finish in 2018-19, followed by placing 20th in the 2019-20 season.
They have since seen a vast improvement and consistently climbed their way up the table since, where they’ve sat amongst the top seven sides within the last couple of years.
The reverse fixture between these two sides back in August lived up to the expectation, as Notts County came from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw thanks to top scorer Macaulay Langstaff scoring a brace.
Having scored 22 goals in the 26 National League games he’s played this season, Langstaff is likely to be a key man again for the Magpies this time round.
However, a sense of concern may be starting to creep in for Notts County after two draws in their last three games against previously out-of-form sides in Oldham Athletic and Boreham Wood.
As the winter schedule takes its toll, much will depend on whether the firepower of this Nottingham outfit, which was very much present throughout the first half of their campaign, remains.