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Match Discussion: Game 2 - The Robins (H)


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Game 2 - The Robins (H)

Team: Altrincham

Date: 07/10/2020

Where: Meadow Lane

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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There will be a lot more pressure on Notts leading into the game, but I do feel being at Meadow Lane will help [even though fans are unable to attend].

I'm not sure what line-up I would opt for, but I would hope to see us go for it.

One issue Notts struggled to do against Dover, is play beyond their defensive line. We had to take shots with plenty of bodies behind, so creatively we need to work on this but the stress of calling for Neal Ardley's head won't have the same effect as if we were present at the games. That's one thankful thing, but the grit to get forward does need to be focused on.

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One thing we can be sure of, NA won't be able to use the grass/surface as an excuse! 

Our visitors are up and running after a 0-0 draw at home to Weymouth. The conditions were awful so I don't think much was learned about our opponents. They won the NL North Playoff beating Chester, York and Boston. They averaged almost 2 goals a game, but conceded 40 in 33 games. 

This is a game Notts should be winning if we want to go up. NA needs to take the game to them and not be as cautious as Saturday. This game is made for Enzio. Unleash him from the start. I know he's hit and miss but he's an incredible talent at this level. 

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Hopefully the conditions will be fine, I know there's rain forecasted but its supposed to ease up by time the game starts.

I am sure Meadow Lane will be in perfect condition.

Don't forget that the game is being aired on BT Sports.


It would be nice to see Ardley opt for a more attacking minded team, it's good Cal Roberts played but we need to be mindful about the fixtures. I think Notts should do much better at home.

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If we want to play 4 in midfield O’Brien out wide is okay as last resort or for one game where the tactics suit but we can’t try and shoe-horn Reeves, Doyle and him into the team every game.

No idea where Rodrigues will play now it seems the diamond (a formation suited for him) is presumably back on the drawing board, he’s skilful but I think ultimately he’ll lack the pace to provide much threat out wide. 4-2-3-1 would work but scarifies a striker and Ardley likes playing 2 upfront…

I’d stick with the 4-4-2, but put Enzio in for O’Brien. I’d like to see Rodrigues in, but where/how at the minute I’m not sure.

We’re better at home but I think we’ll be a bit cagey given our last result.

1-0, Roberts to score.

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Rodrigues should play as an AM, play him just behind the strikers in an attacking role.

It would be a lot of work for him, as he would need to pull back and cover with Doyle. This is why it would be good to have 2 wingers who could actually defend, not a luxury. I mean Roberts is perfectly fine but Ardley spoke about wanting us to attack in a line. There's very little support currently for those out wide.

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3 hours ago, liampie said:

i have no idea about them, they gained promotion last season? think they will want to come fighting and making it hard for notts. we need to be at our best, 3 points would make a big difference.

Yes, but they're a classic Conference team - they won the division in its first two seasons (1980 and 1981), but automatic promotion to the League was only introduced a few years later so they missed out. Part-timers. They'll probably be happy to stay up.

I wouldn't mind seeing Rodders to give us a creative spark, but a midfield with him and two wingers is very attacking. Alternatively we could try a 3-5-2, a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-2-3-1 (I know you lose a striker with the latter two, but what's the point in having two strikers if they never get the ball? And with 4-2-3-1 we have the possibility of having Enzio, Rodders and Roberts playing just behind Wootton, who would be quite a handful).

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Some form of creativity from the centre needs to be injected, if Notts lose tomorrow I won't complain, but if I was Neal Ardley I would drag the whole squad into training however best this may be done and have them work hard towards Saturday.

I feel quietly confident that the points can be picked up, its for us to prove ourselves.

I would like to see Sam start, some might complain if he starts but we have to mix things off. Let's face it, if he scored the winner, nobody would say anything.

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7 hours ago, Alex said:

Ha-ha, me too.

Is there some kind of preview of this season to understand who is who in the league?

Here's a summary:

Promoted to the Football League: Barrow & Harrogate

Relegated to the National League: Macclesfield (Looks like they are going to be wound up but won't be replaced)

Promoted to the National League: King's Lynn, Altrincham, Weymouth and Wealdstone

Relegated from the National League: Ebbsfleet, Chorley, AFC Fylde

The reason 4 were promoted and 3 were relegated is down to Bury's expulsion from the League. However it will be an odd number of teams again as Macclesfield will be thrown out. 

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If the squad can handle the frustration of last Saturday, work harder and be more creative on goal. Then the result could be completely different, I don't feel Notts can afford to lose the first two opening games.

We need to get Callum Roberts working well with whoever starts behind him, and the midfield to work harder to support the strikers.

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Tactically, Notts have to be spot on tonight.

With the cameras at Meadow Lane for BT Sports, a poor performance or result could lead to further people being put off from watching. I would stick with the same starting line up, see if things can be improved on. Then rest certain players for the weekend.

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Honestly, I would've given Enzio a chance - last season despite his poor form we couldn't get him out of our team.

This is the type of match he should do better in, plus we need to save legs.

The bench looks strong though! I can't wait to get the kick off underway. COYP!!

PS. A small group of members are in the match chat - https://prideofnottingham.co.uk/chat/chatroom/2-match-chat/

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Just before the 2nd goal went in, I thought Notts looked to be a lot more settled on the ball. It was a quite a slow start at first, I think the visitors have done well. Do they look out of their depth? No, I think they've attacked well.

We just look a lot better on goal, now a penalty has been given!!

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My thoughts:

I felt surprised by how attacking minded Altrincham came, they played with urgency and, a very high tempo. I did feel nervous for some time, as we played sluggish and, seemed far too deep. However, the opening goal changed that. It did come at a point I felt we were lucky, yet Kyle Wootton perfectly placed his shot.

Jim O'Brien was always vocal throughout the game, giving instructions and, Wes Thomas has shown what he has about him.

His chasing to retain the ball, keep it in and, then put in the cross for the 2nd goal. Absolute class!

Kyle Wootton showing for a tall guy that he reads the game as good as anyone.

That 2nd goal changed things, we seemed more lively and encouraged. The difference an early goal makes is always a positive thing, but I still felt we looked a risk at the back a little. There was times where we panicked for no reason. I'm not taking anything from Altrincham, I just felt on goal they lacked but they passed the ball on the floor very well.

Second half, Notts looked like a team wanting to prove a point.

Not only did we take our time with passing, but Notts grew well into the game and, the third goal sealed the victory. We could've had a number of more goals, however, I still feel this would've been harsh on our opponent.

I wanted Kyle Wootton to get his first senior hattrick, he really did deserve it.

Credit to Altrincham for their stunning goal, it was always an exhibition in terms of quality with the finishing. 3 points on the table also feels better, it might cut out some of the worrying our fanbase has been up-to. COYP!

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