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Match Discussion: Game 1 - The Spitfires (A)


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Game 1 - The Spitfires (A)

Team: EastLeigh

Date: 03/08/19

Where: Ten Acres

What line-up should Neal Ardley opt for? What will be the key areas for the Magpies to get a victory? What do you think the final score will be?

Have your say below, join in with the Pride of Nottingham match discussion.

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I honestly don't know what to expect, later I aim to watch how Eastleigh has played over the past couple of years and this past pre-season.

The game will probably start off slow, I think Notts should be mindful of going straight at them, but I would hope we could try to space things out early on. Get a real feel for the opposition, of course an early goal would ease things, but the game won't be that easy. The loss of Kristian Dennis and Matt Tootle will be a blow, fingers crossed Nathan Tyson is signed in time.

Remaye Campbell could be close to starting.

Bring on Eastleigh! #COYP

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Not a clue! There are so many questions about the team we'll put out. The trialists have already played for us in pre-season, but other signings may well come from leftfield, such as Ben Turner today. So we'll have some unknown players out there for us, plus possibly some youngsters, and in all likelihood a first 11 that has never played together before.

On top of that we know little about the opposition, but I'm expecting a tough game. Eastleigh made the play-offs last season and are seasoned at this level now. They also have money to burn and Football League ambitions. I'd be happy to take a point with us and a few positive signs from our new-look team.

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Eastleigh are a decent side. Ben Williamson in midfield is one to watch out for. They lost their top goalscorer, Paul McCallum, over the Summer. He scored 26 goals in the league last season. Next highest scorer was Williamson with 7 so you can see what a loss McCallum is to them. Eastleigh will start on the front foot and try and blow Notts away. Notts need to stand up to that, I'd worry about the fact that the back 4 won't have played together before. My heart says Notts will win, but my head says home win, Notts will only get better as the season goes on, top 6 is a real possibility. With a bit of luck, Notts could be champions. 

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I believe the first 8 games will show if this squad is capable of bouncing back at the first attempt, Eastleigh are nothing more than a typical good team in this league. Nothing flash, they just work well together.

I hope the quality brought into the club is enough to generate a spark from the opening games.

Don't get me wrong, I don't expect fireworks but getting off to some sort of bang would settle the teams nerves. I don't fear relegation, I think a good vibe will flow this season. I can see the game ending up as a draw, unless we hammer them.

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I'm going to play guess the team, just for the hell of it.


Zoum - Turner - Bird - Tootle (if fit)

Boldewijn - O'Brien - Doyle - Rose

Tyson - Hemmings

I'd like to see Crawford get the nod, but I think NA will select Doyle. It'll also be interesting to see whether Enzio is picked up front, but as our only winger (apart from Osborne, who probably won't start) he'll probably be out wide. I can also see McCrory getting the nod at left-back as he has a pre-season with the squad behind him, whereas Zoum has only been on board for a couple of days.

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I think it shown how the players haven’t had long to train together, they looked very flaky and at times very unsure defensively.

Straight from the off I could see the weak areas, Oxlade-Chamberlain really didn’t have a good game. Michael Doyle played poor, he’s a lot like Richard Duffy with how he whines and complains about things - yet fails to get stuck in. I’m not impressed, it’s made worse by his sending off.

For me, Notts wasn’t creative enough. At times the play was decent, yet someone would always rush things. It shows what this league is all about, yet I’m not overly disappointed.

Eastleigh played a smart game, they knew when to break our attacks and how to punish Notts.

They could have been 3 up at least, so losing by a single goal shows that if lessons Steve learnt here and the players apply themselves better, results can come.

The first few fixtures are games whereby clubs feel each other out, start to get full fitness in the squad and establish a regular starting 11.

This would help massively, yet creatively it should be better.

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That game just shows we have plenty to do , and are some way behind in our prep for the season which is understandable the summer the club has endured . 

One thing about the comments from the gaffa I want to question though, our good support lifts other teams when we visit , and our ground lifts them when they come here , well just make sure it’s a positive for our lads instead of banging on it being so good for others , that’s kind of negative to me that is . COYP

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To me sitting at home in front of the radio that felt like last season. That's probably unfair as we have so many new players, some of which have barely trained together. But our defenders getting bullied and the lack of chances at the other end brings up unpleasant memories. Hopefully things will get better with more match practice and a couple of additions in wide areas. If not, the disastrous summer will soon be forgotten and Neal Ardley could find himself under pressure.

Another factor is that Eastleigh are a decent team at this level and reached the play-offs last season. They have EFL ambitions and are probably better than many teams who have us a pasting last season.

To those of you who went, how did you find it? What was the standard like? How did the new additions get on? And what was the matchday experience like?

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A bit disappointed for us not to take the 3 points but we did start 6 out of the 7 new signings. They only had 48 hours to gel and a couple of players yesterday it was  actual there debut. Micheal Doyle being sent off ideal and for me that proves he shouldn’t be captain his performance was  mediocre at best and thst not good enough for a captain. 

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It sounded like Notts struggled with height and a team used to the standard of play, I think if Neal Ardley wants to focus on pretty passing football, he needs to make sure two strikers are in central positions. It seems a waste to see the wide areas occupied by players who are better on goal.

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