Unibet's National League Promotion Final Preview

By Sam Elliott

Rivals, fierce foes, old adversaries. But please, just don’t call it a derby!

Sure, Notts County and Chesterfield have previous and don’t much care for each other, but anyone using the d-word will be quickly put firmly in their place by both sets of fans.

That’s probably the one thing both fan bases do agree on.

While rivalries come in all shapes and sizes of course, this one has grown legs in recent years as both teams challenge for promotion back to the EFL.

Quite simply, there is always extra needle when these two come together.

Some epic matches in that time have seen two clubs who didn’t have too much time for one another lock horns, and the past should make the pressure cooker bubble away beautifully at Wembley Stadium.

Both sets of supporters will say they belong in amongst the 92 and with some justification.

It’s five years since the Spireites dropped from League Two, outside the top four divisions for the first time since re-joining the Football League in 1921.

Notts have their own story of sorrow to offer up.

They departed the Football League for the first time in their history a year later.

But their slide came against a backdrop of financial chaos so severe it was brought up in Prime Minister’s Questions.

Now rehabilitated, the Magpies feel this is their moment to step back and step up in front.

It’s not just the destruction of the derby tag that the both camps can agree on.

There’s no question that they’ll nod along when opening up on play-off pain. They’ve both been there and can’t stomach adding another to the list this weekend.

Last summer really hurt. Notts devastated in the helter-skelter Eliminator against Grimsby Town, a year after Torquay United dished out a bruising semi-final exit.

They got all the way to Wembley - without fans - in Covid year, but didn't turn up, Harrogate helping themselves to promotion as the Magpies fans watched on at home heartbroken.

Chesterfield’s relationship with the play-offs may not be quite as toxic but they’ve suffered too.

Last May their semi-final defeat to Solihull Moors wasn’t totally unexpected after a late-season collapse only just saw them sneak a top seven spot.

The year before that, being part of one the great play-off ties was of no consolation as Mark Ellis' 90th-minute header gave Notts County the win in a 3-2 barnstormer.

So to Wembley and for one, it’s the National League end game.

As ever, it’s about composure under the Arch and who can handle the heat when it’s really turned up.

One thing you can guarantee is that it won’t disappoint. Popcorn at the ready!

The form
Notts County L-W-W-D-W
Chesterfield W-W-L-W-W

The top scorer:
Notts County: Macaulay Langstaff 42
Chesterfield Andrew Dallas 19

Where next?

Notts Landing Back In The EFL After Epic Final Notts County return to the EFL after a spectacular Promotion Final at Wembley.
Unibet's National League North Promotion Final Preview It’s safe to say that for either Brackley Town or Kidderminster Harriers, there will be some sweet relief come 6pm on Sunday evening.