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First team to qualify into National League playoff semi finals via the quarter finals confirmed

The first team to qualify into the National League playoff semi finals has been confirmed following the first of two quarter final ties.

Notts County, who were the home side for this encounter, finished fifth in the final standings, whilst their opposition, Chesterfield, ended up in sixth for the regular season.

For all quarter final (eliminator) matches, they will go to extra-time and penalties if it finishes in a stalemate.

Going into this game, the winners knew that they would travel to Torquay United, who finished second, in the semi-final on Saturday the 12th of June.

The playoff final will controversially take place at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate on the 20th of June, in a bid for promotion up to League Two along with Sutton United.

Right then, so who were the confirmed first team to qualify into the National League playoff semi finals?

It was nearly the perfect start for the hosts Notts County as Wootton almost scored within 25 seconds after pouncing on a weak header back by Gunning. Montgomery saved with his legs.

Just after that, Miller got down the left for Notts, his low cross took a deflection off a Chesterfield man but Montgomery gathered at his near post. Bright start from the hosts.

Just as it was looking good for the Magpies, Danny Rowe blasted Chesterfield into the lead from a 30-yard free-kick. 1-0 Spireites on the 28th minute.

They couldn’t hold onto that lead for very long, a minute in fact as Notts County hit back with an equaliser through Kyle Wootton.

Fan writer ‘Ben’ said via the Derbyshire Times website: “Wow. What a mad few minutes at Meadow Lane. First, The Spireites took the lead, likely against the run of the play, through an absolute thunderbolt of a free-kick from Danny Rowe. However, no sooner had Town fans stop celebrating, Notts County were level. A bit of a defensive calamity from Chesterfield there, and they’ve just got to put that out of their minds, go again, and try and get in front once more. It’s bubbling up nicely here, and you feel that the team that can remain the most composed amongst it all will be the one that emerges victorious. I wouldn’t like to call this one from here.”

Following some more nice play from Notts County, and then a chance for Chesterfield, the away side re-took the lead with three minutes until half time.

A lovely move on the counter, with Mandeville finishing it from six yards after good hold-up play by Rowe and a great cross by Clarke. 2-1 Chesterfield going into the break.

Notts County again started the second half well, Chesterfield got themselves in a slight of a mix-up and the Magpies flashed the ball across the six-yard box but there was nobody there for the hosts.

James Montgomery went down injured before the 60th minute mark with no substitute keeper on the bench. Luckily he got a strapping on his need and was able to carry on.

Chesterfield then went on the counter with Mandeville, he played in McCourt whose shot/cross was blocked. Game was suddenly wide open after the hour mark.

There was a penalty shout for Notts County when Jake Reeves went down in the box after a challenge from McCourt but the appeal was waved away.

With 18 minutes to go, Notts County again got an equaliser thanks to Wootton, before there was a big chance for Tyson to give Chesterfield the lead for a third time but his touch was too heavy and then Weston fired wide.

Another chance saw Tyson beat the offside trap, he was one-on-one with Slocombe but the Notts keeper blocked it for a corner.

It was heartbreak for Chesterfield. Goal for Notts, 3-2. 90th minute. Mark Ellis sneaked round the back from a free-kick and headed in.

Fan writer Ben again spoke via Derbyshire Times, saying: “Well, the Spireites have battled and battled here, but right at the end, they’ve let themselves down there. Notts County’s Mark Ellis given the freedom of Nottingham to head the ball home and put the hosts in front. 3-2 Notts County, and The Spireites have got just 5 minutes to avoid heartbreak here.”

Attendance: 4,569.

Fans reacted as the first team to qualify into the National League playoff semi finals were confirmed…

ON NOTTS COUNTY’S TWITTER:

@Kaibooth3: This is why I love this club

@JJames_2020: Congrats fellas. By far the best game of football I’ve seen all season. Great atmosphere too

@LeeDeason7: Well done. Always had a soft spot for you, as a Luton fan. Great game of football. Long way to go but hope you make it back to the football league, where you deserve to be.

@mrroberts63: A wonderful spirit this team has, get the fuck in!, keep gannin fellas

@magpiemat: Yoooouuuu pies!!!!!

@SJTHarrison: Fantastic. Bogey team defeated. That’s a huge step Notts, well done

@petewood96: WHAT. A. GAME.

@MilkmanHero: Good news for that Chesterfield goalscorer with his imaginary golf club celebration, now you can spend the next couple of weeks trying to find your imaginary ball.

@Johnnysmalls78: Get the chuff in.Don’t do that to me again. 2-0 wins in the next two games please.

@MrAnthonyCarter: As a neutral , that 2nd half was enthralling and you deserved to win . Wootton is a top striker at this level and next week could be another cracking match.

@WAMBAR12: Just a shame we can’t do #Torquay away. We would take 5,000 if we could.

@NeilH_ncfc1862: Superb. Take that Chesterfurlough

@stevierobatkins: What a signing Ellis has turned out to be!

ON CHESTERFIELD’S TWITTER:

@gammaray156: Don’t worry lads, you did us more proud than we could ever imagine! If you told me in November, we would be in the playoffs, I would have bit your hand off! Let us gather ourselves and push on next season!

@sm_porter94: Don’t worry lads, you can always furlough this squad and go again next season 😂😂😂😂😂

@Tomsanderson121: I’ll be glad to see you get hammered 4-0 in the next round

@lukeCFC25: Brilliant performance, one step too many but next season will be fantastic if we carry on.

@sweetangel1st: Wasn’t to be.. Proud of everyone of you lads , you’ve had a brilliant season.. STID

@scott_fullwood: Couldn’t be more prouder of the lads 9 key players out a goalie standing on 1 leg majority of second half ,home support against you. remember what Jr said end of Daggers game …. New Season bring it on… bleed blue+white

@RobCFC88: We go again next season , so proud we’ll done boys x

@DMaz51: Sad but what a turn round from the early stages of the season. Heads up and start next season strongly.

@chris_spireites: Correct result to be fair, think over 90 mins we didn’t deserve to win. Think there’s a few things for James Rowe to learn from today. It’s good to see so many fans from other clubs following us tho, even if it is to rub it in, we are still living in their heads

Now that the first team to qualify into National League playoff semi finals is confirmed, can you see them winning the playoffs?

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