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Chris
Notts County fell to a 2-1 loss to Barnet last weekend, the hosts taking the lead through Enzio Boldewijn but throwing it away as Callum Reynolds and Simeon Akinola gave the visitors all three points.
Boldewijn put the hosts in front after just nine minutes with a long-range strike before Jim O'Brien went close to extending the lead for Neal Ardley's side.
However, the visitors replied as the half-hour mark approached when Callum Reynolds headed in from close range after the Magpies had failed to deal with a set-piece.
Connell Rawlinson and Kristian Dennis had chances to restore Notts' lead but, after Akinola turned past Sam Graham and clipped a finish beyond Sam Slocombe, it left the Magpies having to wait a few more days for their first win.
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Matty Jackson
Every team, sport-related or not, needs a captain to lead and guide teammates, to help achieve the best possible outcome at the task in hand. A good captain is experienced, talented and level-headed (amongst other attributes).
Before the 2019/20 season began most of us looked to Michael Doyle (aged 37) to lead his fellow teammates through this campaign. Since he is a mature player with experience and talent, he was the perfect candidate for the role. However, following his red card incident in the first game against Eastleigh, this questions his suitability to the captaincy role.
I looked over the highlights of the Eastleigh game and it is clear Doyle jabs Reda Johnson in the side of the face when Notts were defending a corner. I didn’t attend the game so possibly a challenge from Johnson on Doyle earlier on in the game irked him (so he reacted later on) but regardless he should have kept his cool and rightly deserves his ban.
Now two games into the season (as when written) it is vital to find a solid leader to keep players calm, organised and perform to the best of their potential. We have seen how dressing rooms can become split and toxic. To excel in the National League, we will need an organised, supportive group of players, with a captain to keep this in check.
Personally, I think we should consider other candidates for the captaincy role following Doyle’s bizarre, hot-headed decision making. Ruling out all players below the age of 25 (and those who aren’t first team players) we have O’Brien, Rose, Turner, Rowlinson, Slocombe, and Tyson.
Obviously, since O’Brien and Rose have been around the club longer than any of the others and as they are (arguably) the best players they are great for the role. In my opinion, O’Brien would be the best choice because he is more experienced, most of the play goes through him and has a very high work ethic).
On the other hand, when Doyle returns if O’Brien is captain could it upset the dressing room and its dynamics? In addition, could it lead to a power conflict and so another dressing room split?
The best outcome, however, would be Doyle comes back into the team and picks up where he left off and not to have any repeats of this incident (which is what I assume we all want).
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PON_News
Notts County have made two signings today as midfielder Regan Booty and striker Wes Thomas link up with the Meadow Lane outfit.
Booty, a 21-year-old playmaker who spent last season on loan at Aldershot, joins the Magpies on a permanent deal after ending his 13-year stay at Huddersfield Town earlier this summer.
As for 32-year-old Thomas, who was most recently with Grimsby, he has joined up with Neal Ardley’s squad as the Magpies recruited a replacement for Kane Hemmings, who left for Dundee on Thursday.
Booty made 40 appearances during his spell at Aldershot, while in pre-season he spent time with Bradford City and Halifax Town, clocking up over 500 minutes in friendlies this summer.
Thomas, meanwhile, made his professional debut in 2008 while at Dagenham & Redbridge and has made over 300 league appearances since, with a CV boasting the likes of Birmingham City and Bournemouth.
Up next for Notts is the trip to Harrogate on Tuesday night, their fourth game this month.
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Chris
Notts County's first home game of the 2019-20 season ended in a 1-1 draw with Stockport County at Meadow Lane.
The Magpies were eager to quickly put the opening-day loss at Eastleigh behind them with the second game of the National League campaign coming just three days later.
Notts drew first blood in the 36th minute of the encounter when Jim O'Brien, on the bounce, struck a fierce effort into the bottom corner of the Stockport net.
However, Neal Ardley's side could not hold onto the lead as Elliott Osbourne latched onto a fine pass from substitute Nyal Bell to slot beneath Sam Slocombe midway through the second half.
Pride of Nottingham was at Meadow Lane for the game against Stockport - have a look through our gallery and see if you're amongst our Faces of PON.
 

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ARLukomski
Notts County's first home game of the 2019-20 season ended in a 1-1 draw with Stockport County at Meadow Lane.
The Magpies were eager to quickly put the opening-day loss at Eastleigh behind them with the second game of the National League campaign coming just three days later.
Notts drew first blood in the 36th minute of the encounter when Jim O'Brien, on the bounce, struck a fierce effort into the bottom corner of the Stockport net.
However, Neal Ardley's side could not hold onto the lead as Elliott Osbourne latched onto a fine pass from substitute Nyal Bell to slot beneath Sam Slocombe midway through the second half.
Pride of Nottingham vlogger ARLukomski was at the San Sirrell for the game - here are his pre, mid and post-match thoughts.
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ARLukomski
Notts County's stint in the abyss of non-league began with a 1-0 defeat away at Eastleigh FC which also saw two Magpies players sent off.
Although the main issue which gripped the club for the summer - the takeover - was now a memory and a spate of signings was made after the embargo was lifted, the result nonetheless showed that there's a big job at hand on the pitch.
Reda Johnson headed Eastleigh in front just before the quarter-hour mark after getting on the end of Jack Payne's corner, and although Notts had chances to level things up, they could not find a way past home goalkeeper Max Stryjek.
Shortly after a block by Johnson thwarted Nathan Tyson, the Magpies were reduced to 10 men when Michael Doyle was sent off, and debutant Damien McCrory followed his teammate down the tunnel in stoppage-time.
Pride of Nottingham writer and vlogger ARLukomski was at the Silverlake Stadium - here is his take on the game as it went on and post-match.
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Chris
Notts County's stint in the abyss of non-league began with a 1-0 defeat away at Eastleigh FC which also saw two Magpies players sent off.
Although the main issue which gripped the club for the summer - the takeover - was now a memory and a spate of signings was made after the embargo was lifted, the result nonetheless showed that there's a big job at hand on the pitch.
Reda Johnson headed Eastleigh in front just before the quarter-hour mark after getting on the end of Jack Payne's corner, and although Notts had chances to level things up, they could not find a way past home goalkeeper Max Stryjek.
Shortly after a block by Johnson thwarted Nathan Tyson, the Magpies were reduced to 10 men when Michael Doyle was sent off, and debutant Damien McCrory followed his teammate down the tunnel in stoppage-time.
Pride of Nottingham was at the Silverlake Stadium for Notts County's season opener against Eastleigh. See if you're in this week's faces of PON.

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ARLukomski
This will be the first time Notts have met Eastleigh.
The Spitfires reached the play-off semi-finals last season, losing out to Salford City on penalties after defeating Wrexham 1-0 at the Racecourse Ground.
Notts will start away from home in the first game for the eighth time in nine seasons.
Notts’ opening day record of late is poor, winning only one of their last six opening day encounters.
Summer Business
Eastleigh: Scott Rendell (Aldershot Town) (ST), Jack Payne (Ebbsfleet United) (CM), Sam Smart (Basingstoke Town) (CAM), Rob Atkinson (Fulham) (CB), Joe Partington (Bristol Rovers) (RB), Tyrone Barnett (Cheltenham Town) (ST)
Notts: Ben Turner (Mansfield Town) (CB), Zoumana Bakayogo (Tranmere Rovers) (LB), Sam Slocombe (Bristol Rovers) (GK), Dion Kelly-Evans (Kettering Town) (RB), Damien McCrory (Burton Albion) (LB), Nathan Tyson (Wycombe Wanderers) (ST)
Team News
Joe Partington re-joined Eastleigh this summer, after two years away and will be looking to re-take his starting place on the opening day.
Scott Rendell and Tyrone Barnett will look to pick up where Paul McCallum left off last season and provide the goals for The Spitfires.
Most of Notts’ summer signings could start the opening day game at the Silverlake Stadium.
Nathan Tyson will look to continue his goalscoring form, from pre-season where he scored four goals.
Jim O’Brien could start after re-signing for the club in the summer.
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PON_News
Notts County added to their acquisition of Ben Turner by making four signings between Thursday morning and afternoon.
First up was the signing of left-back Zoumana Bakayogo, who was most recently with Tranmere Rovers.
The 32-year-old defender was part of the side that was promoted from League Two last season and played 90 minutes in each of the Magpies’ meetings with his former club.
Then came goalkeeper Sam Slocombe, who was most recently with Bristol Rovers, having joined them in July 2017.
The 31-year-old stopper has made just shy of 200 Football League appearances following his professional debut in September 2009.
In the afternoon, trialists Dion Kelly-Evans and Damien McCrory - both full-backs were snapped up by Notts.
The Magpies have until 5pm on Friday to get any paperwork sent to the National League for new signings to be eligible to feature against Eastleigh on Saturday.
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PON_News
Notts County have made their first signing of the summer by recruiting centre-back Ben Turner, formerly of Cardiff City.
The 31-year-old, whose tally stands at almost 300 league appearances, has played in each of England’s top four tiers and was most recently with Mansfield Town, where he made 10 appearances.
Prior to that, the defender turned out for the Bluebirds - who he helped get promoted to the Premier League in 2013 plus Burton Albion, Coventry City, Oldham Athletic and Peterborough United.
Notts manager Neal Ardley told the club website: "In a lot of games last season we lacked physical presence, so at the top of our list of priorities was a dominant centre back.
"Working with the new owners - and the stats they've got - Ben came out top of the pile.
"I know Ben from our days at Cardiff, so I understand his character. He brings aerial dominance, leadership, experience and know-how.
"To attract him to come to us when he had several League Two possibilities on the table is brilliant."
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PON_News
After weeks and weeks of anxiety and agony, the news that every Notts County fan has been waiting for has finally arrived.
The takeover of the club is complete.
The former owner has relinquished control of the club to Alexander and Christoffer Reedtz, the Danish brothers who together own statistical footballing website Football Radar.
"It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce today that we are the new owners of Notts County Football Club," part of the official club statement read.
"We are delighted that the deal has been completed, and that the uncertainty about the club’s future has come to an end.
"We can now all shift our focus towards the exciting new football season which is just around the corner."
We at Pride of Nottingham would like to welcome the Reedtz brothers to Notts County and we hope for a successful, stable and scandal-free tenure.
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PON_News
Lilian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South, has taken to Twitter with a thread regarding her meeting with Alan Hardy in wake of the recent happenings at Notts County.
You don't need us at Pride of Nottingham to recap exactly what's been happening with the club.
Let's face it, you as much as us are most likely sick to the back teeth of constantly hearing about how our beloved club, rich in tradition and history, has lurched from one humiliation to the other.
Anyway, here is each message:
 
 
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KB1862
Last season was not a memorable one from a Notts County fan perspective. Relegation to the National League for the first time in our history, thus losing the title as the World's Oldest Football League Club.
Hopefully we can bounce back at the first time of asking. But while we are playing in the National League, there's something for fans to look forward to, especially if you are a fan who loves to groundhop.
Many fans have been ticking off grounds they have visited during our time in the Football League, but the prospect of seeing new grounds and visiting new places should be something to enjoy this season.
The shortest journey during the National League season will be a trip to Chesterfield where Notts will renew their East Midlands rivalry with the Spirites for the first time since they were relegated from League Two during the 2017/18 season. Solihull Moors will be another short journey for the Notts fans with them situated in the West Midlands.
There will be long journey's along the way for Notts fans during the upcoming season. A few trips to the coast and 4 trips down to London for the Magpies faithful.
Coastal trips include journeys to places such as Ebbsfleet, Eastleigh, Fylde, Barrow, Torquay and Hartlepool. 4 of these 6 places will be new to many.
Notts County fans will know Torquay, the last time these 2 clubs met was when Notts County won League Two during the 2009/10 season. Hartlepool will be another familiar foe for Notts having played them a couple seasons back.
It is unclear as it stands with what will happen with Gateshead. There is problems on going at the club but if we are to be playing them next season, it will be the one of the longest journeys for the fans to travel up north.
For fans that enjoy visiting new grounds and facing new teams, there will be a number of new grounds to tick off the list. Most grounds in the National League are not all seaters. Most grounds will have seating for less than half the capacity in which the grounds can hold.
A trip for those fans who enjoy British history and culture will enjoy taking the trip down south when Notts face Dover Athletic. A trip to the Dover coast and seeing the historic White Cliffs of Dover which is one of the most famous landmark in British culture.
A trip to Stockport County will be one that most will enjoy for the night life. Situated in the Greater Manchester county, it is only a 7 mile trip to the Manchester City Centre with most people suggesting is a great night life.
For those that enjoy long walks in and around the country side, Harrogate and Halifax could be ideal with both being close to the Yorkshire dales.
The most expensive trips will be to Barnet, Bromley, Dagenham and Redbridge and Sutton United. All 4 clubs situated in the capital, London.
Whatever the season may bring on the pitch, off the pitch could be an enjoyable experience for the fans with new grounds, different places and different teams come visiting.
Those fans who have the Groundhopper app or similar apps in which they tick there grounds off, it will be an experience for them.
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George
Notts fans will have to accept less attractive away days throughout the season (a friend of mine currently living in Birmingham has already suggested Solihull Moors).
The grounds and facilities will generally be incomparable to that of Meadow Lane’s and Notts fans could bring a home atmosphere to some grounds with a good away following as clubs such as Boreham Wood failed to even average a thousand fans in attendance last season.
The only other clubs which debatably have fanbases appropriate for league football are Stockport County, Chesterfield and Wrexham.
In addition to this, we can expect to see a notable drop in the quality of football being played with physicality being of more importance.
With the HMRC court case looming on the 5th of June and the South African Consortium still in the process of attempting to take over Notts County Football Club (at the time of writing) it is difficult to predict Notts’ near future. However, we can look at what can be done to help insure success.
It would seem pointless for us to look ahead to the future without acknowledging the causes of Notts’ demise. Looking at the squad which disappointed last season there are areas where improvement is evidently necessary.
The defence was where Notts seemed to struggle most of all throughout the duration of last season with fullbacks being a continuous problem in the squad. A lack of squad depth was evident with Matt Tootle being unavailable for many games and there being a lack of options to replace him, especially before the versatile Mitch Rose arrived in January who was able to cover the RB spot (although he is better utilised in midfield). Although Declan Dunn remains an option Notts are currently lacking any sort of experienced LB going into next season with Milsom, Jones and Evina all leaving.
As Sir Alex Ferguson believes though, it is important to have a strong centre in any team. This for Notts starts with the promising Pierce Bird who impressed with his performances towards the end of last season. It would seem appropriate to have an experienced CB alongside Bird to form an effective partnership. I remember that performances from CBs like Haydn Hollis in recent years gone by were always significantly better when Mike Edwards played alongside them. With the loss of Duffy, Notts should search for a veteran CB over the summer.
Losing Jim O’Brien is another big blow although the Scotsman did hint at possibly signing a new contract next season if Neal Ardley does remain as manager. His leadership and tenacity in the middle of the park was unrivalled following his arrival to Meadow Lane in January. It is vital to secure the signing of another hardened midfield ball winner if O’Brien does not return, especially considering the more physical style of football often played in the conference.
The departure of Jon Stead will also leave a hole in Notts County’s attack as Kane Hemmings was provided with numerous chances throughout last season by his experienced strike partner. I am confident Hemmings will continue to score in the conference next season given his impressive tally of fourteen goals by the end of the 2018/19 League campaign with Notts despite the club finishing 23rd in the league. His work-ethic is one of his less desirable qualities though and he would benefit from a fellow forward to take the brunt of the physical battles and create opportunities for him.
Overall, the squad needs an addition of physical and experienced players to adapt to life in the Conference.
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Simon Clark
It’s certainly a fact that a toxic atmosphere within a ground has a negative effect on performances, we only have to remember back to the brief tenure of Jamie Fullarton. At that time, it felt as if a reasonable number of fans were turning up wanting us to lose.
Now, I’m not suggesting that was the case this season. In fact, quite the opposite as I think our supporters – in the main – have been really supportive and patient, far more than the performances have deserved.
It’s an expensive hobby to follow a football team. Even if you only watch home games, it’s approaching £500 a year when you add in travel costs and maybe the occasional cuppa.
For those who go away, it must be getting on for £2,000 as a season or even more, and that’s not including any overnight stays.
We don’t do it for glory, this is Notts and anyone who does this for glory must have started watching at a very narrow point in our history.
However, most of us have pride in the club. Or at least have had pride in the club until the recent past.
Incidents such as that infamous photo accidentally published on Twitter, boardroom resignations and plenty more have made Notts fans an easy target for friends and colleagues who follow other teams.
Hopefully, we’re very close to new ownership now and we can look for closure on a period of the club’s history which will make a fascinating read should Charlie Slater, Jon Stead or anyone else with inside info over that period choose to write it in the future.
Regardless of what happens next season, it’ll be the lowest position the club has ever ended a season so what can the new owners do to help restore some pride and let fans hold their heads up high again?
Here are some ideas, in no particular order...

- Remember that you are only custodians of the club. At some point, you’ll move on. Every player who is currently at the club, will move on. I dare say some fans will also move on, but the vast majority will still be here long after you and everyone else has forgotten about us. Fans will pass the love onto their sons and daughters, they are the lifeblood of the club and they are the basis for a successful future. Treat them as that, and not as customers buying a product. We can’t decide we want our product from somewhere else, it won’t happen.
- Stay away from extravagant promises. We’ve had plenty of those. Not just Hardy, but Munto, etc. Be realistic, we’re happy with that.
- Be professional. Don’t turn it into a circus. Yes, some attention can be good, it can get some TV money, it can promote the club, but it can also turn very quickly and bite you.
- Don’t gamble big. The lower leagues are under a huge amount of pressure at the moment, just look at Macclesfield and Bury among others. The Premier League runs football, the EFL does an appalling job at looking after its members. They certainly won’t help us out if we get into trouble, so do all you can to keep us on an even keel.
- Put your ego away, it’s not about you. If we get the rewards we all hope for, you’ll get the plaudits without needing to go looking for them. It’s a bit like being a referee, you often don’t notice the really good ones.
- Appoint good people and let them get on with the jobs you’ve asked them to do.
- Certainly create that environment where it’s an expectation that the players put in the same effort on a Saturday afternoon as we fans do during the week at our jobs.
- Finally, be proud to own this fine club. Without a doubt, we’ve been through the mill in recent years. I think I read that we’ve been in a relegation battle for 13 of the last 16 years. But we have history. We have a great fanbase for a club at this level. It’s a great opportunity and we all hope to enjoy the ride.
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About PON

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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