sport news Our 107 points mean nothing at Wembley, insists Notts County boss Luke Williams trends now
In every previous National League season, Notts County’s tally of 107 points would have been enough to secure the title at a canter. But not this campaign, a year like no other in the history of non-League football.
After 46 games of pulsating drama, Wrexham pulled clear in the battle at the top. And so Luke Williams and his record-breaking heroes, who should be on the beach celebrating a return to the Football League, have been forced to make the exciting yet perilous pilgrimage to Wembley.
They face local rivals Chesterfield in the National League play-off final on Saturday afternoon.
Returning to the home of English football evokes unpleasant memories for both Williams and several of his players, who were part of the squad that suffered a play-off final defeat against Harrogate under the famous arch three years ago.
‘Experience is huge… if you’ve been to Wembley and suffered then your worst fears have already come true, you have nothing left to fear,’ says Williams.
Luke Williams has said his players have nothing to fear at Wembley on Saturday
Williams and a number of his squad were involved as they missed out on promotion to Harrogate in 2020
‘This is a chance to go and put things right and have a second attempt which you may never have had.
‘I was assistant manager at Swindon in the League One play-off final when we got destroyed by Preston (4-0 in 2015). It was a steep learning curve. There are one or two things, in hindsight, we could have done differently and I’ve tried to implement them here.
‘I really hope they help us but we will only know how good our preparation was when we see the outcome of the game.’
Notts very nearly threw away their opportunity in spectacular fashion last weekend in the semi-final against Boreham Wood.
The Wood finished sixth in the league and a massive 35 points behind their play-off opponents but the underdogs raced into a two-goal lead at Meadow Lane.
Yet as they have done so many times this season, Williams’ side found a way. Usually that piece of magic has come from their relentless, 42-goal striker Macaulay Langstaff — ‘the non-League Haaland’ — or from the boot of star midfielder Ruben Rodrigues.
But this time it was