Notts County and Wrexham are locked in a fierce battle for the National League title, with both sides currently sitting on 100 points and only separated by goal difference. The two clubs have been thrust into the global spotlight due to Wrexham’s Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, who have turned the competition into a streaming hit. Notts County, however, are no strangers to star power, with singer-songwriter Jake Bugg sponsoring their away kit.
The two sides have gone about their pursuit of success in different ways. While Reynolds and McElhenney have made a docuseries about running a football club, Notts are owned by Danish brothers Alexander and Christoffer Reedtz, who put their knowledge of statistical analytics to the test when they bought the club in 2019. The two teams have also been propelled by their prolific strikers; Wrexham’s Paul Mullin has scored 34 goals, while Notts’ Macaulay Langstaff has plundered 41.
The battle for the title has been made all the more exciting by the contrasting managers; Phil Parkinson of Wrexham is experienced with a number of higher league promotions and a major cup final appearance to his name, while Notts have Luke Williams, who was head coach of Bristol City Under-23s and assistant manager at MK Dons and Swansea City.
The stakes are high for Monday’s game, as victory could go a long way to deciding who goes straight up and who has to settle for a place in the play-offs. Notts boss Williams says both sides face the same conundrum: “The reality is I can’t sit here and tell you, ‘Don’t worry, we have an easy way to control Paul Mullin.’ It’s impossible to say that. The guy is a very good player, he is outstanding. But we have a striker who is also incredible. I don’t think they have a quick fix to stop Macca either.”
Notts County know that this season has packed the National League title race with all the drama and theatre that Tinseltown could want. With Hollywood stars, Danish brothers, experienced managers and prolific strikers, this is the biggest game in the history of fifth-tier football in England. Notts have proven to be the competition’s biggest draw, attracting record-breaking attendances for the division, and they are determined to reclaim their identity as the world’s oldest football league club. Monday’s game promises to be an epic showdown between two sides with much in common, but ultimately one winner.