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Found 18 results

  1. Notts County head to the New Lawn on Saturday to face Forest Green Rovers as they hope to remain in the top three of League Two. The Magpies leapfrogged Wycombe Wanderers to move into the automatic promotion slots with a 1-1 draw at Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night. FGR will prove a stern test, however, as they have won their last five games on home turf to move seven points clear of the relegation zone. What are Forest Green's strengths, who are their key players, what kind of tactics will they use, and how should Notts counter them? Pride of Nottingham's Chris takes a look in this Scouting Report. Head to head Notts County and Forest Green Rovers have met just twice in competitive action and the Green Devils have not beaten the Magpies yet. The first game came in the third round of the FA Cup on 19 January 2010, and it ended in a 2-1 win for the Magpies at Meadow Lane. This season is the first that both teams share the same league, and the reverse fixture on 7 October - also at the Lane - ended 1-1 with Rob Milsom scoring an injury-time leveller. Saturday's game marks the first time that the Magpies head to FGR's home, the New Lawn Stadium. Run-down of their last six features Wednesday 31st January – Exeter City 2 Forest Green Rovers 0 Saturday 3rd February – Forest Green Rovers 2 Coventry City 1 Tuesday 13th February – Forest Green Rovers 3 Stevenage 1 Saturday 17th February – Morecambe 1 Forest Green Rovers 1 Saturday 24th February – Forest Green Rovers 2 Crawley Town 0 Tuesday 6th March – Newport County 3 Forest Green Rovers 3 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers: Christian Doidge 21, Reuben Reid 3, Reece Brown 3 and Lee Collins 2. Persistent Foulers: Dale Bennett 7 yellow cards and 1 red card, Charlie Cooper 6 yellow cards and 1 red card, Lee Collins 5 yellow cards The Key Players Christian Doidge is a powerhouse who has a natural threat on goal, his crisp and calm finishing is lethal within League Two and the striker is extremely confident with moving forward with the ball showing no fear to shoot from distance. Reece Brown is also very influential in midfield, offering pace and skill when taking on the opposition players. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Forest Green’s form has largely improved since we last met at Meadow Lane and so have their performances. On the ball they look to get forward by moving the ball around well, whilst coming back at times when no more ground can be gained via attacking directly. They also lump the ball quite a fair bit, especially when under pressure but are very content on the ball on the ground. In defence, the Green Devils can be quite sloppy and despite retaining organisation at the back – they fail to remain alert to danger. Opposition teams usually maximise their chances by the chaos caused by the FGR defence's panicking. Games do remain quite open even when they seem strong in possession, as they invite too much pressure on themselves by disconnected play. Their main threat is by their ability to work the ball well in tight areas, as they have several players capable of delivering useful balls, which teams tend to find difficult to attack – it’s clear that Forest Green practice within their training how to deliver balls against their counterparts. For Notts our midfield will need to be patient and careful when building, they’ll have to work hard and present creative chances for any opportunities to fall our way. Ensuring that the FGR defence are constantly troubled will create chances for the Magpies and set pieces seems something which we might be able to make use of. Overall Kevin Nolan shouldn’t get players to commit too deep, yet there must be a finer balance within the centre of the park – as the team that controls the game via the middle will get on top of the game. 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.
  2. Notts County travel to Newport County on Saturday on the back of a victory against Carlisle United which provided much relief to the club's contingent and fans, keeping the Magpies in the playoff places. The Exiles are much improved this term compared to previous seasons but go into this game having lost their last three in League Two. Pride of Nottingham takes a closer look at Newport's form, key players and tactics in this weekend's Scouting Report. Head to head Notts have met Newport 49 times in competitive action: 26 games have been won by the Magpies, 14 by the Exiles, and there have been 9 draws. Newport won this fixture 2-1 at the tail end of last season, which saw the Exiles survive in the Football League by the skin of their teeth and prompted a pitch invasion at Rodney Parade. They haven't beaten Notts in consecutive home matches in the Football League since March 1971. The Magpies have only failed to score once in their last 14 meetings with the Exiles in all competitions, netting 30 goals in those matches. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 13th January – Grimsby Town 1 Newport County 2 Friday 19th January – Newport County 2 Crawley Town 1 Tuesday 23rd January – Newport County 1 Morecambe 1 Tuesday 30th January – Lincoln City 3 Newport County 1 Saturday 3rd February – Colchester United 2 Newport County 0 Tuesday 13th February – Mansfield Town 5 Newport County 0 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goalscorers: Padraig Amond 11, Shawn McCoulsky 11, Frank Nouble 8 and Joss Labadie 6. Persistent Foulers: Joss Labadie 10 yellow cards and 1 red card, Frank Nouble 9 yellow cards, Ben White 7 yellow cards and Matthew Dolan 6 yellow cards. The Key Players Former Notts midfielder Joss Labadie has been influential in Newport County’s midfield, providing assists and attacking support, and also goals to his own tally. On his day he can be a force to be reckoned with and he’s one of those players in League Two who can be considered a game changer. In attack, they have three very attacking minded players in Frank Nouble, Padraig Amond and Shawn McCoulsky – the latter being a player who causes many headaches for his counterparts' defence. Ben White is also a tricky player who likes to get forward and frequently challenges his rivals with a mix basic skill and hard work. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses The Exiles are one of those teams you can’t just predict how they will play, but looking at their form and goals conceded you would have to fancy our chances on the day, provided Kevin Nolan’s men put in a true performance of their ability. At the back they’re very dodgy, a mix of poor zonal marking and a lack of applications means they are often punished by school boy errors at the back. On the ball, they are comfortable in possession and can make good use of it. However, they do tend to be wasteful and a lack of confidence is a major knock towards how they play or even express themselves on a pitch. If their opposition scores early or dominates the game, they generally struggle – yet hard work can often see them claw themselves back into games. It does look like their poor form is mostly down to the sheer amount of goals conceded, so it would appear likely that Notts could cause further problems by ensuring they break carefully and take any chances that present themselves on goal. As I say, defensively Newport do not look like a very good team and if we can bypass their physical side we should do well. The key would be to keep the ball moving promptly, whilst making good movement in and around their back four. Any chances from free-kicks must be used wisely and, I can see an effort easily going in if a chance presents itself – the Exiles keeper seems prone to missing saves from the top right corner. Notts must be strong in possession and, ensure that they play with strength in numbers but must avoid losing concentration at the back. Provided our defence and keeper do their jobs, it should be fairly straight forward but much of this will come down to how Kevin Nolan’s men play. There should be too many changes, and certainly 4-4-2 would give Notts some comfort, yet I would avoid isolating the front by using one striker – as they will play into the hands of Newport’s style of play which is common for League Two. 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.
  3. Notts County return to League Two action on Saturday with a trip to Barnet, who sit bottom of the table. Although the Magpies were superb last time out in the league, winning 4-1 against Crewe, they will be eager to put the 8-1 loss to Swansea City in the FA Cup behind them while also seeking to get back into the automatic promotion places. Pride of Nottingham's latest Scouting Report provides a thorough analysis of the opposition. Head to head Notts have met Barnet just 18 times in competitive fixtures. The record stands at 10 Notts wins, 5 defeats, and 3 draws. Our last five fixtures have yielded 3 wins - including the last 2 - and 2 losses. Run-down of their last six fixtures Saturday 30th December – Exeter City 2 Barnet 1 Monday 1st January – Barnet 1 Swindon Town 2 Saturday 13th January – Crawley Town 2 Barnet 0 Saturday 20th January – Barnet 1 Lincoln City 1 Saturday 27th January – Cheltenham Town 1 Barnet 1 Saturday 3rd February – Mansfield Town 3 Barnet 1 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers; Shaquile Coulthirst 10, Simeon Akinola 5, John Akinde 4 and Jamal Campbell-Ryce 4. Persistent Foulers; Jack Taylor 4 yellow cards and 1 red card, David Tutonda 6 yellow cards, Michael Nelson 4 yellow cards and Andre Blackman 2 yellow cards and 1 red card. The Key Players The Glovers Bees goalscorer Shaquile Coulthirst is a player that poses a real threat to the Notts back-four, his ability to play off the defenders shoulder – whilst maximising his pace is a real concern as he could prove very difficult to handle. In midfield, Ryan Watson is also someone who contributes to Barnets attacking ability – as his eye for a pass can be something which splits the defence and, going forward he likes to get in on the action with the strikers. Ricardo Santos at the back is someone who should be very switched on and, his simple play can be quite misleading – however the magpies’ may struggle to get the better of him due to his awareness at the back. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Barnet have taken a massive downward fall in recent seasons, however on their day they’re not a bad League Two outfit. They have plenty of ability across the field, with some very capable and quick players at their disposal. However, their issue greatly falls under a lack of confidence and belief within their own play. Good sides tend to punish them for their defensive relapses, yet they can score goals themselves – which isn’t something Kevin Nolan’s men should neglect to remember on the day. Performance wise, they struggle to get into games – they can have a lot of possession but fail to make use of it. Whilst they do appear decent going forward, the confidence is a massive sign when you see what they often do with the ball in the final third – often making use of scrappy play or a wonder goal to score. Defensively, they’re very poor and this is their biggest issue on the field. Nobody seems responsible to marking and, although Ricardo Santos does very well to bridge in this major lack of concentration – they aren’t exactly helping themselves. They seem a squad that’s instructed to go out and earn a point, nothing more – so they often fail to ask questions of their oppositions defence despite doing well in games. Tactically for Notts, they need to avoid being deep and inviting the Bees to attack. After the Swansea game our midfield needs to take hold of the game as early as possible and get a real feel for how the game may pan out. I fully expect Barnet to make some rash challenges, so the players will need to show no fear with silly challenges in an attempt not to be bullied when on the ball. The flanks will be a key area on the pitch for Notts and, the use of Mason Bennetts pace up top might allow for floating passing from distance to allow changes to be created in and behind the Barnet’s back four. Notts just have to be direct, build carefully and avoid rushing passes. Chances will naturally come with Notts push and use what pace we have at our disposal but it’s of great importance that we don’t leave ourselves exposed at the back or invite Barnet to play. This will require a good performance from Notts and each player must support both attacking and defensive 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.
  4. January brought Notts County joy in the FA Cup but disappointment in League Two, but February is a fresh month and we're all hoping the Magpies can kick on. First up this month is Crewe Alexandra, who come to Meadow Lane and are likely to play before one of the largest crowds seen at the ground for years. How have the Railwaymen done in recent weeks? Who are their danger men? Pride of Nottingham's Scouting Report sheds more light on these questions and more. Head to head Notts and Crewe have played 44 times in competitive games, and we have the upper hand with 21 wins to 14 defeats, while 9 draws have taken place. The Magpies are unbeaten in their last six home league games against Crewe (three wins and three draws), finding the net at least once in all six matches (12 goals). However, the Alex are unbeaten in their last three League Two clashes against the Magpies (one win and two draws). Our last meeting came in October last year at Gresty Road, a 2-0 defeat for us. Run-down of their last six features Tuesday 26th December – Chesterfield 0 Crewe Alexandra 2 Saturday 30th December – Cambridge United 3 Crewe Alexandra 1 Monday 1st January – Crewe Alexandra 2 Grimsby Town 0 Saturday 13th January – Carlisle United 1 Crewe Alexandra 0 Saturday 20th January – Crewe Alexandra 2 Wycombe Wanderers 3 Saturday 27th January – Swindon Town 4 Crewe Alexandra 3 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers; Chris Porter 12, Chris Dagnall 7, Jordan Bowery 5 and Callum Ainley 5. Persistent Foulers; Perry NG 8 yellow cards and 1 red card, Michael Raynes 7 yellow cards and 1 red card, Brad Walker 7 yellow cards and Eddie Nolan 5 yellow cards. The Key Players Crewe Alexandra have some very capable players within in midfield, none more so than Brad Walker and Tom Lowery, two very creative players. One is your typical 'grab the game by the scruff off the neck' player, whilst the other works very hard to create decent chances. Up top Chris Porter and Chris Dagnall are both strikers easily able to unlock their opposition and, despite the Alex struggling, they've done well to get their team goals. Also up front, Jordan Bowery is a decent player at League Two level – he possesses something completely different from the other two strikers and his pace can be a tricky factor. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Crewe Alexandra are a decent League Two outfit, they are struggling financially and, as a result have been reduced to quite a small squad. They possess a very capable midfield and strikeforce, which I am surprised they have been able to retain during this January transfer window. Crewe’s main issues are their defence and lack of confidence within the camp. On the field, they try to play football in the right way. They’re a good passing side that like to move the ball around promptly. In possession of the ball they can use it well and, can punish teams by clever play – they try to hit teams creatively and with pace. The major downfall for the Alex is their inability to defend well, individual errors often leads to scrappy goals and poor marking can often be very costly too. Also, there’s a real lack of discipline across their team and this can easily take points from what can be a very tough side – they have fighting spirit which often sees them not give up but their poor play often is more than enough to change the final outcome. Notts will have to be mindful about allowing any incidents to become out of control, whilst ensuring players are protected when on the ball. Passing wise, it just has to be direct and creative. Husin and Noble have a real chance of unlocking for our forwards and Stead, Ameobi, Bennett and even Forte could find this useful (if the latter plays). The pace will certainly be useful to have up top, as will someone of Ameobi’s mould and print. I expect Crewe to try and keep it scrappy at the back, whilst keeping the ball down within midfield – almost how Notts tend to play themselves. Winning the ball back will be key, but making use of it without forcing play would be highly beneficial. The Magpies just have to be calm on the ball, mindful and creative. This is a very good chance to ensure we crack on, however we can’t expect to go into the game at Meadow Lane and expect to steamroll the opposition. 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.
  5. Notts County have the opportunity to put their 2-1 defeat to Exeter City behind them with tonight's League Two home game against Crawley Town. How have the Red Devils been doing in the league? Who are their key players? And how are they expected to play? Pride of Nottingham's Chris takes a look in our latest Scouting Report. Head to head Notts County have played Crawley Town 11 times in their history. The first fixture between the two was on 10 November 2012 at Meadow Lane, a League One meeting which finished 1-1. Meanwhile the return fixture, played away on 9 March 2013, ended as a goalless draw. The record stands at seven Notts wins, two Crawley wins, and two draws - all games took place either in League One or League Two. Notts have won their last five games in a row agains Crawley, and seven of the last eight. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 23rd December – Accrington Stanley 2 Crawley Town 3 Tuesday 26th December – Crawley Town 0 Colchester United 2 Saturday 30th December – Crawley Town 1 Stevenage 0 Monday 1st January – Yeovil Town 1 Crawley 2 Saturday 13th January – Crawley Town 2 Barnet 0 Friday 19th January – Newport County 2 Crawley Town 1 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers: Jordan Roberts 7, Enzio Boldewijn 6, Jimmy Smith 5 and Ibrahim Meite 3. Persistent Foulers: Jordan Roberts 7 yellow cards and 1 red card, Josh Yorwerth 5 yellow cards and 1 red card, Mark Randall 6 yellow cards and Jimmy Smith 3 yellow card and 1 card. The Key Players In midfield, Lewis Young is a versatile player who offers a lot of pace – the younger brother of Manchester United star Ashley Young will be a player which will be required to be marked tightly by the magpies defence. Also, Jordan Roberts is a tall posing player who has added goals to his tally this season. The creative spark within Crawley’s midfield – he has the ability to switch from an out-wide area to convert nicely within the centre park. Enzio Boldewijn is a threat up top and, on his day can really cause havoc in the oppositions defence. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Crawley Town are a physical but slow building team that focuses on creating chances from out wide, and hitting the opposition when space opens up. They tend to sit back in an effort to absorb the pressure, this allows them to get a good feel for the game, and ultimately understand their counterparts better. Due to this, the Red Devils can largely but put on the back foot from good play and as a direct result it puts them in danger – defensively they roll the dice a fair bit and rely on luck to survive conceding. On the ball, they like ot press deep and use aerial balls as a way to cause havoc – where pace can exploit their opposition they do show no signs of fearing taking a team on, and if losing being a goal or two down doesn’t deter them either. They’re a decent League Two team, who have the foundations to cause any side within this league problems. However, due to their style of play and inconsistent performances – they do make it an uphill task for themselves not only to remain in competition for any points but also when creating their own chances on goal. It’s clear that Notts will have to think more about how to hold the ball, whilst protecting their creative players. Frustration will also be something that Notts will have to keep in check, so it’s important that little niggles don’t become a larger concern as the game progresses – as both sides will be naturally guilty of making silly mistakes. I would like to see Notts use the flanks, as a way to gain ground but also switch to the centre of the park using timed overlaps as a way to directly cut in behind the opposition. More chances should naturally fall for both teams, however if Notts focus more on the ground and use their feet well – this will unlock the Crawley Town defence in my opinion. Set pieces and free kicks from an heading position may be an area whereby Notts could exploit. However, they shouldn’t be scared to have a shot from distance. 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.
  6. Notts County will take on fellow promotion chasers Exeter City in Saturday's League Two meeting at Meadow Lane. How have the Grecians done in recent weeks? Who are their key players? What style of football do they play? Find out with Pride of Nottingham's latest Scouting Report. Head to head Notts are unbeaten in their last three league matches against the Grecians, boasting two wins and a draw, and keeping clean sheets in two of those matches. However, Exeter have avoided defeat in each of their last two visits to Meadow Lane in League Two, including a 4-1 away win in this exact fixture in the 2015/16 campaign. Notts and Exeter have met 45 times in competitive actions, with 18 Magpie wins, 19 draws and just 8 losses. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 9th December – Colchester United 3 Exeter City 1 Saturday 16th December – Exeter City 2 Stevenage 1 Saturday 23rd December – Yeovil Town 3 Exeter City 1 Saturday 30th December – Exeter City 2 Barnet 1 Monday 1st January – Newport County 2 Exeter City 1 Saturday 13th January – Exeter City 1 Coventry City 0 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers; Jayden Stockley 13, Pierce Sweeney 5, Jake Taylor 4 and Liam McAlinden 4. Persistent Foulers; Lloyd James 8 yellow cards, Jordan Tillson 5 yellow cards and 1 red card, Jake Taylor 5 yellow cards and Kane Wilson 1 yellow card and a single red card. The Key Players Striker Jayden Stockley has come into his element this season, on goal he possesses the calm finishing required to be a top scorer in the leagues above and is currently playing with a lot of confidence. Jake Taylor has been a pivotal piece within Exeter City’s midfield, having created chances through his creativity and also chipping in with his own goal – his creativity and energy is hard to suppress and he enjoys taking on opposition players. In goal Christy Pym is a very capable League Two keeper, who’s shot-stopping ability makes him very difficult to beat. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Exeter express themselves very well, creatively they are very forward-thinking and like dominate heavily with spells of possession. They can break well using a very narrow formation; however, this tends to leave space to exploit at the back. On the ball they are calm, yet can be pressured when well-marked – mistakes don’t frequently occur and they usually make good use of the ball. Their ability to overthink play can mean chances do become limited, whilst they resemble a typical side that becomes frustrated by a lack of clear opportunity on goal. Defensively they’re organised, yet don’t rely on staying deep – this again in turn leaves opposition teams space to attempt to break them down. They struggle to defend during breaks and pace is an area where they usually start to see individual mistakes at the back. Overall they’re a good team but can easily be pressed, their inconsistency to perform does allow good sides to find a way to break them down, and even in cases where they do struggle sides can punish them by pushing for a goal during an heavy attack. The key for Notts will be limit their time on the ball, whilst ensuring that any chances that do fall Exeter City’s way ultimately end up being half chances. I expect frustration to build up if we do keep them quiet, so again set pieces may play a vital part for us during the game. Share your thoughts about this Scouting Report 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.
  7. So here comes the big one... Notts County travel to Luton Town on Saturday as first takes on second in League Two. How should the Magpies approach this game? What are their opponents' strengths and weaknesses? PON's Chris has a look in this weekend's Scouting Report. Head to head Notts County and Luton Town have faced off 70 times in their history. The first meeting came in January 1912 when the Magpies secured a 4-2 away win in the FA Cup. Luton dominate the head-to-head with 35 wins over Notts, 20 draws and 15 defeats. Out of the 11 matches between the two that have taken place since the turn of the century, Notts have won four, drawn four and lost four. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 21st October – Crawley Town 0 Luton Town 0 Saturday 28th October – Luton Town 0 Coventry City 3 Saturday 11th November – Cheltenham Town 2 Luton Town 2 Saturday 18th November – Luton Town 7 Cambridge United 0 Tuesday 21st November – Luton Town 3 Carlisle United 0 Saturday 25th November – Crewe Alexandra 1 Luton Town 2 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers: Danny Hylton 13, James Collins 9, Dan Potts 6 and Elliot Lee 6. Persistent Foulers: Dan Potts 7 yellow cards, Alan Sheehan 6 yellow cards, Danny Hylton 4 yellow cards and Scott Cuthbert 2 yellow cards and a single red card. The Key Players At the back Dan Potts leads with example, he’s a very capable defender and likes to get forward as much as possible. His ability to strike the ball and contribute to attacking play is equally as effect as his leadership at the back. Meanwhile, in midfield, duo Olly Lee and Jack Stacey are the creative outlets for Luton Town. They enjoy breaking down teams with clever passing, whilst showcasing an array of different types of passing in order to maximise their attacks. Upfront they are blessed with several options on goal, however the prolific Danny Hylton suits their style of play well and likes to cause as much problems for the oppositions defence. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Luton Town as can be expected are a well organised team, both at the back and going forward. They like to use the flanks as their main outlet for breaking down teams, using a mix of low and high pass in order to get into key areas. In the air they’re naturally very impressive and deliver inch perfect crosses from a wide range of areas that results in chances being created. They commit players going forward, however the shape they often play means they have cover throughout the field of play. Despite being a very attacking minded team, they don’t pressure sides by maintaining the ball and do like to invite play onto themselves – however this is something that they tend to use to counter. When they’re playing well, Luton are a very difficult team to break down and they are comfortable playing the ball on the ground and defending it within the air. Position-wise they don’t tend to leave much space, and cover areas which other teams often tend to forget about when being so heavily focused on attacking play – however, Luton do tend to allow teams to shoot from distance. When they feel comfortable they do allow teams to pass, and their focus can temporarily be lacking but usually only for brief breaks. When they don’t have a grip of the game, play is more open and teams with pace often find this to be the best method of attacking. Likewise, being patient in possession and moving the ball around nicely is something which they tend to worry less about – which can be a mistake on their part. Notts will have to be fully alert to the dangerous capabilities that Luton Town presents. In the air they’ll have to show no fear, whilst on the ground we really do need to be quick at covering the ball and attempting to win it back. Going forward, Notts will naturally need to make use of set pieces – whilst switching the areas in which they attack would be something that might catch their defence napping. We really will be required to be strong on the ball, whilst creative and smart within our play going forward. There will be little chance for mistakes, so we need to focus on playing them at their own game and forcing them to repeatedly attempt to figure out how best to break us down. I think both teams will cancel each other out, for us it’s just a case of being alert at the back and taking whatever chances we may get on goal. Share your thoughts about this Scouting Report 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.
  8. Notts County's League Two campaign gets put on hold for a week as they host National League South side Oxford City in the second round of the FA Cup. With the game on BT Sport, the stage is set for the Magpies to try and reach the hallowed third round of the competition, but City have made it through four stages to get here, including a win over Colchester United. How should Notts play? What can they expect from their non-league opponents? Pride of Nottingham finds out with Chris's Scouting Report. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 7th October – Oxford City 2 Poole Town 3 Saturday 21st October – Hemel Hempstead 2 Oxford City 0 Saturday 28th October – Oxford City 1 Concord Rangers 1 Saturday 11th November – Chelmsford City 1 Oxford City 2 Saturday 18th November – Oxford City 3 Wealdstone 2 Tuesday 21st November – Bognor Regis Town 0 Oxford City 0 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers: Matthew Paterson 9, Reece Fleet 4, Zac McEachran 4 and David Pearce 3. Persistent Foulers: N/A no stats available. The Key Players Looking at Oxford City’s squad, it’s clear that their main threat is that of Matthew Paterson, he likes to get into the opposition's penalty area and generally causes trouble within the lower levels but tends to miss more chances than he takes. Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, the brother of Liverpool and England midfielder Alex, is a pacey winger who can score from the flank when presented a chance. He likes to run directly down the wing, whilst on occasions he does attack more towards goal itself. Reece Fleet is their creative player, often carving out chances with his passing ability but he is also comfortable in front of goal and has a decent strike on him. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Form in previous games, especially games within the league, really does go out of the window here but the style in which they play does take some bearing on the tactics in FA Cup games. In the first round cup, City set themselves up defensively but with the mind set to counter when the chance presented itself – they attacked well at times and deserved their victory, because as a unit they put in a solid performance. Whilst in the league it’s the typical any team can win, when sides work harder or appear more confident on the ball, City really do struggle. Several players tend to go missing and their play takes a major hit due to this. On the ball they can build nicely, either by running directly into space (commonly the flanks) or by playing simple neat one-twos as a way to gain ground. If allowed to play this way, they do it well, and this is where Colchester United failed by never attacking wisely. In games where sides do allow them to play, City tend to assert control from midfield and work the ball around the oppositions penalty box showing no fear of shooting early. If Notts mark tightly, draw them further up the field, this should make it fairly difficult for City. Defensively they don’t like being hit with pace or when multiple players make good movement, this tends to cause confusion and their inability to pick up dangerous runs can be highly effective for opposition teams. From distance set pieces will be a natural way to get around any issue caused by Oxford playing a deep defensive line. Whilst the use of our quicker players who can draw players onto them, will release our strikers. Notts must match their work-rate and work as a team during this clash, as any individual errors are likely to lead only to problems. 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.
  9. We're 19 games into the season and top spot in League Two keeps changing hands more often than a game of "pass the parcel". Notts County were top of the table until Tuesday night, when a 1-1 draw at Yeovil Town saw Luton Town return to the top on goal difference. But this weekend we go again and the team standing between the Magpies and three points is Colchester United, who currently sit in a very healthy ninth place in the standings. How should Notts line up against the U's? What's their style of play and how can we counter it in order to be most effective and clinch victory? PON's Chris aims to answer these questions in this Scouting Report. History Notts County have met Colchester United 43 times over the years, all league encounters except for one Sherpa Vans Trophy tie in 1988. The Magpies are in front when it comes to head-to-head, having won 21 games to Colchester's 15, with seven draws. The first fixture between Notts and Colchester took place on 23 February 1959 at Layer Road, a Division Three clash which finished 4-1 to the U's. The last fixture was last season on 1 April, the Magpies winning 3-1 at Meadow Lane. All league encounters between the two have never taken place higher than the third tier. Run-down of their last six features Tuesday 17th October – Newport County 1 Colchester United 2 Saturday 21st October – Coventry City 0 Colchester United 0 Saturday 28th October – Colchester United 3 Crewe Alexandra 1 Saturday 11th November – Barnet 0 Colchester United 1 Saturday 18th November – Colchester United 0 Morecombe 0 Tuesday 21st November – Colchester United 1 Lincoln City 0 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers: Sammie Szmodics 7, Mikael Mandron 6, Kyel Reid 3 and Ryan Jackson 2. Persistent Foulers: Tom Lapslie 6 yellow cards and 1 red card, Mikael Mandron 4 yellow cards and 1 red card, Lewis Kinsella 4 yellow cards and Doug Loft 4 yellow cards. The Key Players Mikael Mandron is a versatile player, who can play out wide or up front. He’s a player that Notts will have to mark wisely, as he will cause some trouble if allowed to find space. In an attacking midfield position Sammie Szmodics is capable of lashing a shot towards goal from distance; he’s also a threat during set pieces and from corner kicks. Lastly at the back Tom Eastman tends to lead the line and offers something to both Colchester United going forward and protecting the back. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Colchester United like to get the ball out wide where they have pace, whilst showing determination to take on the opposition with direct runs. They also tend to knock it back into the centre of the park where again they like to run in order to create chances and find space. They can carefully craft chances whilst not being afraid to be patient within their build up play. The majority of chances fall just outside the opposition area where they aren’t afraid to have a pop at goal – which will be a test for Notts to ensure they close them down early as possible. Tactically they build in the right way, showing a nice mixture of styles and methods in order to create organic chances. However, they’re prone to wasting chances but nonetheless they’re a team to be wary of. At the back they are quite solid and well organised, teams find it hard to gain space – whilst breaking them down isn’t easy at all. They hide their weaknesses well, which teams often explore during the half way period on how to exactly attack them – this will be a good test for the creative players within the Magpies’ ranks and the centre pairing within midfield will need to be knocking on Colchester’s door in terms of causing them problems. I can’t see many one-on-ones being created, so Notts may be force into drawing fouls for free kicks or taking shots themselves from distance. Share your thoughts about this Scouting Report article 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.
  10. With Notts County two points clear at the top of League Two following Saturday's 3-1 win over Cheltenham Town, attention must swiftly turn to a taxing midweek fixture away at Yeovil Town. Although the Glovers currently sit 17th in the table, they have claimed a number of big scalps this season, including Coventry City, Exeter City and Accrington Stanley. How should the Magpies approach this game? Here is Chris's Scouting Report to analyse the fixture and the opposition from a tactical perspective. History Notts County and Yeovil Town have met 15 times over the years. The first game took place at Meadow Lane on 4 November 1961, with the Magpies beating their opponents 4-2 in the FA Cup. That was the only meeting of the two pre-21st century - the 14 meetings following that game all took place between 2004 and this year. The last game was a League Two encounter at Meadow Lane last February, a goalless draw. Yeovil have the upper edge in the head-to-head with seven wins, five defeats and three draws against Notts. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 14th October – Yeovil Town 2 Crewe Alexandra 0 Tuesday 17th October – Cambridge United 2 Yeovil Town 1 Saturday 21st October – Barnet 1 Yeovil Town 1 Saturday 28th October – Yeovil Town 3 Stevenage 0 Saturday 11th November – Carlisle United 4 Yeovil Town 0 Saturday 18th November – Yeovil Town 1 Swindon Town 2 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers; Otis Khan 7, Olufela Olomola 7, Francois Zoko 5 and Sam Surridge 5. Persistent Foulers; Francois Zoko 5 yellow cards and 1 red card, Olufela Olomola 2 yellow cards and 1 red card, Nathan Smith 4 yellow cards and Otis Khan 4 yellow cards. The Key Players Midfielder James Bailey is Yeovil’s engine in midfield. If he’s playing at the top of his game, it influences the players around him. He has the ability to take hold of a game and instantly change, whilst pressing he can also unlock chances. Francois Zoko on his day can be a major problem, both for the opposition but also his own team. If given space, he can cause headaches at the back – however this is provided he keeps his temper in check. His strike partner Olufela Olomola, meanwhile, is also a very pacey option for Yeovil who likes to be direct, and his attitude and energy can really cause problems. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Yeovil Town mix their style between passing along the floor, whilst they also try to break teams down by keeping the ball in the air – quick passes usually enable them to move forward into the opposition territory and it does warrant some concern if allowed to play. They like to inject pace onto the ball, but they seem to have a fairly weak grasp on their organization, whilst they tend to give silly fouls away which often leads to them feeling exposed at the back. If caught out in possession it takes them a little time to adjust, something which good teams often use to their own advantage. Despite looking comfortable on the ball, all it takes is for an individual to make one mistake and this can really be Yeovil’s undoing. Defensively they just don’t seem committed when it matters, there’s little pressing and their loose marking makes it very easy for the opposition to have a shot. Teams that work hard and perform well often manage to make the most of the chances gained, so it’s important for Notts to be strong within the midfield, yet patient upfront when it matters. Picking the ball up and countering will be something Notts could use to their advantage, as is drawing fouls – free-kicks and other set pieces will naturally come if Yeovil are pressed. If we play with our own tempo and pace, avoiding just focusing on one flank, Notts should enable space to open up within the centre of the park. Jorge Grant, Ryan Yates and Rob Milsom will be players who can maximise the opportunities which presence themselves. Overall Yeovil aren’t to be underestimated, yet if the game can be controlled by Notts, it should fall in favour of the away team. Share your thoughts about this Scouting Report 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.
  11. Here we are in mid-November and Notts County continue to hold top spot in League Two. Up next for us is a home encounter with Cheltenham Town, who currently sit 16th in the table. How are the Robins likely to line up? What tactics could they use? What's their style of play and how should Notts counter it? Here is a thorough analysis by PON's Chris about the weekend's game and the opponents. History Notts County and Cheltenham Town have met just 10 times over the years. The first meeting came in Division 2 on 28 September 2002 at Whaddon Road, and Notts comfortably won 4-1. Notts are ahead in the head-to-head with 6 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 7th October – Cheltenham Town 2 Swindon Town 1 Saturday 14th October – Port Vale 3 Cheltenham Town 1 Tuesday 17th October – Cheltenham Town 2 Grimsby Town 3 Saturday 21st October – Cheltenham Town 1 Lincoln City 0 Saturday 28th October – Wycombe Wanderers 3 Cheltenham Town 3 Saturday 11th November – Cheltenham Town 2 Luton Town 2 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers; Mohamed Eisa 7, Kevin Dawson 6, Brian Graham 5 and Danny Wright 5. Persistent Foulers; Kevin Dawson 3 yellow cards and 1 red card, Brian Graham 4 yellow cards, Harry Pell 4 yellow cards and Jordan Cranston 3 yellow cards. The Key Players Harry Pell is the standout player for me, he’s a comfortable and confident player on the ball – who likes to make direct runs into space which allows the game to open up for Cheltenham Town. He also has a good eye for finishing and can be a treat from set pieces. Upfront Mohamed Eisa also has an eye for goal, however he’s also very skilful on the ball and likes to take on runs when possible – he naturally draws defenders onto him and this generally doesn’t affect his game. Jordan Cranston has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring and he will be missed by the Robins - he is pacey, likes to get on the ball as much as possible and influences the game positively with his passing ability. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Cheltenham Town tend to press their opposition which leads to some good displays, however they’re largely inconsistent in terms of their performance and often get punished due to individual mistakes. On the ball they are confident and build nicely as a unit, they make use of numbers and aren’t afraid to commit players to their attacks. However, this leaves them vulnerable at the back and due to their attacking style – this tends to invite play onto themselves. Good teams often find plenty of space and opportunities to shot on goal, but in certain situations this can cancel out play leading to scrappy play. There’s a good amount of pace within the Robins’ side and this certainly something which opposition teams can struggle against – whilst their attitude to never surrounding does mean that they can often make up for the individual mistakes which leads to them conceding. The good football that they do express can result in them controlling the game, yet this is something which doesn’t happen as often as their manager Gary Johnson may like. Notts will have to be physical to assert authority on the ball, whilst maintaining confidence under any direct pressure. Our midfield will be key to unlocking chances, however I fully expect them to be required to help with defensive duties and as such it’s important we don’t over stretch ourselves. Corners will be a useful tool for the Magpies’ and if we make use of the space which opens up from set plays, I can certainly see this as being a useful form of attack for Notts. There’s no doubt Cheltenham are a decent outfit within League Two and as such, we shouldn’t underestimate them. Share your thoughts about this Scouting Report article 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.
  12. So after the diversions of the FA Cup (a 4-2 win over Bristol Rovers) and the EFL Trophy (a 2-1 defeat at Lincoln City), Notts County get back to the main task of league football. The Magpies proudly sit atop League Two and will be hoping to maintain their spot at the summit on Saturday when they take on Stevenage away. Chris has written up a scouting report for the game and discusses how Notts should line up and approach their opponents at Broadhall Way. History Notts County and Stevenage have only ever met 11 times, the first meeting coming on 17 September 2011 at Broadhall Way (known as the Lamex Stadium) - the result on that day was 2-0 to the Magpies. Our last meeting was on 4 March last season, and it proved a humbling day as Stevenage claimed a 3-0 win at Broadhall Way. Our head-to-head record is five wins for Notts, five for Stevenage, and one draw. On a knife's edge then. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 30th September – Stevenage 2 Port Vale 0 Saturday 7th October – Crewe Alexandra 1 Stevenage 0 Saturday 14th October – Luton Town 7 Stevenage 1 Tuesday 17th October – Stevenage 3 Accrington Stanley 2 Saturday 21st October – Stevenage 1 Forest Green Rovers 2 Saturday 28th October – Yeovil Town 3 Stevenage 0 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers: Matt Godden 8, Danny Newton 6, Jonathan Smith 4 and Ben Kennedy 4. Persistent Foulers: Jonathan Smith 5 yellow cards, Dale Gorman 3 yellow cards and 1 red card, Luke Wilkinson 2 yellow cards and 1 red card and Joe Martin 2 yellow cards. The Key Players Matt Godden is a very confident striker at this level, he enjoys working off the opposition defence and has the ability to find time within key areas due to his exceptions understanding of the game. His ability to read the game is what makes him stand out along with his natural shooting ability. His strike partner Danny Newton is also a threat due to his knack of shooting from distance. He’s more of a standard player, yet his non-league days have aided his work-rate as he is a very hard worker both on and off the ball. Joe Martin and Thomas Pett provide the creativity within midfield, they have goals within themselves but also are key to Stevenage’s attacks. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Stevenage build using simple passing which allows them to build whilst having options to pack out in order to cause difficulty in terms of defending from an opposition point of view. They play the ball quite well on the ground when allowed, however they can revert to route-one football and look a very capable side within the same process. Attacking-wise they have a real time spirit, which allows them to have a good understanding on how best to use the ball. On the ball their organisation is quite good, but when pressured at the back, the defence tends to create their own problems. At the back they are a very physical team which can draw fouls, however they allow their midfield to be the creative side and as such defensively they are quite reliable. I do feel that drawing free-kicks from their defenders will be a way whereby Notts can get the ball into effective areas, whilst any player confident to have a go at goal will surely have them being mindful. Notts simply have to play the ball on the ground, move within space and just overload their back line with our pace and aerial ability. Hoofing the ball will only play into their hands, which will allow them to dictate the tempo and take hold of the game – so we must be confident within possession and understand that they will get wary when pressure is asserted onto them from a defensive point of view. Playing with an attacking mind will take the edge of the game and allow it to open up, so let’s hope that players such as Jorge Grant, Shola Ameobi and Matt Tootle can find the space to influence the game. 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.
  13. With the distraction of the midweek EFL Trophy game out of the way, Notts County can get back to the fixtures that matter. Up this Saturday is a League Two home game against Newport County, a team that survived in the Football League by the skin of their teeth the last two seasons but currently sit sixth in the standings. The Magpies remain in a very healthy second place in the table but there can be no denying that performances and results have slightly slipped recently, so Kevin Nolan will be eager to get the ball rolling once again. In this week's Scouting Report, Chris has an in-depth look at the opposition and how Notts should approach the game. History Notts County and Newport County have met a total of 48 times over the years, the first fixture coming in 1930, which the Magpies won 3-2. The head-to-head record is skewed in the Magpies’ favour, with 25 wins, 9 draws and 14 defeats. The last meeting was in May 2017, the last game of last season, and Newport won 2-1 at Rodney Parade to avoid the drop to the National League. Run-down of their last six features Tuesday 26th September – Crawley Town 1 Newport County 2 Saturday 30th September – Luton Town 3 Newport County 1 Saturday 7th October – Newport County 2 Yeovil Town 0 Saturday 14th October – Forest Green Rovers 0 Newport County 4 Tuesday 17th October – Newport County 1 Colchester United 2 Saturday 21st October – Newport County 1 Mansfield Town 1 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest goalscorers: Shawn McCoulsky 7, Padraig Amond 6, Frank Nouble 5 and Joss Labadie 3. Persistent foulers: Joss Labadie 4 yellow cards, Matthew Dolan 4 yellow cards, Ben White 4 yellow cards and Mark O’Brien 3 yellow cards. The Key Players Despite the obvious flaws about Joss Labadie, i.e. his temper, he is a good technical player on the ball, who can move into good positions or dictate the play with his passing ability. He’s also dangerous if given time to shoot and can really be an influential player on his day. Also former Magpie player David Pipe is a forward thinking player that likes to use his distribution as a way to unlock opportunities for his side – in our last game of the 2016-17 season he was paramount in the Exiles bid to overcome defeat and also to remain a League Two team. Attacking duo Frank Nouble and Shawn McCoulsky offer a lot of dynamic play up top, with the latter being someone who can instantly impact a game for the better once coming off the bench as a substitute. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Newport County are a much more organised outlet this term, they focus on attacking and controlling games this way – which can see a mixed performance in terms of the result. They tend to keep players back, which doesn’t always mean they get a feel for their own attacking play. However, they can break with pace and have good deliveries from set pieces – including a very respectful long throw specialist which can cause their opposition some headaches when used effectively. On the ground they are quite confident and this is where they prefer to keep the ball, as it allows their better players to threaten carefully. As a result, to being quite deep, their defence tends to invite play and I would pin point a lack of focus at the back. At times it’s almost kamikaze defending, with little communication and this allows teams which remain focused to come out on top – a lot of the goals conceded by Newport County fall under this scenario. Yet they don’t give teams a lot of time on the ball, rather they rush to cover or block – and again this results in them often leaving their keeper exposed. Route-one football is something which Newport can take advantage from, although it can be a weakness from a defensive point of view. Notts really need to focus on getting wide, whilst making the most of space which comes available as they move as a unit going forward. If we are clever in possession and patient, openings will arise where players such as Grant or Stead may get a clinical shot a way towards goal. Set pieces, especially corner kicks are something whereby the Magpies may create a chance. Distribution of the ball is key, being steady at the back – in terms of being alert and quick to danger will ensure the control remains in an home advantage. 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.
  14. What goes up must come down, and following Notts County's incredible spell between mid-August and late September, things have taken a bit of a downturn. The Magpies still remain in the upper reaches of the League Two table, but following three poor performances from the last four games, alarm bells have started ringing just a little. Up next is the long trip to Cumbria on Saturday, where Carlisle United await us. Here is Chris's Scouting Report for the game at Brunton Park. History Carlisle United and Notts County have met 32 times since their first clash back in October 1959, a Fourth Division clash that was won 2-0 by the Cumbrians. Out of those, the Magpies have won 17 and lost 12, with just 3 draws. Our last meeting was on 8 April this year in League Two, a 2-1 win at Brunton Park. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 23rd September – Crewe Alexandra 0 Carlisle United 5 Tuesday 26th September – Carlisle United 0 Stevenage 2 Saturday 30th September – Crawley Town 0 Carlisle United 1 Saturday 7th October – Carlisle United 0 Exeter City 1 Saturday 14th October – Colchester United 0 Carlisle United 1 Tuesday 17th October – Carlisle United 3 Wycombe Wanderers 3 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers; Reggie Lamb 6, Hallam Hope 4, Danny Grainger 3 and Shaun Miller 2. Persistent Foulers; Tom Parkes 2 red cards and 2 yellow cards, Richard Bennett 1 red card and 2 yellow cards, Danny Grainger 4 yellow cards and Luke Joyce 3 yellow cards. The Key Players Luke Joyce is a player capable of taking any game hands on, and has the ability to instantly turn things around – the midfielder does have a temper but as a creative outlet he offers Carlisle a lot going forward and in terms of defending. Reggie Lamb is another stand-out player who offers the Cumbrians bags of energy and is menacing in front of goal. At the back Danny Grainger is an experienced defender who leads by example, yet also has an eye for goal. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Carlisle United like to play the game in the right way, their movement at times can be a joy to watch and it’s certainly very clever when it pays off. They tend to put men behind the ball even when going forward, whilst ensuring space is created - this means the opposition have to both get tighter but also more zonally aware which plays to the Cumbrians' advantage when space opens up at the back. In procession they’re a very hard working team not afraid to take on teams, however they can be slow in their build-up play which means more time is created to use the ball wisely. Defensively they can lose focus, whilst allowing teams too much time of their own on the ball. They tend to mark loosely, inviting teams to continue playing rather than dealing with the threat at the right time – almost eerily similar to Notts. Likewise, they can show complete control of games expressing some very entertaining football, only to completely allow their hard work to be undone very poorly. Yet for the most part they are a consistent outlet, and also a noticeable team within League Two who on their day can impress. Quite rightly so Carlisle manager Keith Curle as pointed out one of his side's biggest weaknesses with his comment on the Magpies' free-kicks: ‘Notts are inventive with set pieces and comfortable in their style’. Their inability to deal with the opposition with key areas can result in chances coming from set pieces, and as a result is something Notts can take advantage of. However, provided we pass wisely and match Carlisle United in terms of desire and effort chances will come, it will be down to the strongest team to take them and to kill off the game. 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.
  15. We're just over a quarter of the season through and Notts County continue to sit nicely in the top three of League Two. However, alarm bells have started ringing ever so slightly as the Magpies have made a hash of their last two games, losing at Mansfield and scraping a draw with Forest Green. Another weekend, another chance. Up next are Barnet, another seemingly "winnable" game, but of course Notts need to take caution given their blip. In this article, Chris provides the lowdown on Saturday's opponents. History Notts County and Barnet have met 17 times over the years. The head to head stands at 9 wins for Notts, 5 for Barnet, and 3 draws. The first meeting took place only 20 years ago, the Magpies winning 2-1 at Underhill in Division 3. The last fixture took place in March this year, Notts winning 1-0 at Meadow Lane. Run-down of their last six fixtures Tuesday 12th September – Barnet 1 Exeter City 2 Saturday 16th September – Carlisle United 1 Barnet 1 Saturday 23rd September – Barnet 1 Crawley Town 2 Tuesday 26th September – Lincoln City 2 Barnet 1 Saturday 30th September – Wycombe Wanderers 3 Barnet 1 Saturday 7th October – Barnet 0 Coventry City 0 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers: Shaquile Coulthirst 8, Mauro Vilhete 4, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro 3 and Jamal Campbell-Ryce 2. Persistent Foulers: Jack Taylor 1 red card and 2 yellow cards, Andre Blackman 1 red card, Dabid Tutonda 3 yellow cards and Jamal Campbell-Ryce 2 yellow cards. The Key Players Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Shaquile Coulthirst are technically two very good strikers within League Two, both offer the Bees a lot of pace and direct threat. Shaq is a former Spurs academy product, and at the age of 22-years-old he has a wealth of league experience already. On the wing Barnet have former Magpie Jamal Campbell-Ryce, who on his day can turn defences inside out – if he releases the ball rather than repeatedly stepping over the ball. And Andre Blackman can be a rock within the Bees defence, whilst doubling up as a midfielder further up the field. Blackman has a lot of pace and likes to take on the opposition at every given chance available to him. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Despite their current league position, Barnet are a very good football club within League Two. They have one of the most talented squads within the division in terms of quality and prospect, and can attack teams with a lot of style and confidence. Whilst retaining the ball they aren’t afraid to enter limited ground and have the ability to work the ball around nicely – in my previous Scouting Report I mentioned how FGR have a very good midfield and Barnet have one much stronger. Their physical players will be able to get a grip of the game, and attempt to control the tempo. They can move between channels, switching between the centre of the park and revert onto the flanks where they have good wingers available to whip in the ball. Defensively they are switched on, and are well organised but can be sloppy if pressed. Part of their main issue so far during the 2017-18 League Two seasons, is when they commit men forward and leave themselves wide open to counter attacks. Set pieces is another variability, however they have several tall and physical players that aren’t easily intimidated. Yet if the ball bounces a few times, pressure can be assert due to their inability to deal with this type of threat. Notts will have to use the centre of the park wisely, whilst ensuring each Barnet player is man marked rather than relying on zonal marking. If we can assert a calm passing game the confidence within the match will only grow in confidence – as previously mentioned free-kicks and corners will be paramount towards creating good chances. 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.
  16. Notts County entered October at the top of League Two, although they were left reeling from a 3-1 derby defeat at Mansfield Town, with the scoreline only marginally better thanks to Carl Dickinson's late consolation. However, being brought back down to earth could be beneficial in the long term as it showed the Magpies players that great form and momentum can come crashing to a halt, so back to the drawing board. Up next for Notts is a home game against the league's basement side, Forest Green Rovers, promoted from the National League last season. Here is the scouting report for Saturday's League Two fixture at Meadow Lane courtesy of PON tsar Chris. History Notts County and Forest Green have literally only met the once, in the third round of the FA Cup on 19 January 2010. Stephen Hunt opened the scoring for the Magpies in the 50th minute and, although Isaiah Rankin drew level on 63 minutes, Lee Hughes grabbed the winner one minute later. Tomorrow thus marks the first ever league meeting between the two. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 9th September – Forest Green Rovers 1 Exeter City 3 Tuesday 12th September – Forest Green Rovers 0 Lincoln City 1 Saturday 16th September – Port Vale 1 Forest Green Rovers 1 Friday 22nd September – Forest Green Rovers 0 Swindon Town 2 Tuesday 26th September – Cambridge United 3 Forest Green Rovers 0 Saturday 30th September – Forest Green Rovers 0 Accrington Stanley 1 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers; Christian Doidge 4, Reece Brown 2, Omar Bugiel 2 and Liam Noble 1. Persistent Foulers; Charlie Cooper 4 yellow cards, Dale Bennett 3 yellow cards, Mark Roberts 2 yellow cards and Liam Noble 2 yellow cards. The Key Players Stand-out player for Forest Green Rovers is easily Liam Noble, however it’s expected that the former Magpies midfielder won’t return to action for the Green Devils against Notts. He is easily their best player, capable of driving his team forward and in terms of his set pieces. Luke James is an half decent winger and striker who enjoyed a spell with Hartlepool United, he can pull the strings and find space – however he can be pretty lacklustre as a striker. Lastly Christian Doidge is a very capable player, who has a fair bit of pace and likes to get behind the opposition defence – he is a forward thinking player and offers them a lot of movement up top. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses Forest Green Rovers appears to be quite happy to allow teams to attack, going forward themselves they look a fairly useful side and can build useful chances. The majority of their attacks are formed via the use of the centre of the park, whilst hitting sides with a fair amount of pace. They like to be patient within their build-up play, but can overthink when they have forced their way into dangerous areas. The Green Devils have a very strong midfield in my opinion which can control games quite well on their day, however upfront they do appear to be somewhat disjointed. Perhaps this could go down to confidence, or the fact they’re a struggling side adapting to life within the Football League. However, defensively they are very poor – with little to no marking at all. They invite play upon themselves and sit back rather dangerously, whilst from a defensive point of view their organisation is extremely negative. Notts just need to hold the ball within the midfield, draw Forest Green Rovers out of position and carefully inject pace into direct runs – it would be to our benefit to make use of the flanks until we have gone beyond their midfield. Chances will be presented to the Magpies, yet FGR may force more shots from distance as they have a tendency of parking the bus. 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.
  17. Notts County are on the brink of a perfect September, navigating through their six games so far with a 100% record, scoring 12 goals and conceding just one en route to the top of the table. But now comes the sternest test of all - arguably our fiercest local derby, against Mansfield Town, away from home. Here is Chris's scouting report for the Nottinghamshire derby. History Notts County and Mansfield Town have met 49 times over the years. The first fixture between the two was in October 1937, a 2-0 win for the Magpies in Division Three (South). Notts only just have the upper hand with 18 wins, 17 defeats, and 14 draws. Between 1989 and 2001, the two sides met six times – and Notts won each time. County's record over the last 10 meetings, however, is poor, standing at two wins, four defeats, and four draws. This record is embellished by the fact Notts have beaten Mansfield twice in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in the last two years. In reality, the Magpies haven't got a league win over the Stags since August 2005. Run-down of their last six features Saturday 2nd September – Carlisle United 1 Mansfield Town 1 Saturday 9th September – Mansfield Town 4 Grimsby Town 1 Tuesday 12th September – Mansfield Town 0 Wycombe Wanderers 0 Saturday 16th September – Lincoln City 0 Mansfield Town 1 Saturday 23rd September – Mansfield Town 2 Cambridge United 2 Tuesday 26th September – Cheltenham Town 3 Mansfield Town 0 The Players – Fact Sheet Highest Goal Scorers; Danny Rose 4, Lee Angol 4, Alfie Potter 1 and David Mirfin 1. Persistent Foulers; Jacob Mellis 4 yellow cards, Calum Butcher 3 yellow cards, Joel Byrom 2 yellow cards and Danny Rose 2 yellow cards. The Key Players The once promising Chelsea academy product and England Under-19’s midfielder Jacob Mellis is a quick minded player, who can play box-to-box and turn the opposition inside out with clever play – he is a great asset for Mansfield and his no-nonsense approach to physical tackles will be something to be aware of. Paul Anderson is also a very experienced winger, who likes to run directly at times and can unlock sides with a defend cross or well placed through ball. Mansfield’s star player for me appears to be the 23-year-old striker Danny Rose, who is comfortable in possession and waiting for the perfect opportunity to get a strike on goal. His positioning is generally quite tricky to track and as a result allows him to find space in keys areas. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses In games when allowed to play, Mansfield Town start off very direct and take to attacking with sheer pace. They mix their breaks from all across the park, but in my opinion they look more dangerous when they take to using the flank as a way to cut back in. They appear to be a very capable side, and quite well organised in terms of their positioning. Going forward they do have limitations, and their midfield seems to play to far up the field – with their defence weirdly quite deep. This tends to create a lot of space in the centre of the park, but forces teams to drop back themselves. However, better sides seem very able to hit Mansfield on the break and as a result they then start to appear just like an average League Two team. Defensively, they look very chaotic when hit and possession is held by the opposition team. Leading to panic and confusion within their defence. Overall Notts should just look to make use of the wing themselves, as aerial threats appear to be one strong weakness. It’s a game that Shola Ameobi would literally love, as he would be able to calm the place down and allow for more pacier players to be the direct threats. Free kicks will most likely be won in favour of Notts, as the Stags like to use this to break down the play. But really, quick movement and clever positioning would work to great effect against Mansfield. If Notts can build positively, control the game in key areas such as the midfield and force them to be more defensive – team should be on the Magpies’ side when it comes to creating decent chances. 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.
  18. A brand new season is about upon us as Kevin Nolan’s Notts County travels to the Ricoh Area where The Magpies’ will take on Mark Robins' Coventry City. The hosts haven’t been in the bottom tier of English football since the 1958-59 season and will be highly expected to bounce back into League One at the first attempt. Notable summer recruitments for Coventry City consist of Jack Grimmer, Marc McNulty, Michael Doyle and Liam O’Brien. The Sky Blues, much like Notts, will be hoping that the additional strengthening of their defence will be enough to overturn last season’s disappointment (relegation, in their case), and allow the club to return to better times. Run-down of their last five pre-season friendlies Saturday 8th July – Sutton United 0 Coventry City 1 Tuesday 18th July – Barnsley 3 Coventry City 1 Tuesday 25th July – Mickleover Sports 0 Coventry City 1 Saturday 29th July – Coventry City 0 Liverpool XI 0 Sunday 30th July – Nuneaton Town 1 Coventry City 2 The Players – Fact Sheet Former Notts loanee Kwame Thomas features for the Sky Blues as a striker; the 21-year-old has made 14 appearances, netting three goals. The Key Players Marc McNulty will be hoping to impress his new club after leaving Sheffield United in the summer, the striker has tallied up a fair few goals whilst playing for various clubs and will be eager to showcase his talent within League Two. Peter Vincenti will also be a key man for Coventry City come Saturday, his influence and play will be a major asset in midfield. Liam Kelly and Kyel Reid will also offer the hosts a lot of bulk with their attacking phases, so Notts will have to be aware of their runs and prevent any chance of the midfield duo running in behind our defence. Style of Play, Strengths, and Weaknesses I fully expect Mark Robins to be more direct with Coventry City on Saturday, bolstering their attacking options in a formation, which will suit their attempts to retain the ball – as they attempt to dictate the tempo. In pre-season the Sky Blues have been trying to strengthen themselves up at the back and put together a convincing performance to hold out against a very talented Liverpool XI largely made up of under-21 talent. City are known for being a direct club, who patiently build play and use their wide-man to make the difference. However, they have a fairly weak link in goal - the defence can be punished with clever play and from set pieces, with Liam Walker being a noticeable candidate for Notts in order to utilitise free space found at the back. Much of the game will be played within the centre of the park, so it will be vital that we try to use our crossing and chances from distance in order to gain momentum. Share your thoughts about this article 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. We at Pride of Nottingham want you to enjoy all our content for free. If you fancy helping us provide even better content, however, please consider contributing to PON by clicking here!

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