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TheSkipper
With Notts County piling up with fixtures back in December, the club managed to pick up 10 points from a possible 12; it highlights how beneficial mixing up what was becoming a stale squad can be.
The previous month as we all know, Notts struggled to pick up points and fans including our very own Chris and ARLukomski called for the introduction of fringe players.
Tom Crawford who hadn't appeared for Notts since the away defeat in 2018/19 to Mansfield, has managed to be called upon and despite being relatively quiet in the Solihull Moors game, he hasn't had a lot of football so a few quiet performances can be excused in my opinion.
Additionally, Notts County Academy product Sam Osborne has made a return to featuring and did excellently in the FA Trophy game against Chesterfield, backing it up with another impressive performance against Maidenhead United where he scored his home debut at Meadow Lane.
As the run of fixtures came in thick and fast, the club needed to adapt and allow for critical players to rest in favour of someone else desperate to get match minutes.
I don’t feel any individual players are guaranteed to start, as this is part of the issue, when some regularly perform at a subpar standard.
Alex Lacey who had to wait for Ben Turner to pick up an injury to start has been a shining example at the back, and he has grown already within the role, partnering Connell Rawlinson very well.
With the return of Dion Kelly-Evans who offers a lot of pace, his effort to get involved has been an enormous relief to see on the pitch.
I wonder, why Neal Ardley waited so long to introduce some fresh players to mix things up.
One possibility I have already touched upon, that being the frequencies of how often Notts had to play but, it makes you question could earlier results have been different if it was sooner?

December changed the mood in the supporters, reawakening fans and a real belief that the club can go up has been re-inserted into the minds of many.
No question this will take a lot of work, with the return to action in 2020 only seeing a draw but that is a good enough start in my eyes, Notts won't cruise past any team in the National League comfortably.
The fans need to have a level of optimism, pride and a noticeable amount of fight from the squad.
December has proven that Neal Ardley can make successful changes, changes which need not be forced but implement as a way to keep legs fresh.
January will rely on much of the same approach, with players who can be saved for the crucial odd appearance rather than playing each game and becoming jaded.
If we allow Ben Turner to rest appropriately, perhaps he will be able to come back stronger? I think it would be harsh on Alex Lacey to be dropped, and I believe Connell Rawlinson has been superb in recent games.
With the addition of the latest capture, which seems to be a real coup for Notts. I would like to see Cal Roberts take up the opposite side of the pitch allowing Sam Osborne to remain in the first team, development-wise Ozzy won't always be a standout player but provided he's learning. It will only benefit the club further.
With the Football League's transfer now almost at a close, I don’t expect Notts to sign any more players, especially with Jim O’Brien close to making a return since his injury in December.
I believe the squad has players who can fill in the gap, as Pierce Bird played well against AFC Mansfield in the Notts Senior Cup match, which saw Jim O’Brien return to action.
It's for this reason, why it would be disappointing to see fringe players, not utilised more.
We have more than capable players at the club who can partake in creating something unique, who are earning a wage but until recently have found themselves often overlooked. Insert a little faith; let's hope they can make a positive difference when called upon.
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PON_News
The opening of this memorial message has been constructed by Notts fan @Darryl Broughton, as fan messages came pouring in the news – first with the Notts County Supporters Club. It quickly became apparent how much the magpies’ star had touched the lives of many.
Mick Vinter joined Notts County in 1971/1972 season, he was a great player for the reserves, being the top scorer with 26 goals from that season.
He continued to be a regular striker for the reserves making the odd substitute appearance for the first team in the early days.
Eventually, he made a regular striking partnership in the first team with Les Bradd in season 1975/1976.
It was a joy and pleasure to have watched him play for Notts County.
Notts County fans pay respect to Mick Vinter:
Team-mate Les Bradd described the passing of Magpies' legend as, "Very sad to hear."
Notts County also lead paying respects, with a beautiful piece from former BBC commentator Colin Slater.
The full article can be read over on the OS website - Here.
We at Pride of Nottingham would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mick Vinter, who has sadly passed away aged 65.

Alexlevy0908
For any football fan who's seen their team get relegated, one positive once you've got over the initial shock is to think about all the new grounds you can visit. And with Notts having previously never dropped down to non-league in their 157-year history, all these non-league grounds seemed like an exotic novelty to a Notts fan who travels home and away each week. So having completed half a season in the non-league wilderness, let's take a look back on the highs and lows of a non league away day.
Best away days:
Without question, I would have to list my favourite away ground that I've visited this season as Aldershot. Why did I like Aldershot's ground? Because it was the right mix of being an old school terrace, as well as a ground with a good atmosphere between home and away fans, which hasn't always been the case at the majority of non league grounds. Another terrace which I thoroughly enjoyed was Halifax, a large, retro terrace for away fans and an experience helped by the fact that Notts actually won! However, in terms of both the result and away day experience, then the best away trip this season would have to be the 4-0 win at Woking. From the slightly surreal yet friendly experience of drinking in the snooker club that was the only pub anywhere near the ground, to the cracking on the field performance from Notts, it was definitely the most memorable away trip of the season. Chants about "Our Danish chairmen" rang out throughout the game, as Notts put in a performance that established their challenge for immediate promotion back to the football league. Whether Notts genuinely have a chance of that promotion is a question for another blog!
Worst away days:
My least favourite ground I've visited this season would have to be Sutton. The whole vibe of the place was quite weird; on the one hand the stewards and other staff at the ground were very posh and overly formal. On the other hand, I recall facilities at this ground being particularly poor and not up to standard. The fact that the game was poor didn't help, but there was no real atmosphere at this ground which made for a pretty unmemorable experience. Another away ground I didn't particularly enjoy was Eastleigh; a ground which while facilities were modern and up to standard, was just pretty bland and the result also contributed to a relatively unmemorable day. While I can't moan too much about Chesterfield away as an experience as we've been there before in the football league and the facilities are pretty good for this level, I must give a special mention to Chesterfield advertising that they were selling out of date beer at the ground. Thanks for telling all away fans that they should give that a swerve, I guess! Thankfully no matter how bad things have got at Notts, we've never stooped to that low.
So are the grounds in the National League significantly worse than those in League Two? I suppose it depends what you look for in a ground. In terms of character, there are some pretty bland grounds wherever you go in the football league. Therefore, an old fashioned ground like Aldershot, Halifax, or Maidenhead is definitely more charming than a football league out of town ground like Colchester or MK Dons. However, if you're talking about facilities then the overall standard is definitely slightly lower. The facilities at most non league clubs who have never been in the football league are definitely not quite up to football league standards in the whole ground, never quite as clean or well maintained as facilities in a football league ground. But even at the worst of times at any tinpot non-league ground, it's important to remember that this roller-coaster ride will all be worth it when Notts are a football league club!
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Notoriousgee
Where do you start with a review of Doyle's Notts career thus far? A man who was well known to us for being a thorn in our side in recent years as a player at Portsmouth and Coventry, both of which we he forged successful promotions, an outstanding achievement by any professional's standards.
We know from first hand experience that he is a player the opposition fans love to hate, which in truth is a huge compliment to the man. His tough approach to the game and ability to wind the opposition players and fans up alike, whilst always in the referee's ear telling him what decisions he should be making and still having a playing influence in the game, is quite remarkable.
It would be fair to say his transfer to Notts has not been smooth by any means and at times he has clearly divided the Notts faithful. One of the first games I think he played for us was our home game against the Stags. We of course were in an extremely poor run of form, so I doubt many of us were looking forward to the game, especially seeing as we were desperate for the points and them being our bogey side, yet step up Doyle, who I am sure many will agree was superb in the match along with JOB. I for one was buzzing and thought that his signing will surely help us escape the drop, but alas it was not to be.
Life in the National League did not get off to the greatest of starts as we know for obvious reasons and I am sure it was very frustrating for the players as it was us fans. I suppose we will never know the stress that the players were under but it did seem to show on Doyle and this resulted in him receiving a red card for a rash challenge, fair play to the man he did apologise and reassured us that he would pay the faithful back, he soon returned straight after his ban and a few games later he was sent off again, this further dividing the fans as to his worth as a Notts regular.
In the following weeks and his return to the side, I see that he was asked to play a different role in the team, a role that saw him as a defensive midfielder whose job it was to bring the ball out from the back and keep possession. I can honestly say I was not a fan of this style of play and whereas we had plenty of possession we struggled to create many chances as the ball was predominantly in out last third, I also felt that this left out other midfielder Rose exposed as his partner was too deep.
In more recent games Doyle seems to have moved further up the pitch, this also coincides with the addition of Lacey, who can play and is quick, so no surprise really. Now I see Doyle as back to his best, a man who in whatever circumstances is always available to receive the ball and never hides, he keeps the ball moving and now in the right areas and we have looked far better. A recent game I noted that Doyle was the furthest man forward in the hope of receiving a ball over the top, this brought great joy to me as we no longer seem predictable like we did before.
Whether you have had mixed opinions about Doyle for whatever reason, I am sure we should tip our hats to the man, a 38 year old who is full of running and such an influence on our side, he really is the beating heart of our side so I suggest we get behind the man, although we know he is sky blue through and through, no one can fault his commitment to Notts.
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Chris
Notts County has kept their unbeaten run of nine games with a goalless draw at Meadow Lane against Dover Athletic in the National League.
The Magpies' had the first chance of the game and, came closet breaking the deadlock in the first half after Lee Worgan denied Enzio Boldewijn and Kyle Wootton with a double save to keep the terms level.
Michael Doyle managed to find Wes Thomas, who had an effort on goal but the Dover keeper Worgan was equal to it.
Dover then threatened Notts themselves, with their highest goal scorer Inih Effiong wasting their best chance after he cut inside the area but placed the ball way off target.
After 9 minutes of added time, neither team could break the deadlock and had to settle with a draw as the outcome.
Pride of Nottingham was at Meadow Lane for Notts County's draw against Dover Athletic. See if you've made it into our gallery on the latest Faces of PON!
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ARLukomski
Notts County stretched their unbeaten run to nine games in a 0-0 draw with Dover Athletic this weekend.
A fairly turgid game saw its first bright spark before the break when Enzio Boldewijn was thwarted by Lee Worgan and Kyle Wootton was then denied on the follow-up.
Michael Doyle then set up Wes Thomas to have a go at goal but Worgan was equal to it.
Inih Effiong wasted Dover's best chance, which came after the break, when he cut inside the area but fired way off target.
In the end, neither side could break the deadlock so a share of the spoils was the final outcome.
Pride of Nottingham ARLukomski was at Meadow Lane - here is his take on the afternoon's events.
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Simon Clark
What a contrast to our previous regimes.
For all his rights and wrongs – and I think there were more rights over his tenure – Ray Trew found it difficult to stay away from social media and club message boards, often falling into the trap of over promising some new signing.
He also seemed pretty keen to hit the fire button as the revolving door rarely slowed down on the manager’s office.
Then, of course, we had the ego which took the club out of the league and almost out of existence, alienating our closest neighbours and making the club a laughing stock while retaining the trigger happy nature of hire and fire.
What we needed is exactly what we have now – stability and a great relationship between owners and manager.
They’re putting no pressure on Neal Ardley and that must be a great situation for him, allowing him and his staff to look on a longer term basis than most managers are allowed.
In fact, they haven’t really said a lot at all, so maybe the things they haven’t said are quite interesting:
- They’ve not shouted about any ‘game-changing’ new signings
- They’ve not made outlandish predictions of where we’ll be in 5 years
- They’ve not been critical of any other team or organisation
- They’ve talked up how good we are 
They have:
- Stayed in the background
- Provided steady hands while bringing the club under control
- Given good, honest answers in the few interviews they’ve done
Of those rare interviews, they actually seem quite reluctant to garner publicity for themselves – how about that for club owners?!
I enjoyed listening to them on Radio Red not so long ago. A half hour chat, thoughtful, constructive and a great insight into how they work.
What I found interesting was that they seem to have a great relationship with Ardley and view changing the manager as a last resort. From studies they’ve done, they’ve identified that it often doesn’t work, so things will have to go pretty badly for the axe to fall, and that stability must be a better place for the club.
So often you see a change of manager followed by wholesale changes in the squad. I’m a big believer that it takes a good 2 or 3 transfer windows before a manager can call the squad his own so unless it’s going badly wrong, give the guy time.
Another thing we need to do, and it’s great that they are so open about it, is that the manager has to be willing to work with them, using data as part of the process to sign someone.
We’ll probably never know how they do it, what info they look at, etc, but you know that some managers would rebel against that and class that as boardroom interference, so the manager needs to see this as a tool to help him.
Brentford brought out a similar process a while ago and Mark Warburton immediately announced he would leave the club, although he did see out the season.
When Leicester City won the Premier League, 2 of their best players were Mahrez and Kante, plucked from Le Havre and Caen respectively. I remember reading that both players came onto their radar because of data they’d used – how far they ran during games, how many tackles, etc.
That was followed up by watching them play, but it wasn’t just a gut instinct, as so much recruitment seems to be.
In fact, I can see this being the way things move in the future and I’m certain the big clubs use this and have been for some time.
We’re lucky to have these guys in charge and I hope they stay a good long time. It could be a real success story of how we appeared to be on the brink of liquidation and ended up with a stable, successful club. 
You never know, it could be a blueprint for other clubs to follow.
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ARLukomski
Notts County have advanced to the third round of the FA Trophy thanks to a 2-1 win over Dagenham & Redbridge sealed in injury time with a moment of magic from Magpies captain Michael Doyle.
Neal Ardley's charges hosted the East Londoners at Meadow Lane and, despite striking the woodwork, could not find the lead by half time, the scores level at 0-0.
In the second half, Tom Crawford and Zoumana Bakayogo combined for the latter to then provide a great cross for Kristian Dennis to net his 11th of the season.
The hosts then equalised when Ross Fitzsimons tipped Will Wright’s shot onto the bar, only for from the following scramble Mitch Brundle forced the ball over the line.
Then came the moment of magic as a low clearance from the goalkeeper was picked up by Doyle just ahead of the halfway line.
He set himself up and unleashed a superb, audacious and perfectly weighted effort which got the better of the keeper and neatly found the back of the net.
Pride of Nottingham vlogger ARLukomski was at the game - here is his take on events:
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Bainbridge NCFC
This week, Notts County secured the signing of striker Kyle Wootton from Scunthorpe United having impressed during his loan spell at Meadow Lane this season. The striker signed a two and a half year deal with the fee rumoured to be around £60,000.
Many Notts fans were delighted when the news emerged that the 23-year-old was signing on a permanent deal having been subject to much speculation during the Christmas period and the opening of the January transfer window.
But just how impressive is the signing of Wootton and how will he have an impact of Notts Countys chances of gaining promotion back into the Football League?
When he originally signed on loan from Scunthorpe United at the beginning of the season, there were a few fans sceptical as to how well he would actually do and wondering whether he was even required considering the likes of Nathan Tyson and Kristian Dennis still being at the club.
But Neal Ardley, before signing Wootton, was said to be looking for a strong forward. Which many could say we needed considering the last season it’s something we was lacking. A strong forward with the ability to get past defenders.
According to Notts County Stats (@Notts_Stats) on Twitter, Wootton has a goal every 188 minutes with an efficiency of 2.08 - only bettered by Wes Thomas (1.82) and Kristin Dennis (1.31).
Though he went on an 8 game scoreless run between September and November, despite Notts winning 5, drawing 2 and losing just once during those games, Wooton has certainly now found his feet and seems like every time Notts get a goal this season and now it’s almost as if it's expected that his name will be there on the scoresheet.
Wootton has netted 5 goals in his last 6 games including a brace in the fantastic comeback win against FC Halifax just before Christmas, which in turn was his third brace this season.
Many Notts fans will say we haven’t really had a good striker since the days of Lee Hughes, but who knows, now Wootton has signed on a permanent deal, he might be the answer we’ve been looking for to get us goals and send us back to where we belong, in the Football League.
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PON_News
Notts County have announced the permanent signing of Kyle Wootton from Scunthorpe United.
The 23-year-old has been sensational at Meadow Lane since his loan switch last summer, scoring 12 goals so far.
Neal Ardley admitted last week that Notts had working for two months on turning the transfer of Wootton into a permanent one and it has certainly reaped dividends.
Wootton has signed a deal that runs until the end of the 2021-22 season and whilst the fee is officially undisclosed, the Nottingham Post has reported it as around £60,000.
“I’m absolutely delighted to get it done,” Wootton told the club media team. “I couldn’t be happier and I’m ready to keep improving and helping the club go in the right direction.
“I’ve been here on loan and it’s felt like home – that’s a really important thing for me.
“I was at Scunthorpe for 13 years and it was a massive part of my life but it’s the right time to move on.
“This club has a big place in my heart and I’m ready to keep moving forwards with Notts now.”
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PON_News
Notts County have moved up to fifth in the National League following a 2-1 win against playoff rivals Bromley.
The Magpies took the lead when Sam Osborne led a pacey breakaway down the left before cutting the ball back for Wes Thomas to curl home his 10th goal of the season.
Bromley restored parity shortly after the restart when Michael Cheek let rip with an effort from from distance.
However, Notts regained the lead with 20 minutes remaining through defender Connell Rawlinson's first goal for the club, a powerful header from a corner.
Bromley defender Chris Bush was sent off at the death for a second booking as Notts held on for all three points.
Pride of Nottingham was at Meadow Lane for Notts County's win over Bromley. See if you've made it into our gallery on the latest Faces of PON!

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ARLukomski
Notts County have moved up to fifth in the National League following a 2-1 win against playoff rivals Bromley.
The Magpies took the lead when Sam Osborne led a pacey breakaway down the left before cutting the ball back for Wes Thomas to curl home his 10th goal of the season.
Bromley restored parity shortly after the restart when Michael Cheek let rip with an effort from from distance.
However, Notts regained the lead with 20 minutes remaining through defender Connell Rawlinson's first goal for the club, a powerful header from a corner.
Bromley defender Chris Bush was sent off at the death for a second booking as Notts held on for all three points.
Pride of Nottingham's ARLukomski was at Meadow Lane for the game - here is his take on the afternoon's events.
Share your thoughts about this vlog on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
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ARLukomski
Notts County extended their unbeaten run in the National League to six matches as they played out a dour 0-0 draw at Maidenhead on New Year's Day.
In a fairly uninspiring encounter, Sam Osborne threatened twice for the Magpies early on and Daniel Whitehall found the side netting from close range in the first half.
Although Maidenhead turned the screw in the second half, Notts held on as Sam Slocombe and Dion Kelly-Evans made crucial contributions to keep a clean sheet.
Pride of Nottingham vlogger ARLukomski was at York Road for the game - here is his take on the afternoon's events.
 
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ARLukomski
Notts County made it four wins on the trot and five unbeaten in all competitions as they ground out a 1-0 win at Solihull Moors on Saturday.
Wes Thomas grabbed the winner, pouncing at the back post to tap home his ninth of the campaign.
The 32-year-old struck in the 72nd minute, getting on the end of a cross from Kyle Wootton, who had won possession while chasing a seemingly lost cause.
Mitch Rose and Sam Slocombe helped preserve the Magpies' lead with late defensive interventions, helping Neal Ardley's side back into the National League playoff places.
ARLukomski was at the game - here is his video take on the afternoon's events.
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ARLukomski
Notts County's form is very much back on track after their thumping 3-0 win over Maidenhead on Boxing Day.
The Magpies have made it two wins in a row in the National League, three in all competitions and four unbeaten.
Neal Ardley's charges went ahead at Meadow Lane when Kyle Wootton scored his 12th goal of the season, powering home an Enzio Boldewijn corner.
Sam Osborne then doubled Notts' advantage with a shot into the top corner after a neat counter-attack.
County then all but killed off the game through Kristian Dennis, and Maidenhead had no answer to the trio of goals in the second half.
Pride of Nottingham vlogger ARLukomski was at the San Sirrel for the game - here is his take on events.
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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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