“That was exactly what that moment called for,” were the words of Notts County boss Luke Williams about the importance of two players in their latest win against Chesterfield at the weekend.
The Magpies returned to the top of the National League following Wrexham’s win over Wealdstone earlier in the day, with Adam Chicksen’s second half strike sending the title race taking yet another turn in this remarkable campaign.
The Zimbabwean’s ninth goal of the season sparked huge celebrations in front of the traveling 1,961 Notts fans at Technique Stadium, but the experience of Connell Rawlinson and John Bostock stood out as a pivotal moment in earning another three vital points away from home.
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When Chicksen scored Aaron Nemane’s low drive into the box, emotions ran high given the importance and timing of the eventual winner coming just eight minutes after Jeff King saw red for a second bookable late-tackling offense on Cedwyn Scott in midfield.
But after the celebrations, both Rawlinson’s and Bostock’s experience prevailed, encouraging their teammates to regain their composure and focus with 19 minutes of regulation time remaining.
And the Notts coach was quick to assess the importance of that experience, explaining that before signing Bostock last December, his personality and knowing how to manage this type of situation was another aspect of his game valued along with his evident quality with the ball.
“We talked a lot about John when he signed here and one of the things we highlighted was the added value you get with a player of his experience and the personality he has,” he said.
“That was exactly what that moment called for because I had such an adrenaline rush and we the fans have to see that connection to the team.
“Even for the opposition, they see that joy and it’s heartbreaking because we’ve all been there, but then you need to focus and I thought Connell Rawlinson and John showed their superior qualities and helped us establish ourselves a bit after that.” great hurry.”
As Notts’ season passes the 30 game point tonight, they welcome Barnet to Meadow Lane for their first meeting of the season.
Dean Brennan’s side are enjoying an unbeaten run and have not tasted defeat in the league since early November, as they close in on third-placed Woking.
Williams noted the unusual difficulty of the game having not played the Bees so late in the National League campaign, and expects a tough game as his team looks to extend its unbeaten streak to 23 games in the league.
“It feels strange to be at this stage of the season and we don’t really know what they are like, of course you can see them and until you play against a team you don’t fully understand the difficulties, but it feels strange.
“But we have to deal with it and we are both in the same situation, but we have a lot of pictures to see and we know they are a very good team.”
“But we are also very good, and we have to put in another good performance for sure.”