League Two
Swindon3Notts County1

Swindon Town 3-1 Notts County: Magpies relegated to National League

Notts County players look dejected
Notts County conceded a league-high 84 goals this season

Notts County have dropped out of the English Football League for the first time in their history after their final-day loss at Swindon Town.

The world's oldest professional league team and one of the Football League's founder members, Notts are arguably the biggest club to have ever suffered relegation to non-league.

The Magpies needed to win and hope relegation rivals Macclesfield Town lost to stay in League Two, but Sol Campbell's Silkmen drew 1-1 with Cambridge United, while County ultimately fell to defeat.

When Kane Hemmings put County ahead from the spot they looked set to survive - with Macclesfield a goal down at that time - but a Kaiyne Woolery strike and a Theo Robinson double for the Robins consigned the visitors to the fifth tier.

The Magpies were eight points from safety at the end of January but, when Hemmings converted his penalty after Craig Mackail-Smith was felled in the box, the 2,248 travelling fans believed a great escape was on.

Sam Stubbs headed over as Neal Ardley's side pushed for a second goal but it did not matter in the end as Macclesfield got the draw they needed and Swindon then completed a comeback victory.

Woolery slotted a leveller before Robinson pounced on a defensive mix-up to make it 2-1, with the striker turning home a corner to complete the scoring and ensure the Robins finish the season in 13th place.

End of an era for Magpies

Last month, manager Ardley described Notts County's 157-year history as an "extra burden" as they battled to stay up.

Ardley is one of three different managers to have taken charge of County during a tumultuous 2018-19 campaign, which has also seen the Magpies suffer financial problems off the pitch.

Former AFC Wimbledon boss Ardley took over in November after Harry Kewell's sacking, the ex-Liverpool midfielder having only replaced Kevin Nolan as manager 10 weeks earlier.

Under Nolan, Notts County reached the League Two play-offs last season and looked set for another promotion challenge - but they now find themselves preparing for life outside the EFL, having been one of 10 teams to have featured in every season since the formation of the League in 1888.

It is not even clear who will be at the helm in the National League, with owner Alan Hardy saying he had accepted an offer from a "very credible party" to buy the club, though Ardley has already said he wants to stay on at the club.

County are also due to be back in the High Court on 5 June, after a winding-up petition over an unpaid tax bill was adjourned last month.

Analysis

Charlie Slater, BBC Radio Nottingham's Notts County correspondent

"It is the end of an era and ultimately the darkest day in the football club's 157-year history, undoubtedly.

"The club will have to restructure and, unfortunately, an inevitable consequence of relegation could be that people will lose their jobs.

"From a football standpoint, it's the culmination of a season from hell. Only Notts County could start a campaign as promotion favourites and end it staring into the abyss of non-league.

"And there is no guarantee that they will bounce straight back up. As far as I am aware, only three teams in the past 15 years have managed immediate promotion following relegation from the EFL.

"Obviously they will hope any stay in non-league will be a short one but the fear is that the end of this era could prompt the start of a new one based largely outside of the league that for so long they have called home."

Line-ups

Swindon

  • 23McCormick
  • 2Knoyle
  • 26Conroy
  • 33Broadbent
  • 29Koiki
  • 3DoughtyBooked at 38minsSubstituted forMcGilpat 72'minutes
  • 19CarrollSubstituted forTaylorat 78'minutes
  • 37Bennett
  • 22WoolerySubstituted forCurranat 90+2'minutes
  • 35Robinson
  • 10Anderson

Substitutes

  • 6Lancashire
  • 9Richards
  • 12Henry
  • 18House
  • 31Taylor
  • 34Curran
  • 36McGilp

Notts County

  • 27Schofield
  • 16BrisleySubstituted forBoldewijnat 25'minutes
  • 18Stubbs
  • 3Bird
  • 26Rose
  • 8VaughanSubstituted forSteadat 72'minutes
  • 21O'Brien
  • 43Doyle
  • 24Milsom
  • 28Mackail-Smith
  • 15Hemmings

Substitutes

  • 1Fitzsimons
  • 7Alessandra
  • 10Gomis
  • 11Boldewijn
  • 25Evina
  • 30Stead
  • 33Dunn
Referee:
Steve Martin
Attendance:
8,676

Match Stats

Home TeamSwindonAway TeamNotts County
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home10
Away4
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home17
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Swindon Town 3, Notts County 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Swindon Town 3, Notts County 1.

Corner, Notts County. Conceded by Matthew Taylor.

Substitution

Substitution, Swindon Town. Taylor Curran replaces Kaiyne Woolery.

Corner, Swindon Town. Conceded by Ryan Schofield.

Attempt saved. Matthew Taylor (Swindon Town) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Goal!

Goal! Swindon Town 3, Notts County 1. Theo Robinson (Swindon Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner following a corner.

Kyle Bennett (Swindon Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Mitch Rose (Notts County).

Attempt missed. Matthew Taylor (Swindon Town) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

Kaiyne Woolery (Swindon Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mitch Rose (Notts County).

Foul by Kyle Bennett (Swindon Town).

Enzio Boldewijn (Notts County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Theo Robinson (Swindon Town).

Jim O'Brien (Notts County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Kyle Knoyle (Swindon Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Robert Milsom (Notts County).

Foul by Theo Robinson (Swindon Town).

Jim O'Brien (Notts County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Enzio Boldewijn (Notts County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ali Koiki (Swindon Town).

Foul by Kyle Knoyle (Swindon Town).

Kane Hemmings (Notts County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Swindon Town. Matthew Taylor replaces Canice Carroll.

Corner, Notts County. Conceded by Kyle Bennett.

Goal!

Goal! Swindon Town 2, Notts County 1. Theo Robinson (Swindon Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

Enzio Boldewijn (Notts County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cameron McGilp (Swindon Town).

Substitution

Substitution, Notts County. Jon Stead replaces David Vaughan.

Substitution

Substitution, Swindon Town. Cameron McGilp replaces Michael Doughty.

Goal!

Goal! Swindon Town 1, Notts County 1. Kaiyne Woolery (Swindon Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Foul by Robert Milsom (Notts County).

Keshi Anderson (Swindon Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Enzio Boldewijn (Notts County) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Sam Stubbs (Notts County) header from very close range is too high.

Corner, Notts County. Conceded by Dion Conroy.

Corner, Notts County. Conceded by Dion Conroy.

Kyle Knoyle (Swindon Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Robert Milsom (Notts County).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lincoln City462316773433085
2Bury4622131182562679
3MK Dons4623101371492279
4Mansfield4620161069412876
5Forest Green4620141268472174
6Tranmere4620131363501373
7Newport462011155959071
8Colchester4620101665531270
9Exeter4619131460491170
10Stevenage462010165955470
11Carlisle46208186762568
12Crewe46198196059165
13Swindon461616145956364
14Oldham461614166760762
15Northampton461419136463161
16Cheltenham461512195768-1157
17Grimsby46168224556-1156
18Morecambe461412205470-1654
19Crawley46158235168-1753
20Port Vale461213213955-1649
21Cambridge461211234066-2647
22Macclesfield461014224874-2644
23Notts County46914234884-3641
24Yeovil46913244166-2540
View full League Two table

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