Notts County hoping for Wembley win against Chesterfield FC in National League Playoff Final

Wembley Stadium Credit: PA Images

A sea of black and white shirts and flags will be flooding Wembley Stadium later today, as Notts County look to secure promotion back into the English Football League.

It has been a record-breaking season for the Magpies, which saw them obtain 107 points in the league - a tally which could have guaranteed them promotion in any other season.

This year though it was only good enough for second place, as Ryan Reynolds' Wrexham took the title - and the only automatic promotion place - with their huge 111 points haul.

The men from Nottingham were condemned to the playoffs, but a 3-2 victory against Boreham Wood in the semi-final secured their place in the final - and a shot at promotion back into League Two for the first time since 2019.

The statue of England's World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore stands tall outside Wembley Stadium Credit: PA Images

Standing in their way are North Derbyshire outfit Chesterfield FC, who finished third in the table - and 23 points behind Notts County.

They too will be looking to get back into the football league for the first time since 2017.

Notts County

Speaking ahead of their match, head coach Luke Williams believes his team are a test for everybody.

He said: "The mood is jubilant, there's also a feeling that we survived something, we got a kiss of life but there's maybe a bit more subdued feeling in the camp than there was on the day.

"There's a bit more of a calm and focus I feel.

Notts County's Jodi Jones (third left, back of frame) scores their side's third goal of the game against Boreham Wood Credit: PA Images

"We analysed the previous performance and try to take the lessons like we have done for all of the games and now try to have a familiarity to the week and tray and prepare in a sensible way.

"A local derby, I think two clubs that are in the wrong place at this moment in time and two very well supported clubs.

"So it's a brilliant occasion. I'm sure we are the only country on the planet you can have a game of this size in the fifth tier.

"It's remarkable the interest and the passion for football in this country is I think higher than you would see anywhere else in the world."

Story of the season and the road to Wembley

Throughout 2022/23, the battle between promotion chasers Notts County and Wrexham has been at the heart of the football world.

Over the course of the season, the Nottingham side won 32 games, drew 11 and lost just three - amassing 107 points.

Notts County fans show their support during the Playoff Semi-final Credit: PA Images

Wrexham on the other hand went on to get 111 points with their 34 wins, nine draws and three defeats.

It left Notts County in second place and in the playoffs.

They needed to beat Boreham Wood at Meadow Lane to secure their date with destiny at Wembley.

Notts County fans run onto the pitch after their win over Boreham Wood Credit: PA Images

The Magpies were 2-0 down going into half time, but a double from Aden Baldwin brought them right back into the match - taking it to extra time.

With penalties looking imminent, Jodi Jones scored in the last minute of extra time to take Notts County to Wembley.

Chesterfield FC

Chesterfield FC finished third in the league which secured them a spot in the Playoff Semi-finals.

They had an equally-enthralling match against Bromley, as they came back from behind to lead 2-1 going into the final stages of the game.

Bromley then scored a last-gasp equaliser to make it 2-2 and take it to extra time.

Liam Mandeville then made it three for the Spireites to book their place under the famous arch.

Chesterfield's Liam Mandeville celebrates with fans after beating Bromley in the Playoff Semi-final Credit: PA Images

Speaking on the club's YouTube channel, Danny Webb, Chesterfield FC assistant manager said: "It's a long hard season and I think they showed so much courage to get these supporters and this town jumping before we go to Wembley.

"Everyone should really enjoy the moment because they don't come along very often.

"All our fans and ourselves will all say its a day out and we'll enjoy it, but the nerves and the guts will be massive because we know what the end prize is.

"And so we've got to go into the game professionally. If you had a fair final second v third is the fairest one you could get.

Chesterfield's Jamie Grimes celebrates with fans after beating Bromley in the Playoff Semi-final Credit: PA Images

"Yes Notts finished a lot of points ahead of us, but they finished a lot ahead of Bromley and we finished a lot against Bromley.

"I think second v third is the fairest way that it could have worked out, but we obviously won't have any sentiment in our hearts when we turn up at Wembley.

"We are a big club everyone expected us to get to Wembley and we've done that."

'It's going to be a battle'

Thousands of Notts County fans will be making their way to Wembley Credit: PA Images

So far tickets sales for Notts County have reached 20,000 for the final at Wembley.

Kick-off for the National League Playoff Final is at 3.30pm on Saturday 13 May. If the game is a draw there will be extra time and penalties.

Iris Smith, of the Notts County Supporters Club, believes Chesterfield FA are going to be a tough opponent.

She said: "I'm nervously excited. It's been an amazing season, this is what we've been building towards all season and it's going to be great for the younger fans who have never been to Wembley.

"Saturday is going to be an amazing experience. I'm just so delighted for the club, they've worked so hard for this and they really deserve it this time.

Wembley Stadium

"We have come so close in the last four or five years, it's just so important to get there. I'd love for us to get back in the EFL.

"I've really enjoyed being in this league, it's been really interesting and we've met some fabulous people, but I want to get back up there now.

"Chesterfield is going to be a battle, it's a local derby. We've got to be strong, very resilient and will have to concentrate for the full 90 minutes.

"They are quite a physical side. I think the gaffer will have it all sorted, he's very clever.

"Hopefully we can go to Wembley and get the win, that's the plan."