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Notts County came from a goal down to record a superb 4-1 win over Crewe Alexandra in Saturday's League Two encounter at a packed Meadow Lane. In front of a bumper crowd of more than 17,000 thanks to Alan Hardy's "2 for Crewe" offer, the Magpies fell behind to Shaun Miller's goal on the rebound. However, Notts were level seven minutes later when Noor Husin rifled home in a stunning drive from all of 25 yards out. Elliott Hewitt put the hosts ahead just before half time before adding a second on the hour, before Derby County loanee Mason Bennett scored on his debut to cap off a memorable win. How did the game pan out from a tactical perspective? Pride of Nottingham's Chris takes a look with this weekend's Tactical Talk. Was the result fair? As I made my way to Meadow Lane yesterday, each time I encountered a fan that I know, they spoke about how confident they were about Notts hammering Crewe. I really didn’t think this would be the case, yet on the pitch, Crewe’s opener of the game lifted Notts and it urged them on to better themselves. The win was incredible for such a huge attendance and it was pleasing to see fans re-finding the buzz of winning ways. We should have scored more when you think about it, so nobody can argue it wasn’t deserved. How did Notts play? The first 10 minutes we started very shaky, the Crewe goal had me thinking ‘here we go’ but I was proud of how Notts responded. Our midfield took much of that burden and drove towards Crewe with sheer determination! It wasn’t a case of ‘will we score’ but ‘when’. Ending the first half, Notts had played some very entertaining stuff at times and the 2-1 lead was vital. It was what I would describe as a complete performance from the back to the front, as Collin looked great in goal and our attacking play looked lethal – we really did play with a lot of confidence. How did Crewe play? Exactly as I expected and had mentioned within my scouting report. They used their physical side to attempt to intimidate Notts, whilst using scrappy play to get the edge over us at the beginning. On the ball they played some good football and always seemed capable of giving us a game. However, at the back they were woeful and failed to cope with our play. Overall, it wasn’t a ‘bad’ performance on their part – Notts were simply too good and refused to bow down to them, yet they played quite well in spells. Did our tactics work out? Absolutely! I would have liked to see Mason Bennett start. However, we got a glimpse of what he could do against a defence, which was as if a rabbit was caught in the headlights. The formation, just common sense at this stage and it gives us much more time on the ball in midfield – it allows our players to get a good understand of how to play. We attacked understanding what Crewe had about them and balanced our play according to that. Tactically Kevin Nolan was spot on and he adjusted well even when the game was completely in our hands. How did the referee perform? He seemed to like the attendance more than perhaps the Notts board, I felt some of his decisions were quite poor and at times just baffling – yet he wasn’t noticeable once we had control of the game. It could have easily been different on another day, yet a focused Notts squad took the niggles from his performance away. Who do we play next? Next up Barnet – Notts will have to put on a repeat performance as the last two games have really impressed us fans and it will be for The Bees’ to attempt to derail the progress that had been made on the pitch. How should we play them? We should approach them with the same belief and, focus as we did against Crewe. When Notts click on the field, there’s no denying how good or entertaining we can be and this match will be another perfect opportunity to build on from that had gone missing in the two home league defeats. It’s vital that we go into the game fully focused, so no blunders to open with – as the Duffy mistake against Crewe could have changed the game completely. Barnet will see our fixture against them as a way to prove themselves and quite possibly as a way to gain further momentum as they attempt to gain safety within League Two. For this reason Notts will have to focus on playing a solid game at the back, and build on any chances when going forward – allow the midfield to control the game and carve open those chances we do have the ability to create. I’d welcome seeing Mason Bennett start, we’ll know more about what type of options he will give us and I think Jon Stead has earned a break. Ameobi and Bennett would be the right options for me in attack against Barnet. As the game slows down, it will naturally open up and this is when we can reintroduce players such as Stead. It will be about remaining focus, and hopefully a good performance against Swansea City on Tuesday night might encourage our lads further – yet if we do bow out gracefully from the FA Cup, let’s not be downhearted. We have a job to finish in League Two and, I have complete faith that we do have the ability to complete it. Crewe fan views Share your thoughts about this tactical analysis piece 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
Notts County's superb unbeaten league home run has come to an end as Exeter City ran out 2-1 winners in Saturday's encounter at Meadow Lane. The high-flying Grecians, who are in the promotion mix, took the lead after just seven minutes through Jake Taylor. Jayden Stockley then doubled the visitors' lead just before half time as the Magpies struggled to click with several new players in the XI and in the absence of Matt Tootle and Richard Duffy. Jon Stead pulled a goal back for the hosts with a second-half penalty, won after Shola Ameobi was hauled down in the box, but sadly Notts could not go on to find an equaliser. How did the game pan out? Pride of Nottingham's Chris takes a look with this weekend's Tactical Talk. Was the result fair? It’s very hard to say it the result was fair or not, I feel a draw may have been deserved but ultimately I do acknowledge that Notts were poor yesterday – likewise I feel Exeter equally unimpressed but we massively lack any real quality on goal. How did Notts play? For me we seemed too focused on attacking, rather than retaining the ball – we frequently gave it away very cheaply and the whole way we played made it very difficult to match the speed/creativity which Exeter did process. In the second half things did change, we held the ball and knocked it around – yet we never drawn Exeter’s player out or made space available. We tended to waste chances by trying to force the play, and only until Shola Ameobi came on did we look like a team able to get through the oppositions defence – simply we played a game of two halves. How did Exeter play? They played okay, at times quite exciting but for some reason they always insisted on doing something which wasn’t really required. I considered them to be a very good team coming into the game, yet I feel their schoolboy tactics and efforts to cheat really became unimpressive. When they focused on playing ‘football’ they looked a useful side but I think they’d have struggled to score if Notts had performed better and had noticed what they were doing. Did our tactics work out? Not very well in the first half. In midfield, we had too many new faces, this really meant that Notts had to have a little more creativity on the ball and we never really saw this until the second half. We focused on attacking more than we did retaining the ball or even defending – it was clear a few minutes in that Exeter would push us due to how far we seemed to be playing up the pitch. Second half Notts played better, yet at no point was it really enough – it highlighted exactly why we need a striker and a defender as outlined in my January transfer window article (please link) How did the referee perform? I felt he was poor, yet his decisions seemed more ‘blinded’ than negligent – I do feel he favoured Exeter, who’s players seemed to get away with everything but really he’s the standard of your typical League Two referee and I feel Notts should be smarter to this. Who do we play next? Crawley Town – another test in terms of the physical side of the game. They won’t be pushed off the ball or bullied and they will pressure us for the ball. We need to be stronger and more creative, as I feel these are points to be claimed. How should we play them? Notts need to be focused defensively, we can’t play too far up the field and if Nicky Hunt starts – he needs to be told to only go forward when we can afford his absence. In midfield I think we need to be calmer, more patient with our build-up play and attempt to draw the opposition out – as against Exeter we seemed to pack the centre of the park and this really limited the space that we could have exploited. With Crawley being your typical ‘physical’ League Two team, we need to be mindful about giving them any sort of space on the pitch. Whilst we lack pace at the back, wise positional play would give the magpies advantage and I think any attacks should be phased and risk assessed for being caught out. I’d like to see us use Jorge Grant and Liam Noble as a way to draw the opposition out, these played apart from each other would give us a means to break the Red Devils down and to allow some ‘creativity’ to get started. Really, Notts should look to thrive under possession-based football and look to be more dynamic with awareness going forward. Pressure the opposition defence, use link-up play to support the attacks and just pass the ball into space whereby this may release someone goal side – it’s not exactly difficult but if we give Crawley an inch they will take a mile. Exeter fan views (from Exeweb) Billy the Fish: The first half we took the game to them and was as complete a performance from City as I have seen in a long while. The second half County came out entirely differently and looked like promotion candidates, dangerous in attack but strangely vulnerable to our counter attacks. Lee Holmes looked out of sorts and Jordan Tillson is obviously just filling a position until the big boys are back. He works hard and gets his challenges in but today he was like a rabbit in the headlights whenever he found himself with the ball at his feet. All the others impressed, TAH rode his luck at times but otherwise every one them can be proud of themselves. I couldn't see the incident which saw Troy penalised and booked for the penalty but it came from a free kick awarded in front of us and the linesman and for which there was no discernable infringement. One of many strange refereeing decisions which infuriated both sets of fans. Great three points and a great day out. Red Bill: Just watched the goals, what a great goal the second was. Fantastic ball from Harley and a great finish from Stockley. I feel making the most of Harley, who i hope has done a lot to silence his critics with some terrific peformances lately, could be key to a serious promotion push. Andrew P Long: We went too defensive after going two up. Instead of trying to prevent them scoring we should've gone for their throat. If we had done that we'd have won more easily and comprehensively, say 1-4, and RHK was cheated out of more than a grand etc. Share your thoughts about this tactical analysis piece 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
Notts County have emerged from the crunch clash with League Two leaders Luton Town with a very creditable point in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road. The Magpies fell behind in the first half against the run of play when Johnny Mullins headed home to put the hosts ahead. However, Shola Ameobi hit back with a header of his own to earn a share of the spoils for County, who had goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons to thank for a crucial point-blank save late on. The result keeps the Hatters top of the table on goal difference, with Notts breathing down their necks on the same amount of points after 21 games played. Here is a comprehensive analysis of the game as written by Pride of Nottingham's Chris. Was the result fair? As predicted both teams fought hard, and ultimately cancelled each other out. It was one of those performances which highlighted our promotion credentials. Whilst nothing has been won yet, this result will be one which firmly features in the memory of our progression during the 2017-18 season. Fair result? Absolutely. How did Notts play? First half Notts played some brilliant football and by all accounts we were unfortunate to have conceded when we did. For an away performance this season, it’s got to be up there as one of the most enjoyable in terms of performance and result for fans. The team performed very well and played against Luton exactly as they should have done. How did Luton Town play? They played well, there’s no denying that, but the way that Notts asserted themselves it was always going to be hard and the fact that both teams cancelled each other out, well it highlights how good both sides were respectively. Luton fans should not be disappointed or disgruntled by the result either. Did our tactics work out? The tactics were spot on throughout the game, and the decisions during the match made it hard for Luton. Notts literally matched them and of course we kept them guessing, whilst protecting our weaknesses. Tactically I would say this was spot on. How did the referee perform? Reasonable performance by the referee, there’s been little complaints and I think this shows just how efficiently he officiated the game. Who do we play next? Grimsby Town – they’re making a solid push for the play-offs and seem to have shaken off their awkward start to the season. This will be another difficult test but one we should be well prepared for at Meadow Lane. How should we play them? It’s important that we approach the game with balance, at the back we will have to steady the flow of the game and up-top it’s vital that we don’t waste any good chances that are created. The battle again will be based on the side which retains the control and has the most influence within midfield, so the game has got to be approached sensibly and well prepared. Grimsby are most likely to try and break quickly against us, with interlacing balls and runs which will get into those awkward positions. Most likely, they’ll attempt to break the game down in three ways. Firstly, by being direct, so it’s important we stand with play and attempt to win the first/second ball. Secondly, by countering us on the break – which will mean we will have to be mindful of how they attack from this situation and have men aware at the back to handle the space they attempt to create. Thirdly, I suspect they will be patient and careful with how they pass. If they revert to making simple passes – i.e neat one-two’s and other methods to get forward. Notts will have to assure any ground that is won is well protected. Controlling the game will be easier if we naturally score within the first half, the second half is always when things to start to click. I would try to get a feel for the game and press in the manner that keeps them on the back foot. We have two home games which will be key to our winter run and of course the potential promotion push, let’s create a fantastic atmosphere and finally have a Christmas worth celebrating. You Pies! Luton Town fan views from the Luton Town Forum Madpig In the end that was a fair result. County matched us all the way. I can see why they're with us. There were few real chances and both defences bosses the game. Where I think they really did their homework was in midfield. We were never given time or space to get things flowing, leaving Hylton and Elliott Lee to make their own chances. E.Lee was a constant menace to them, couldn't be bullied off the ball at all. Halton suffered his usual brutal treatment by their defenders but never let it get to him. In defence we were superb, and Mullins was my Mom, he really has become a fine player. We're top, unbeaten in ages and agonisingly one short of our 50th league goal of the season. Good day in all. ODTT The game had plenty of ebb and flow to it and was enjoyable for it. As suspected beforehand any of the three possible outcomes were possible but a draw about right consequently. I thought our defence was very nervy in the early stages and looked vulnerable. But looked a lot more composed after we had gone ahead somewhat against the run of play. Our midfield didn't shine as much as we have come to expect and seemed well covered. O Lee was particularly anonymous I thought and Berry and Shinnie seemed to play well advanced and never seemed to be any great distance apart. Rea did his defensive duties well but appeared hesitant to carry the ball out from deep with ample space in front of him. The two or three times he did push out with the ball he panicked when releasing. E Lee had a fabulous game, really put in a good shift and never gave the opposing central defenders a moments peace. Surprised in how many headed knock-ons he managed against bigger opponents. Hylton worked hard as well and pulled his markers hither and thither. Not sure what brutal treatment you speak of MP. He gives as good as he gets in a physical area of the game. The 10/15 minute spell of exquisite football we played soon after half-time was magnificent and worth the entrance fee alone. County hardly got a touch and went very ragged. The save their keeper made from Mullins late on was outstanding and got them the point. Share your thoughts about this tactical analysis piece 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
A dramatic late winner from Ryan Yates kept Notts County level on points with Luton Town at the top of League Two thanks to a 2-1 win over Colchester United at Meadow Lane. The hosts had gone in front in the 68th minute when Shola Ameobi converted from the spot after Mikael Mandron was adjudged to have held Yates inside the area. Mandron had the chance to make amends for his earlier mistake when Ryan Jackson was fouled by Jorge Grant, but saw his penalty superbly saved by Ross Fitzsimons. However, the U's did manage to draw level in the 89th minute when Mandron picked out the run of Sanmi Odelusi who kept his composure to slot into the bottom corner of the net. Notts did not let their heads drop and were rewarded in added time when Yates headed in at the back post from Grant's corner to send Meadow Lane barmy. Here is Chris's detailed tactical analysis of the Meadow Lane encounter. Was the result fair? I think the first half would have made me sway more towards a draw if Notts hadn’t been so impressive in the second half. Despite the iffy calls from the match officials, I would say the win was deserved. How did Notts play? Awful within the first half, it was stagnant and very depressing to watch. The defence just didn’t pressure or deal with anything and up top we weren’t effective at all. This was all put right within the second with a spectacular performance which honestly I felt warranted more goals for the Magpies – however it was entertaining on both parts and Colchester gave as good as they got. How did Colchester United play? No end product, they tended to overwork the ball which was fortunate enough for us. Don’t get me wrong, they played well and attacked with flair befitting of a Championship team – yet they never actually had much edge when it really mattered. They was organised very well and as a unit they did fine. Did our tactics work out? Reasonably, yet things did change within the second half. We really do need to learn how to break sides down in a more effective manner without waiting for the second half in order to do it – if you remove the penalty, the play was very dangerous at times and Notts played with a sense of confidence which we are becoming accustomed too. I would just like to see it a little more during both halves. How did the referee perform? It’s lucky I’m not an expert otherwise I would get fined for my opinion of the referee and match officials. I think they turned up with Richard Duffy, as they all seemed to be sleeping. The referee sided with Colchester, he issued a very soft card to Notts (Matt Tootle) – yet somehow managed to avoid booking several bad challenges, including assault to Jorge Grant. Then we have the incorrect decisions, and favourable free-kicks. They were dire! Enough said… Who do we play next in the league? Luton Town – it’s going to be one of those games, I can tell now. We’ll either do an Exeter City and come out of it looking very strong or they’ll do a Coventry City and turn us over. How should we play them? The key thing will be all about how we defend, if we sit back – put our feet up and invite pressure, well I don’t think we will have any nails left. It’s important that we press, cover and ultimately defend in a manner which makes it hard for Luton Town. If we allow Luton to play as we did Colchester or a number of other teams, well it’s not going to be enjoyable. There’s a very good chance that both teams effectively cancel each other out, it’s one of them that it’s just so hard to call right now. If we play to our strengths and allow the midfield to do their job, and press in a manner which highlights our conviction and belief that we are capable of winning any team within League Two. It will naturally see chances created, it will just be a case of who’s playing up top? If we have a little bit of pace this will most likely aid us, if Jon Stead is still injured and Jonatyhan Forte too. Well, I don’t know – I can’t see us holding the ball up much, so in most likely event we will need to move and use the ball well. Colchester fan views (from The U'Sual) durham_exile: Absolutely gutted and having just seen the highlights we definitely lost 3 points when we deserved a point at the very least. Still years ago we played Buryat Layer Road we were outplayed by the Shakers but managed to win with a Lindsay Smith goal, Bury were hard done by just as we were today but both teams were promoted at the end of the season. Up the U's. gerry_us: I hate to say "told you so" but U's didn't turn up for the second half until too late. I can't believe that half time talk would have been of a credible draw but County's team talk would have had to be astounding to warrant what happened second half. We did not mount one attack for the first twenty minutes of the second half and just invited County to attack us with renewed enthusiasm especially as they were very second best first half. Pressure mounted on us until the inevitable. Mandron apparently gave up the penalty but not clear enough to comment more. Only being 1-0 down did we return to the earlier endeavours with the resultant penalty award for us. All around were shouting "not Mandron" and how right we were...awful penalty. However continued in attacking ways and finally scored the goal of the game on 88 minutes. Still we failed to protect what would have been a well deserved point when we poorly defended a late corner in 93 minute. You just couldn't make it up. When will we play for 90 minutes? If? we play as we did for first half for the remainder of the season anything is possible. If we play as we did in second half goodness knows what could happen. Just an aside, excellent support from 350 travelling supporters and all were still in the ground at the final whistle. Share your thoughts about this tactical analysis piece 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
Notts County have extended their lead at the top of League Two thanks to their 3-1 win over Cheltenham Town on Saturday. The Magpies took the lead on the half-hour mark through Jorge Grant following Jon Stead's layoff but Carl Winchester hit back within five minutes to equalise. However, a quickfire double from Notts in the opening stages of the second half - through Grant and Shaun Brisley - gave Nolan another home win. Here is Chris's detailed analysis of the Meadow Lane encounter. Was the result fair? The first half had 'draw' written all over it, but the second-half performance was very impressive when things clicked, and the victory is well deserved. I do feel sorry for Cheltenham in some senses, yet this is football but it was nice to see a team continue to give Notts a game even after going 3-1 down. How did Notts play? There’s very little to write about within the first half, it was scrappy and uneventful mostly. Out of nowhere Notts took the lead – at a time whereby it looked very likely to end a draw. After Cheltenham scored, our defence looked totally depleted and nervous. Second half started very lively, and the midfield pushed to take the lead and then after the game just seemed much different. It certainly wasn’t pretty at times, but overall it was a very good team performance and a well deserved three points. How did Cheltenham play? Their defence was rocky due to trying to be more offensive, I could see this being the case myself and I mentioned it within the scouting report. I disagree that they ‘played badly’, I thought they moved the ball around well and certainly gave Notts a game even after going 3-1 down. They just seemed unlikely to score, yet their goal was a brilliant move and certainly if they had of clicked themselves it could have been more difficult. Yet overall it was a decent performance, we just outplayed them in the second half but credit to Cheltenham they never gave up. Did our tactics work out? I think the way both teams started it just cancelled each other out. Prior to our goal we looked the most likely to score, but everything was just a bit uneventful due to a lack of quality on goal. In the second half things changed, and as a result Notts played with more tempo which forced the play. How did the referee perform? He was a bit baffling at times, yet I’m always going to say it – he’s the typical standard for League Two. My gripe is I felt he always seemed keen to have words with Notts players, whilst after going 3-1 up – it was like he couldn’t award any genuine foul in our favour simply because we looked likely to score. I counted at least five punishable challenges which were never given, luckily it didn't cost us in the end. Who do we play next? Yeovil Town – They’re not the same side that we played a few seasons ago, although they are a decent outfit and one that does tend to raise to playing games against teams such as Notts. How should we play them? We just have to assert the same level of pressure as we did against Cheltenham in the second half, our performance similar to how we did against Exeter City. Be confident in possession, wise on the ball and move into the areas whereby we can make the most of the space gained – if we put them under pressure I honestly think they will cave in but that said we need to avoid causing problems within our own defence. Yeovil are a side which will easily make the most of opposition indecisions at the back, and any worrying will lift them. If we can avoid making too many changes, this will also aid us but that said I do expect to see at least three – I just wouldn’t go beyond five at all. Our midfield can play in such a style that it can take the pressure of ourselves, whilst enabling confidence upfront. It’s important we strive for this, as any of our strikers could make the most of this. Cheltenham fan views (from The Robins Nest Forum) Runlistening: Conceding 2 goals in 2 minutes again.. how does this keep happening? I know this was always going to be a hard game but soon as we concede 1 you know another one is going in in 1-2 minutes... Longmover: Whatever they have been instructed to do isn't working, It's the management job to get the instructions to stick, they're (Gary Johnson's) players, he bought them in. Oldun: Oh good show! Lose to top of table team and its knives out for Gary. Now there's a surprise! Only six subs, very weak bench due to injuries and suspensions (all Gary's fault) Deflected second goal. (Gary's fault) By the way... Luton scored seven today, which shows how terrible it was not to win last week. Gary will have to go; we really can't carry on like this, not winning every time we play. And I hate sarcasm too. Another_FoD_Robin: So if we have six players on the bench Oldun whose fault is it? I thought as a football manager you bring players in and take players out. I accept budget and we can't take into account some bad luck but the bottom line is GJ is meant to bring players in to strengthen the squad. Or to ensure players coming in can do a job. GJs job is to motivate and instruct what to do during games. So on the back of game management - the players need to take responsibility too. I as an amateur player understand how to manage a game so please explain to me why players who are professional struggle. The little things add up... Share your thoughts about this tactical analysis piece 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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Notts County have climbed to the top of League Two after a resounding 4-1 victory against 10-man Lincoln City. The Magpies rode out a tricky start at Meadow Lane to edge into a numerical advantage when Billy Knott was sent off for a high boot into the face of Ryan Yates. Notts then took the lead through Jon Stead and, despite being pegged back by Harry Anderson's equaliser, went on to strike thrice more, through Matt Tootle, Jorge Grant and ex-Imp Terry Hawkridge. Here is an in-depth analysis of the game from Chris. Was the result fair? Notts asserted domination after Lincoln pulled level, and despite all the whining about the red card and refereeing decisions, it was the correct decision. Ultimately Notts responded well after losing the lead. And I have explained further why the result was fair in my feature, "Billy Knott red card cannot be blamed for Lincoln City loss". How did Notts play? First half was disappointing, the players refused to keep the ball on the ground and this better suited Lincoln. I feel we were cancelled out, largely by negative game play but in the second half Notts managed to assert control of the game and from there it was one of the best second half performances I have seen at Meadow Lane for a long time. How did Lincoln City play? Firstly, I felt they played well. Attacking wise they reminded me of Notts with how we tend to force play but they worked the ball very nicely and created chances. It was obvious that they wanted the play to be primarily thought-out in the air, however several rash challenges and blatant cheating ultimately saw their performance spiral to a very low point. Why the Lincoln goalkeeper decided to go down at two periods to allow his team to have a ‘team talk’ is beyond me. Did our tactics work out? First half no, second half play was adjusted and the wider positions gave Notts what they needed. The players also focused on passing rather than hoofing and it was like watching a different game. Line-up wise it was spot on but Notts just need to remember to keep the ball down in the future. How did the referee perform? He was alright, I think some of the decisions he made was swayed by both teams players and Lincoln fans might moan about Matt Tootle but there were times several of their players did the exact same thing. I don’t think the official controlled the game very well, especially for since it was a local derby. Who do we play next? Next up, Exeter City – a game which they have been hyping quite a lot. It’s one of those games which will easily define the 2017-18 season for Notts. How should we play them? I don’t want to see Kevin Nolan opt for a defensive line-up, as I feel this would play into the hands of Exeter who will be heavily focused on attacking. To control the game, we should build slowly, pass the ball around into positions whereby we can guarantee more time to pick out the right pass. It’s important that we make a lot of movement as we move forward, as this will create better chances. Again the midfield will have to do a lot of running and hard-work, as this will help the defence handle Exeter. We just have to build careful and be prepared for them to throw everything at us, I think they start a lot like Swindon Town did – using a mix of pace and creativity to form good chances, so we must be alert at the back. Lincoln fan reaction (from the Lincoln Vital page) Scotimp: Danny said he wants to be around the top ten at the halfway stage. We are 12th, having played some very difficult games - we have played the top 2 away, for example, and the teams who are 3rd and 5th at home. We have also played the teams in 9th and 10th away. We are 4 points off the play-offs. We are in the Football League. We are not Tranmere. I'm pretty pleased with all of that. Croozey: I don't think we need a squad of 25. Two more would be enough. But I think in January we could see some of the current squad moved on and replaced. Hulloutpost: We dominated the game until the outrageous sending off against a team second in the league, high in confidence and with some very experienced/decent players. We are not far away from giving somebody a spanking and the sooner it comes the better. We have had a similar start (bit patchy and inconsistent but some good stuff also) to what we had last season and whilst this is undoubtedly a tougher league I have seen enough to know that we have better players than last year. Given a better rub of the green and a bit more sharpness on our part and we will be fine going into the January transfer window. I expect us to kick on at that point. 85 Horace Green: I was sat quite high up and admittedly saw the last three County goals from a distance, but it didn't look to me as if Farman was at fault for any of them. He does flatter to deceive sometimes but I'm not sure today was his fault at all. Share your thoughts about this tactical analysis piece 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.