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So Notts County have taken their place at the top of the pile in League Two following their marvellous 4-1 win over Lincoln City at the weekend. They now face their biggest mission, taking on second-placed Exeter City away at St James' Park on Tuesday night. Here is Chris's scouting report for our midweek game this week. History Notts County and Exeter City have met a total of 44 times over their history. The first meeting came at St James’ Park in Division Three (South) on 1 November 1930, and it which finished as a 3-3 draw. The Magpies have an excellent record against the Grecians; out of those 43 games, Notts claimed a result in 36, with 17 wins and 19 draws. Our recent form (last five) is not too bad, with two wins, two draws and one defeat. Run-down of their last six fixtures Saturday 26th August – Cheltenham Town 3 Exeter City 4 Saturday 2nd September – Exeter City 1 Newport County 0 Saturday 9th September – Forest Green Rovers 1 Exeter City 3 Tuesday 12th September – Barnet 1 Exeter City 2 Saturday 16th September – Exeter City 3 Crewe Alexandra 0 Saturday 23rd September – Coventry City 2 Exeter City 0 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers; Reuben Reid 7, Lee Holmes 2, Jake Palmer 2 and Jayden Stockley 2. Persistent Foulers; Lloyd James 4 yellow cards, Jordan Tillson 3 yellow cards, Hiram Boateng 2 yellow cards and Reuben Reid 1 yellow card. The Key Players The standout player for Exeter City is Reuben Reid who is a versatile player able to drift onto the wing, whilst remaining a lethal finisher upfront – his experience within League Two is one of their main focus points. In midfield the duo of Lloyd James and Jake Taylor offer them a lot of creativity, with the pair easily being the driving force behind the team. Jordan Tillson also likes to get forward from defence and is a very robust player at the back – who is tactically aware at most times. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Exeter City use a mix of passing on the ground and using the air to confuse their opposition, they appear very comfortable attacking in both fashions – yet they look more dangerous when they attack through the centre of the park. Going forward they are very confident, and can force play by passing in awkward positions which makes it harder to defend from an oppositions point of view. They move strategically going forward which invites play for their strikers, and look to draw their counter-parts out as a way to get on goal sight. Defensively they look awkward when teams assert pressure, and against taller opposition teams they can tend to leak goals – however they generally avoid relapses in their concentration and organise themselves very effectively. Notts will have to stand tall upfront, walking hard to make use of whatever chances may fall their way. Space will be given outside their area which Notts could use to their advantage, yet space within the penalty area should be limited due to the tightness that Exeter leave. Corners would be best to use a second player to drill in the pass – rather than going direct and any chance on goal sight must be taken. Share your thoughts about this scouting report 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 are enjoying a purple patch at present, sitting second in League Two thanks to a four-game winning run, and eight unbeaten in all competitions. Up next for the Magpies is a local derby with Lincoln City coming to Meadow Lane to try their luck against Kevin Nolan's well-drilled side. Here is Chris's Scouting Report for this week. History Notts County and Lincoln City have met a total of 65 times in competitive matches over the years. The first fixture took the place all the way back in November 1893, a Division Two game in Nottingham which resulted in an away win for the Imps. The record currently stands at 34 wins for Notts, 15 defeats, and 16 draws. The last game between the two took place on 13 April 2010, a 3-1 win at Meadow Lane with goals from Lee Hughes, Graeme Lee and Delroy Facey and a strike from Steven Lennon for the opposition. Notts have won the last two meetings, with a draw prior to those and three defeats preceding that. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 19th August – Exeter City 1 Lincoln City 0 Saturday 26th August – Lincoln City 4 Carlisle 1 Saturday 2nd September – Lincoln City 0 Luton Town 0 Saturday 9th September – Stevenage 1 Lincoln City 2 Tuesday 12th September – Forest Green Rovers 0 Lincoln City 1 Saturday 16th September – Lincoln City 0 Mansfield Town 1 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers; Matt Green 3, Alex Woodyard 2, Oliver Palmer 2 and Billy Knott 2. Persistent Foulers; Matt Green 1 red card and 1 yellow card, Neal Eardley 3 yellow cards, Sean Raggett 3 yellow cards and Michael Bostwick 2 yellow cards. The Key Players Matt Green is the most well-known threat that Lincoln City bolster within their squad, he’s a mobile striker and useful on the ball – some may consider him past his former best but he is a player that is able to cause concern within any League Two defence. Despite the name Alex Woodyard is a very practical midfielder, he’s attacking minded but does have a bit of a temper. He’s pretty direct, likes to try to influence the tempo and adds a creative flair to The Imps midfield. They also have the experienced Michael Bostwick who plays to a similar fashion as Alex Woodyard, however he offers a defence mind-set even when going forward – his ability to pass and carve open teams is something Notts should be mindful of at all times. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Lincoln City like to play the passing game, usually it starts from the back and builds going forward. The majority of play tends to come from the flanks, and The Imps move the ball around very nicely even in limited space – they also deal very well with scrappy play often making the most of any opportunities that presents itself. Like the majority of League Two teams, Lincoln prefer to play defensively but within an attacking mind-set. They tend to commit plenty of players at the back, yet can break extremely well through a single player at any given moment. Their height offers them good options on goal, and is useful at the back when defending. However, from a defensive point of view – they do not like pace or direct runs into areas whereby there’s plenty of space. Whilst struggling to defend on break, and even from set pieces or crosses. This can force them to rush their own play, and has seen them give the ball away quite cheaply but they prefer to get the play back on the ground and ball to feet. Positional wise they organise themselves very well when given time, yet in the moment or under heavy threat it can become a free-for-all. If allowed to play, Lincoln impress – they have the ability to deliver long throw ins and often shoot from distance if space isn’t available to them. For Notts it will be about controlling the play, whilst building themselves from the back – the midfield will have to be grouped and prepared to make direct runs when chances occur. As opportunities will arise where the Magpies’ will be able to make chances pay from the open play. Share your thoughts about this scouting report 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.
This weekend, Notts County head to the Broadfield Stadium to face Crawley Town in League Two. The Magpies have a chance to make it eight games unbeaten in all competition should they get a result against Harry Kewell's side. History Notts County have only ever played Crawley Town 10 times in their history. The first fixture between the two was just under five years ago, on 10 November 2012. This milestone first meeting between the two, played at Meadow Lane, finished 1-1. Meanwhile the return fixture, played away on the 9th March 2013, ended as a goalless draw. The record stands at six Notts wins, two defeats and two draws. Our recent record against them is very good, the Magpies winning the last four encounters (all in League Two) and six of the last seven. The last fixture took place on 28 January this year at Meadow Lane, a 2-1 win with Thierry Audel and Jonathan Forte grabbing the goals for us. Run-down of their last 5 fixtures Saturday 19th August – Crawley Town 0 Cambridge United 1 Saturday 26th August – Swindon Town 0 Crawley Town 3 Saturday 2nd September – Crawley Town 2 Yeovil Town 0 Saturday 9th September – Colchester United 3 Crawley Town 1 Tuesday 12th September – Stevenage 1 Crawley Town 1 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers: Jordan Roberts 3, Jimmy Smith 2, Enzio Boldewijn 1 and Ibrahim Meite 1. Persistent Foulers: Josh Payne 3 yellow cards, Jordan Roberts 2 yellow cards, Mark Randall 1 yellow cards and Dean Cox 1 yellow cards. The Key Players Out wide Dennon Lewis can be very influential when going forward, the 20-year-old winger can also offer Crawley Town a lot of pace and direct movement – which can be tricky. The youngster, who is out on loan from Watford, can also switch flanks and likes to drift into the middle where he tends to get more chances on goal. Jordan Roberts is another player that likes to get time on the ball, and can take a shot from range which is usually not far from the target. Whilst Enzio Boldwijn and Ibrahim Meite offer Crawley Town a lot of options upfront, as the versatile strikers tend to move around – offering them support out-wide when needed. They both also have a fair bit of pace and like to run directly at the opposition defence. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Crawley Town largely mix between hoofing the ball, and trying to play the ball on the ground – with more focus on attacking through the centre of the park. They tend to commit players when going forward, whilst they resort to having shots at goal largely from distance. The Devils are an able side capable of moving the ball nicely around, however they do appear to have limitations on how best to use their momentum. From a defensive point of view, they leave a vulnerability at the back when they commit players forward and they struggle to re-group when hit on the counter. Their position play going forward can be very good, yet at the back its very dubious to say the least and as a result they look very weak when coping with attacking minded teams. Notts will have to try to create chances whereby they can get behind their defenders, as Crawley like to keep the play in front of them. Jorge Grant should be able to find more time on the ball against these, so he will be key to unlocking play and pushing Notts forward. Share your thoughts about this scouting report 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 welcome Swindon Town to Meadow Lane this evening. As openings to a season go, the Magpies have had arguably one of the toughest ones out there this year in League Two, with all four sides relegated from League One last season up against us in our first seven fixtures. Kevin Nolan's charges have however navigated a very tricky start reasonably well, save for the opener against Coventry City of course, and tonight, another team expected to bounce right back up to comes to Nottingham for what the gaffer has described as "another tough ask". History Notts have met Swindon on 63 occasions, the first time being 103 years ago in the FA Cup. On that day in January 1911, the Robins beat the Magpies 2-0 at the County Ground. Of the 63 clashes, 24 have been won by Notts, 27 by Swindon, and 12 have been drawn. The last meeting between the two was on 7 March 2015, away at the County Ground, and the Robins ran out 3-0 winners. Current league position Notts - third (13 points) Swindon - ninth (10 points) Run-down of the opposition's five games Saturday 12th August – Swindon Town 1 Exeter City 1 Saturday 19th August – Morecambe 0 Swindon Town 1 Saturday 26th August – Swindon Town 0 Crawley Town 3 Saturday 2nd September – Swindon Town 1 Barnet 4 Saturday 9th September – Luton Town 0 Swindon Town 3 Opposition player fact sheet Highest Goal Scorers; Luke Norris 4, Paul Mullin 4, Chris Hussey and Olly Lancashire 1. Persistent Foulers; Donal McDermott 1 red card, Paul Mullin 3 yellow cards, James Dunne 2 yellow cards and Ellis Landolo 2 yellow cards. The Key Players Luke Norris is a very capable goal scorer who can instantly change the outcome of a game with his style of play, he likes to attack and sit off the defenders – this allows him to find the right amount of space in order to have a shot. James Dunne is Swindon’s enforcer within the midfield, he can link play and generally cause a nuisance to the opposition defence. Ollie Lancashire is also someone Notts should do their homework on, as the defender likes to get forward as much as possible and knows how to strike the ball. Style of play, strengths, and weaknesses Swindon like to use the flanks in order to get balls into the opposition's area, at times they try to cut it back at the last minute – this creates space for their offensive players. They tend to be very direct, whilst asserting pressure as they build with momentum but are inclined to sit back and allow the opposition to attack themselves. From an attacking stance they like to get the ball in and behind the last defenders, and can mix between passing on the ground and using the wider space available to them. However, from a defensive point of view they don’t like teams being direct or patient within their own building and can be prone to giving fouls away. Free kicks and set pieces will be vital for Notts, as will ensuring that the corner pieces are not wasted. The Magpies will have to focus on getting the ball into the Swindon area so that it unnerves their defence and allows for swifter chances to come forward. Share your thoughts about this scouting report 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.