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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.
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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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KB1862
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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ARLukomski
Notts County delivered a thrilling and nervy afternoon for the Black & White Army on Saturday as they twice came from behind to beat FC Halifax Town 4-2.
Kyle Wootton struck either side of Mitch Rose's fine 60th-minute equaliser and 81st-minute penalty as County earned only their second National League win in eight matches.
Halifax, who scored through Shawn McCoulsky and Jamie Allen, have now won just once in 10 league games as they slip out of the top seven, while Neal Ardley's charges go up to 11th.
Pride of Nottingham vlogger ARLukomski was at the Shay Stadium - here is his take on the afternoon's action.
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Chris
Usually, at the beginning of the season, managers rotate their squads a fair amount – this was no doubt the same for Neal Ardley.
While many fans called for him to settle the squad down, myself included, it is quite natural to switch out players here and there. Sometimes, it’s a little concerning when it’s five or more and when it’s never allowed to settle.
Yes, sometimes it’s due to fitness concerns, tactical reasons but you know when there’s too many.
For the most of the 2019/20 season, I have felt encouraged and have seen some good performance.
There have been woeful ones, yet most players work hard to do well in games, and this is all we can ask of them.
Right now, there are several players massively out of form and a few who have been quite poor all season.
To a degree, this is to be expected after the season we had last year and all of the turmoil leading up to the current campaign – but there becomes a time when playing them isn’t the answer.
Before the recent form, I know fans talked about having “depth” in the squad, and I would have agreed, while the likes of Matt Tootle, Pierce Bird and others have been frozen out.
Sometimes it appears quite harshly; It makes you wonder if this is part of the issue, a lack of competition and rewards for performers who have done well.
Strong competition, a good level of morale led to a level of success during the 2017/18 season under Kevin Nolan, players coming into the squad knew what were expected to remain in the squad.
The complete opposite to the season in which Notts were relegated from the Football League for simply being not good enough.
After all, it must be disheartening for some players to put on the shirt, perform to a standard which they’re happy with, only to end up falling out of favour.
Sam Osborne is the perfect example since he’s an academy prospect and has bulked up a fair amount during the close season.
When he starts, I think he does better personally, whereas a sub it does take him a little time to get up to speed, and this is all-natural. I’m not knocking him, I think he’s a great prospect and if I were the manager of Notts County he would be starting a lot more.
Simply due to his work rate and importance of development, as he will only improve with game time.
Which leaves the question why we haven’t given the likes of Enzio Boldewijn a rest, a good player, defensively a disappointing but when in form – no doubt a quality player. This season, he’s appeared more of a luxury and quite fortunate that Ardley holds him with such high regards.
As to me, it seems Boldewijn is guaranteed a start either due to lacking natural wide men or simply due to the odd wonder goal he scores – which never gives the full facts about his performances.
I must stress, I do like him, and I’m trying to nitpick about him.
I feel that when you have a player so desperately out of form, it makes little sense to expect him to improve when he’s constantly being played and almost 99% guaranteed to start.

The same can be said for both full-back positions, Damien McCrory has looked good, but his form has dipped as of late.
Richard Brindley looks a good technical signing; however, much of the same can be said about him too.
At centre back, it’s almost like Ardley has gone out of his way to guarantee certain players will start in these positions. When asked about the position, he’s mentioned that he can’t make changes due to a lack of cover – yet allowed Bird to depart on loan to Boston United.
I know some fans also have concerns about our strike force; however, I don’t think they’re the issue.
Kyle Wootton has come into his element, found his boots and works hard. The only call I might suggest is switching Wes Thomas for Kristian Dennis when playing teams which either lack height at the back or have scrappy defenders who would leave Dennis the space to thrive.
Nathan Tyson is perfectly fine to be a rotational and casual starter, and there’s the option of putting him out wide if we require too.
In midfield, I do feel there’s a requirement for more creativity – Regan Booty is far more effective for me being able to dictate the passing and play a more advanced role as a play-maker.
I agree with many fans that Mitch Rose and Michael Doyle doesn’t work – yet would allowing Rose to go out wide make sense?
Rose hasn’t seemed the same player all season; however, I did feel he performed much better when Doyle was sitting out his suspension.
There are advantages to giving some young and hungry players a chance to start, but when they see that it’s almost certain that whatever they do – the following week will return to the same lineup there’s a major lack of motivation.
Give Osborne more game time, re-introduce Dion Kelly-Evans – consider giving Zoumana Bakayogo a game.
Allow Boldewijn and Rose to sit out a few games, bring in Booty or Shields to remove some of the pressure. Make the most of the depth we have at our disposal, and it’s easy for me to suggest this, much hard to put in practice – I admit.
Yet the issue Ardley faces is the fact it will only become harder the longer he leaves it. Squad morale and confidence would make a massive difference to this Notts County team.
Most fans want to see the club fighting, giving 100% and at times this has fallen short. Most people I know and I don’t expect us to be thrashing teams – that is unrealistic but throwing it out there as part of the problem doesn’t make it part of the solution.
Much like Ardley suggesting people want him to fail, fans want to see and feel the clubs moving forward.
Nobody’s bothered if certain people behind the scenes has problems, you have to get on with it. Otherwise, it seems like you have accepted it as a problem.
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ARLukomski
Notts County proceeded to the second round of the FA Trophy after running out 1-0 winners over Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium yesterday.
In front of just 931 people in Derbyshire - more than a third of those Notts fans - Kristian Dennis scored the only goal of the game in the second half.
Chesterfield created a number of good chances in the first-half and could easily have been ahead at the break.
However, they were unable to make the most of the opportunities and paid the price with less than 20 minutes to go when Dennis tapped home a Sam Osborne cross.
Here is what Pride of Nottingham vlogger ARLukomski said about the game in his latest video:
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Simon Clark
I should nail my colours to the mast before we start here. I’m firmly on the side of ‘Ardley In’.
In the last 10 years we’ve had 15 managers and he’s only the third to last over a year. In that time, we’ve been to the brink of League One play offs and now face our first season in non-league, having to qualify for the FA Cup proper and making our first appearance in the FA Trophy.
We will never prove this, but in my mind one of the reasons for that is the lack of stability caused by changing manager so many times.
When a new one comes in, they inevitably want their own players which means a year or two of upheaval and wages being wasted on players who don’t have a prayer of getting in the team.
So, how do I see his first 12 months?
Let’s face it, Ardley took over a club in turmoil. We were in a mess, sacking our second manager of the season just 3 months in and an owner who was becoming a laughing stock. Little did we realise how much worse it would become.
Many’s the time Ardley must have wished he was back on holiday, or at home with his family, and most Notts fans were grateful that he came to try to rescue us.
At that time, though, I don’t think most of us actually thought we would go down. It looked bad, but there was plenty of the season left. Lots of points to play for, we’d never been out of the league, there are plenty of clubs smaller than us and in trouble, so surely we’d be able to get our way out of it?
5 points from his first 4 games gave us hope but it was almost 2 months until we won again, and I think that period is what ultimately cost us, especially the home defeat to a Macclesfield side which looked a whole lot more fired up that we did, and tore us apart at times, albeit only winning by 1 goal.
Good business was done in January, but late, and who can blame players for not wanting to commit to us early.
Another false dawn with 7 points in 3 games against promotion chasing sides made us think the new blood was what we needed, and those games certainly showed they had the ability, so why didn’t we get more out of them?
Ardley gets a lot of criticism for being negative, and did often set up with 7 or 8 defensive minded players but was that because of circumstances? I’d have like to see us go at teams a bit more, but he’s quite right that if we did that and found ourselves 2 down inside 15 minutes, the game had gone.
Over the summer he had every right and every chance to walk away, and many would have done. That he stayed is something all Notts fans should appreciate.
Not only did he stay, but he somehow managed to recruit the basis of a squad despite rumours of the club being sold to property developers, wages not being paid and a very real chance that the club would fold during the closed season due to unpaid tax bills. And we were under a transfer embargo!
Naturally the start of this season was tough, disjointed and scrappy, but we still had a club and hope once again.
The same criticisms rose again, that he didn’t motivate the team, they made too many errors and weren’t attacking enough, but a run of 2 defeats in 14 games while playing twice a week with a new squad was surely more than we were entitled to even hope for when most of us just wanted to survive in the league this season?
Ardley must take a lot of credit for raising those expectations and faces the backlash when we stumble.
We’re about to enter a great part of the season in a position. far better than most of dared hope for. Within touching distance of the play offs, a settled squad, great owners and (whisper it) stability within the club.
Let’s not spoil it.
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Pride of Nottingham

Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional 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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