Having suffered a shock defeat at FC Halifax Town on Friday, Wrexham went into the game having surrendered top spot to County with just a month of the season still to play.
But after falling behind to a John Bostock free kick in the third minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half, Wrexham fought back to surge 2-1 ahead with goals from Paul Mullin and Jacob Mendy before Kyle Cameron equalised for the visitors 15 minutes from time.
Elliot Lee pounced on calamitous defending to restore the lead three minutes later, however, and Wrexham were able to hold onto their lead and the victory, despite a nervous period of stoppage time at the end of the game, thanks to Foster’s heroics.
With Notts County having just three games left to play, the second-placed side can only reach 109 points. Having moved onto 103 points with this win, Wrexham will be able to clinch promotion with a draw at home to Boreham Wood on April 22 if they beat playoff hopefuls Barnet and relegation-threatened Yeovil in their next two games.
Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney celebrated in the stands as Wrexham moved closer to promotion from the National League in dramatic fashion on Saturday.
The Welsh club have shot to international fame through the reality television series ‘Welcome to Wrexham’, which charts the fortunes of the team since their 2020 sale to Reynolds and McElhenney.
Wrexham have played in the fifth-tier National League for the last 15 years, but, revitalised by their celebrity owners, they are on the verge of a return to the professional ranks in League Two.
And fittingly there was a plot twist ripped straight from a feelgood Hollywood movie as former England goalkeeper Ben Foster saved a stoppage-time penalty to preserve Wrexham’s vital victory.
After receiving the freedom of the borough at a civic ceremony earlier in the day, Reynolds and McElhenney watched John Bostock’s stunning free-kick put Notts County ahead late in the first half.
Paul Mullin and Jacob Mendy struck to give Wrexham a 2-1 lead before Kyle Cameron equalised 15 minutes from time.
But Elliot Lee quickly restored Wrexham’s advantage and the 40-year-old Foster, who came out of retirement last month after regular ‘keeper Rob Lainton was injured, saved Cedwyn Scott’s last-gasp penalty to spark wild celebrations from the club’s famous owners.
Wrexham sit top of the table, three points clear of second-placed County with a game in hand, putting them in pole position to secure the league’s only automatic promotion place.
The division, fifth-highest in the English football league system, features 24 teams, and the club that wins the league earns promotion to the fourth division, knowing as League Two. That league is three tiers below the Premier League. It’s a dramatic step because the top four tiers of English football are the ones covered as part of the English Football League. More or less, League 2 and higher are fully professional everything below that is semi-pro, or at least in a gray area.
Finishing in first place is huge because teams in second through seventh play in a playoff for one more promotion spot. Wrexham finished in second last season and did not win the playoff, failing to earn promotion that this season now looks likely.
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