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Joe Jones
Kevin Nolan has given his thoughts on Notts County's upcoming League Two clash at Grimsby Town and confirmed that Jorge Grant is in contention to make the squad.
The loanee was out with an ankle injury as the Magpies ran out 4-1 winners over Yeovil Town last weekend but has made a swift recovery.
With so much resting on Saturday's trip to Blundell Park, Nolan is pleased to be able to call on his top scorer as Notts seek to get into the top three.
"Jorge trained today and everything is fine," Nolan told the official Notts site on Thursdsy. "We feared the worst when it happened, but he’s a good healer and he’s got that determination.
"He took a few hits today, so I’m confident he’s back and raring to go. Jorge was rightly named in the PFA Team of the Year. He’s been brilliant all season long and you want players who have contributed as much as he has available to you.
"The lads have put themselves in a fantastic position to put the pressure on and we’ve secured a playoff place, which is an unbelievable achievement considering where we were 15 months ago. All we’ve got to do is keep winning. We want to build momentum, have a strong end to the season and we’ll see where we are.
"But we’ve got Grimsby in the way. They’re not mathematically safe and it’s their last home game of the season, which always has a good feeling about it. It’s another tough one - but it’s another we’re looking forward to."
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Joe Jones
Former Notts County defender Alan Sheehan has expressed his delight at losing his "nearly man" tag by winning promotion with Luton Town.
The Irishman had the captain’s armband as the Hatters sealed the deal in Cumbria where their 1-1 draw with Carlisle United was enough to ensure they will be playing League One football next term.
The promotion is Sheehan's first in his 13-year career so far and the player could not hide his delight.
“It’s my first official promotion," Sheehan told Dunstable Today. "I could claim some, but I won’t, this was my first one, so I’m absolutely delighted with it.
“I suppose I’ve been called the nearly man. A few play-off final losses, few playoff semis, a few losses on the final day, and stuff like that, so I’ve been close, but never quite got it. It’s brilliant.
“The Blackpool game (last season in the playoffs) was probably the worst I’ve felt and I suppose this year was the most that we wanted it as we were so determined to put it right, because it was a sickening night.
“I’ll never forget that as long as I live, but I do feel better now, now we can finally put it to bed. I was watching the highlights when I was on holiday with my missus, and she was like, ‘just enjoy your holiday’, I was like, ‘I can’t, I don’t think I can let this go.’
“But now I can finally, it was motivation, because we never wanted to feel like that again.”
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Joe Jones
What's been happening in League Two over the last week?
Here is Pride of Nottingham's round-up of the biggest League Two news from the last seven days.
- Accrington Stanley are likely to finish as League Two champions but the champagne currently remains on ice as Newport County ran out 2-1 winners at Rodney Parade on Tuesday night to deprive the Lancastrians of the point needed to seal the title.
- Luton Town have also secured promotion to League One, coming from behind on Saturday to claim a point at Carlisle United to send them back into the third tier for the first time in a decade.
- At the other end of the table, Chesterfield have been relegated, a second successive drop in divisions after falling from League One last year, and manager Jack Lester paid the price before relegation was mathematically confirmed as he left the Proact Stadium.
- At present, four teams will be vying for that all-important third-placed finish in the league - incumbents Wycombe Wanderers, Exeter City, Notts County, and Lincoln City.
- Sixth-placed Coventry City, meanwhile, are hoping to hold off Mansfield Town, the only team outside the top seven that can still get into the playoffs.
- Towards the bottom, Barnet are the likeliest side to go down, five points adrift of safety in 23rd place, but Morecambe and Grimsby Town could yet be pegged back if the Bees win their final two games and either the Shrimpers or the Mariners - whose goal difference is worse than Barnet's - make a mess of their next two games.
- Chelsea have been ordered to pay a £2.5m compensation fee to Exeter City following midfielder Ethan Ampadu's move to the club last summer. The two teams were unable to agree a fee when the 17-year old moved to Stamford Bridge in July last summer.
- Striker Nathan Tyson has signed a one-year contract extension with Wycombe. The 35-year-old has scored seven goals in 33 games since returning to the club last summer.
- Ronnie Henry, Stevenage's record appearance-maker, has signed a new one-year contract with the club. The 34-year-old set the new record when he played his 469th game for Stevenage against Morecambe in January.
- Cambridge United winger David Amoo has signed a one-year contract extension to stay with the club until the end of next season. Amoo has made 24 appearances in all competitions this term after arriving from Partick Thistle in May 2017.
- Luton manager Nathan Jones has stressed that it would take "something special" for him to leave Kenilworth Road. Jones, who was previously a coach at Brighton before taking over from John Still in January 2016, agreed a new four-year contract at Luton in January this year.
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Joe Jones
Matt Virtue has praised his teammates at Notts County for helping him out during his loan spell from Liverpool and is especially happy about Kevin Nolan's characteristics and man-management skills.
Since arriving in Nottingham, the 20-year-old took a while to find his feet but is now fully integrated in the squad, making 12 appearances so far, and he is enjoying the dressing-room atmosphere.
“All of them really (have taken him under their wing), I can’t fault any of them. All of them have been class," Virtue told the Nottingham Post.
“Obviously it’s my first loan spell, they’ve all helped. Shola’s (Ameobi) an experienced head and he’s been a massive help, but all of them have been a massive help. I couldn’t really single any of them out.
“What I’ve noticed about (Nolan), his man-management skills are really good. He gets the most out of his players like that second half performance at Colchester, he really got the best out of us and I’m really enjoying being underneath him, and learning quite a lot from him.
“Hopefully, being on the end of a successful promotion run with Notts into League One and then see where it takes me in pre-season. I’ll go back to Liverpool in pre-season, work as hard as I can and see what happens from there.”
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Joe Jones
Notts County manager Kevin Nolan has urged his players to "start standing up" and enjoy the pressure as they seek promotion from League Two.
The Magpies have secured a playoff spot at the very least but, with two games remaining, there is still a plausible chance of nicking a top three spot, which would ensure automatic promotion into League One.
“We’ve got to now start standing up,” Nolan told the Nottingham Post.
“We’ve been a bit indifferent for a while now. I think it’s partly that people are starting to question (the players), so they want to show people. It could maybe be a bit of that.
“For me, they’re working hard and just want to get success. They want success, this team. To be where we are at this moment in time, I’m absolutely delighted.
“We’re still within a shout of getting automatic promotion, and we would have loved the play-offs at the beginning of the season; I’m delighted we’ve secured that now.
“We’ve got to make sure we take momentum into it, and I didn’t realise we were only two points off Wycombe, now. It’s nice, isn’t it?
“There’s going to be drama, I’m delighted with it and we’re going to enjoy it. I’ve told the lads to enjoy this, because these are the best times, you know – the best times of your life.
“You’ll look back at these days. I still talk about the promotions I’ve had like they were yesterday, so it’ll be special.
"After what we walked into last January, to be involved in all that come the end of the season is absolutely fantastic for these boys and what they’ve done this year.”
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Joe Jones
Darren Way has admitted that Yeovil Town players were in disarray during the second half of their 4-1 loss at Notts County.
The Magpies took the lead on the stroke of half time as Dan Jones let rip with an audacious long-range effort which took a deflection and wrongfooted Glovers keeper John Maddison en route to goal.
Notts stepped up a gear in the second half, doubling their lead with a wonderful own goal from Tom James which soared into the top corner of the net from range.
The Glovers then unravelled at Meadow Lane as Elliott and Lewis Alessandra added more goals, before Alex Fisher scored an injury time consolation via a free kick.
Way admitted he was disappointed at the manner in which the game had got away from his players.
“When you look at Notts County, it’s very professional what they do, and we find ourselves 2-0 down, and then unfortunately we looked like we were in a little bit of chaos and the players couldn’t handle that pressure," he told Somerset Live.
“I’ve been here before, I know exactly what I’m managing, we’ve got some very young players out there and we’ve come up against a force today that unfortunately make the game very difficult and we explained to the players that Notts County are a club that are ready to take off again.
“They bring on Stead and Alessandra. Their squad is fully loaded with experience, and I don’t want to keep using that, but when you’re under a little bit of pressure and the experience that they can put you under, it looked as times as though they didn’t know what they were doing.
“I couldn’t say that about the whole first 45 minutes. I thought in the first half we played particularly well.”
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Joe Jones
Dan Jones has given his thoughts on Notts County's 4-1 win over Yeovil Town, the remarkable own goal scored by Glovers defender Tom James, the League Two playoff tilt and the atmosphere in the Notts camp.
The full-back opened the scoring for the Magpies late in the first half of Saturday's game at Meadow Lane, before James's woefully miscued back-facing clearance doubled the hosts' lead.
Elliott Hewitt and Lewis Alessandra added further gloss to the scoreline, with the final goal of the game netted by Yeovil's Alex Fisher as a consolation.
The result sealed a playoff place for Notts, while automatic promotion as per a top-three finish remains more than plausible.
The playoffs
“It is great to be in the playoffs, but we’re going a game at a time. We can only look after ourselves and keep winning.
“It’s nice to be part of a successful team - we have done really well. But we haven’t really thought about the playoffs yet.
“It’s another win and we keep the momentum going. We can only look after ourselves.”
The own goal
“I had the free kick first and if the lad in the wall wasn’t eight foot tall that was going in.
“But for the goal (Richard Thomas, assistant manager) has told me to get in those positions and get strikes off.
“Luckily it came off and then I don’t think I’ve seen an own goal like that.
“It was a mad one really and it was just our day really.
“He’s done well to get back in to cut the pass out but he’s put it in the top corner so what can you say?”
The atmosphere in the Notts camp
“An air of confidence has come back.
“Training has been good, bubbly, sharp and intense. Everyone is smiling and we’re looking like we were at the beginning of the season.
“I love playing for the gaffer, the coaching staff and the boys. It’s a feel-good place with no negativity.”
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Joe Jones
Notts County secured a spot in the League Two playoffs thanks to Saturday's resounding 4-1 win over Yeovil Town at Meadow Lane.
In addition, victory took the Magpies to within two points of third-placed Wycombe Wanderers - who lost 3-0 at Accrington Stanley - with two games left to play.
A superb own goal from Tom James and strikes from Elliott Hewitt and Lewis Alessandra added to Dan Jones's opener late in the first half, though Alex Fisher netted in injury time for the Glovers.
Here is some of the post-match reaction from the game at the San Sirrel.
Kevin Nolan
“I thought it was an outstanding performance and the score could have been more. It’s another great win to keep this momentum going.
“I’ve been saying all season long, we’re a team who have created lots of chances but we haven’t had that ruthlessness.
“We’ve worked doubly hard over the past few weeks to get more balls into the box and score more goals. Some of the goals and the finishing today was absolutely fantastic.
“The lads have stepped up to the plate over the past few weeks. They’ve been very positive and they’re driving each other on. I’m absolutely delighted for them.”
Dan Jones
“An air of confidence has come back. Training has been good, bubbly, sharp and intense.
"Everyone is smiling and we’re looking like we were at the beginning of the season.
“I love playing for the gaffer, the coaching staff and the boys. It’s a feel-good place with no negativity.
“We’re going a game at a time. We can only look after ourselves and keep winning.
“It’s nice to be part of a successful team - we have done really well.
"But we haven’t really thought about the play-offs yet. It’s another win and we keep the momentum going."
The Black & White Army
Richard Thompson: Took our chances , better 2nd half
Mick Jones: Still plenty of room for improvement, particularly with our defending at times but at least we made the most of the few chances that we created and guaranteed a play off spot at worst.
Julie Curwood: Amazing it was a fantastic win for us just wat we needed.u pies
Jay Dalton: what a performance everyone gave 100% cracking match get in Nolan's super notts black white army
Trevor Robinson: Best own goal I've ever see. What a cracker.
Ian Ale Goode: uuuu pies
David Nicholls: All the other results went our way...Still a slim chance of 3rd but play offs are a definite
Wolf Pack: Get in notts a play off place is ours now only 2 points off an automatic place uuuuuuu pieeessss ⚫⚪⚫⚪⚫⚪
Andrew Rayson: Well done all-round Notts
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Joe Jones
Notts County have secured a playoff place in League Two and could yet claim a top-three spot thanks to Saturday's 4-1 win over Yeovil Town at Meadow Lane.
The Magpies took the lead on the stroke of half time as Dan Jones let rip with an audacious long-range effort which took a deflection and wrongfooted Glovers keeper John Maddison en route to goal.
Notts stepped up a gear in the second half, doubling their lead with a wonderful own goal from Tom James before strikes from Elliott Hewitt and Lewis Alessandra put the hosts out of reach.
There was time for the visitors to bag a consolation and breach County's clean sheet as Alex Fisher netted in injury time from a free kick.
However, the result was in no doubt whatsoever and the Black & White Army could celebrate another huge step in the team's promotion bid.
Relive the key moments - including the worldie own goal - with the official match highlights, which we have shared here for you.
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ARLukomski
Notts County are guaranteed a playoff place in League Two and could yet break back into the top three thanks to Saturday's 4-1 win over Yeovil Town at Meadow Lane.
The Magpies took the lead on the stroke of half time as Dan Jones let rip with an audacious long-range effort which took a deflection and wrongfooted Glovers keeper John Maddison en route to goal.
Notts stepped up a gear in the second half, doubling their lead with a wonderful own goal from Tom James before strikes from Elliott Hewitt and Lewis Alessandra put the hosts out of reach.
There was time for the visitors to bag a consolation and breach County's clean sheet as Alex Fisher netted in injury time from a free kick.
However, the result was in no doubt whatsoever and the Black & White Army could celebrate another huge step in the team's promotion bid.
Victory took the Magpies to within two points of third-placed Wycombe with two games left to play.
Pride of Nottingham vlogger ARLukomski recorded his matchday experience at the San Sirrel and shared his thoughts before, during and after the match.
Follow ARLukomski on his YouTube channel by clicking here.
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Joe Jones
Kevin Nolan says he is "absolutely delighted" to have steered Notts County to a playoff place in League Two and wants the Magpies to win the next two games and "finish off in style".
Notts hammered Yeovil Town 4-1 on Saturday which, combined with other results, has guaranteed them a place in the top seven.
With two games left, the Magpies still have a chance to claim an automatic promotion place, which Nolan is gunning for.
“One of the staff made me aware when I walked back in after the game and I am absolutely delighted,” he told the Nottingham Post.
“Everybody would have snapped your hand off at the start of the season if we would have been offered a play-off place.
“But I am delighted for the lads because they’ve been brilliant all season long and I want them to finish off in style.
“I want to win the next two games because you get your just rewards when you do that.”
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Joe Jones
Notts County have secured a spot in the League Two playoffs thanks to Saturday's resounding 4-1 win over Yeovil Town at Meadow Lane.
In addition, victory took the Magpies to within two points of third-placed Wycombe Wanderers - who lost 3-0 at Accrington Stanley - with two games left to play.
Both sides traded blows throughout the first half, Jonathan Forte riflling a shot past the post before hitting the bar with an audacious lob but Yeovil also having numerous opportunities to open the scoring.
However, it was Notts that took the lead on the stroke of half time as Dan Jones let rip with an audacious long-range effort which took a deflection and wrongfooted Yeovil keeper John Maddison en route to goal.
After the restart, the hosts doubled their advantage in comical fashion, Liam Noble's cross in the 54th minute being emphatically thumped into the visitors' net by Glovers defender Tom James from around 20 yards out as he attempted a clearance.
Elliott Hewitt made it three on 69 minutes, cutting in from the left and bearing down on goal before firing low past Maddison.
And four minutes later it was four, Lewis Alessandra latching onto Forte's ball and dribbling past two defenders before netting from close range.
Although Alex Fisher netted a consolation in injury time from a free kick, the result was in no doubt whatsoever and the Black & White Army could celebrate another huge step in the team's promotion bid.
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Joe Jones
Alan Hardy has expressed his delight with Notts County for both their progress on the pitch and off the pitch.
The Magpies prepare to face Yeovil Town at Meadow Lane this afternoon and, should results go their way, a playoff place will be mathematically guaranteed.
Writing in the Nottingham Post, Hardy said: "If somebody had told me at the beginning of the season that on April 21 we would be in contention to secure a play-off spot, I would have snapped their hand off.
"Yet here we are, preparing for our penultimate home game of the season knowing if we better Mansfield’s result we’ll be guaranteed a top-seven finish.
"That would be an excellent achievement for us – particularly with another two games left to play - and, while it certainly won’t be easy, I have every faith that the players will get their part of the job done. Then it’ll be over to Mansfield!
"Of course, if things don’t go to plan there’ll be no panic from our side. No matter what happens this season, it’s been a terrific performance from the players, management, supporters and staff.
"The progress we’ve made both on and off the field is remarkable – as demonstrated by the recent news that we have been nominated for three prestigious awards by sports hospitality experts Stadium Experience.
"This recognition comes after a season of rapid progression in the commercial side of the business.
"In the summer we refurbished two of our biggest suites, rebranded our packages and worked on improving the quality of food and service in all our corporate areas.
"It’s our vision to become a world-class venue for both matchday and non-matchday events and these nominations show we are now operating on a par with some of the biggest sports clubs in the country.
"I’d like to congratulate our commercial director, Amanda Fletcher, and all members of staff – casual and full-time – for contributing to this wonderful achievement.
"I’m very grateful to everyone who supports us in our efforts to generate additional revenue, which is absolutely essential for a club like ours.
"Ticket revenue is by far our biggest earner but, if we’re to compete at the level we want to, we must maximise our ‘through the week’ income streams and be imaginative in our search for new ones.
"We’re already working at a level which I feel belies our current position in the football pyramid but we have to keep striving for more in order to support the growth we’re hoping to achieve on the pitch.
"Here’s to another three points against Yeovil Town this weekend."
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Joe Jones
Head to head
Notts County and Yeovil Town have met 16 times over the years.
The first game took place at Meadow Lane on 4 November 1961, with the Magpies beating their opponents 4-2 in the FA Cup.
That was the only meeting of the two pre-21st century - the 15 meetings following that game all took place between 2004 and this year.
The last meeting came on 21 November last year, a 1-1 draw at Huish Park.
Yeovil have the upper edge in the head-to-head with seven wins, five defeats and four draws against Notts.
Notts have won just one of their last nine league games against Yeovil, and are winless their last four matches against the Glovers/
Yeovil have lost just one of their last four league trips to face Notts, despite failing to score in each of their last two visits to Meadow Lane.
Stats
The Magpies have won back-to-back league games for the first time since they won six games in a row ending in September.
The Glovers have lost consecutive league games without scoring a goal in either. They last lost three in a row without scoring in March 2015.
Jonathan Forte has scored three goals in his last two league games, as many as he managed in his previous 23 combined.
History
Yeovil Football Club was founded in 1890, and shared their ground with the local rugby club for many years.
Five years later they were renamed Yeovil Casuals and started playing home games at the Pen Mill Athletic Ground.
In 1907 the name Yeovil Town was adopted, which on amalgamation with Petters United became Yeovil and Petters United. The name reverted to Yeovil Town prior to the 1946–47 season.
The Somerset outfit have spent most of their existence in the lower leagues, though they briefly made a name for themselves in the 1948-49 season when they beat Sunderland 2-1 in the FA Cup fourth round.
In the 1980s, Yeovil were founder members of the Football Conference, where they remained for the next two decades, save for a few relegations to the Isthmian League which usually resulted in an instant return to the above tier.
Yeovil Town earned promotion to the Football League in the 2002-03 season, by winning the Football Conference by a record 17 points margin, accumulating 95 points and scoring 100 goals, remaining unbeaten at Huish Park.
In their second ever season in the Football League, the Glovers went one better by achieving promotion to the third tier as champions of League Two.
Then, in the following years even reached the League One playoffs, beating Nottingham Forest in the semi-finals in 2006-07 before losing to Blackpool in the final at Wembley.
Six years later, however, Yeovil achieved what had been deemed unthinkable a decade earlier - they reached the second tier of English football after beating Brentford in the 2013 League One play-off final.
Their stay in the Championship was brief, however, and they went on to suffer back-to-back relegations, leaving them in the bottom tier of the Football League where they still ply their trade.
Team news
Jon Stead could return to the Notts starting line-up, having made his return from injury at Colchester United last Saturday as a substitute.
That game came too soon for Terry Hawkridge but the winger could feature this weekend.
Yeovil are still without former Notts man Francois Zoko, who has one game left to serve on his suspension, while it may be too early for Sam Surridge.
Nathan Smith, Artur Krysiak, James Bailey, Dan Alfei remain sidelined, as does Jake Gray, while goalkeeper Stuart Nelson will not play again this season.
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Joe Jones
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way is eager for his side to go all out against Notts County on Saturday and claim the points which will guarantee their place in League Two this season.
The Glovers need just two points to be sure of their place in the division next season, while safety can also be assured if bottom side Chesterfield fail to win at Forest Green Rovers.
While Yeovil have been in no immediate danger of the drop in recent weeks, Way is looking to get the team safe as soon as possible, and will be pushing for victory at Meadow Lane.
“You want to officially get the job done, that’s for sure, as a manager and a team, so the club can make decisions on contracts, the future of the football club, the budget for next year and not to be looking over our shoulder," Way told Somerset Live.
“I’ve always felt in control and confident in the remit of what we’ve had to do and I will maintain that stance because I’ve not tried to put any pressure on the players or show any anxiousness or just come in, do the job and do everything that we can within the process to put in a performance.”
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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest league football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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