nPower League 1
Tuesday 2nd October
Meadow Lane, Nottingham, NG2 3HJ
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Weather Forecast: Light rain showers, 12°c
Referee: D Drysdale (Lincolnshire)
Unbeaten Stevenage travel to Notts County this Tuesday evening hoping for three points which would allow them to leapfrog the highflying Magpies towards the top of the League 1 table.
Last time we met
Jeff Hughes scored an injury-time winner as Notts County beat Boro in Keith Curle’s first game in charge. Jonathan Forte fired over from long range and Alan Judge hit the bar for the hosts in the first half, while Chris Beardsley went close for the visitors. In the second half sub Don Cowan missed a golden opportunity to score the opening goal when he raced through the static County defence before Kieron Freeman forced a save from Chris Day with a long-range effort. Just as the game looked to be petering out to a draw, Hughes’ strike from just inside the box into the far corner won the game for County and sent Boro home pointless.
Boro: Day, Henry, Ashton, Roberts, Laird, Wilson, Byrom, Bostwick, Freeman (Long), Beardsley (Edwards), Charles (Cowan)
Subs not used: Julian, May
Notts County are expected to name a similar team to that which earned a point at Sheffield United on Saturday. Midfielder Joss Labadie and striker Lee Hughes could earn recalls should Keith Curle opt for changes.
Stevenage will be without Patrick Agyemang for the next six weeks so Marcus Haber will certainly start up front. Oliver Risser could earn a recall to midfield after being dropped to the bench against Bury.
The Notts County Scout Report
Notts County currently sit in 2nd position in League 1 having picked up 18 points from their opening nine games. This run has seen five wins, three draws and just the single defeat, at home to Walsall in late August.
The Magpies are unbeaten in their last five games, picking up successive draws on their travels against Oldham (2-2), MK Dons (1-1) and Sheffield United (1-1) and home wins against Shrewsbury (3-2) and Portsmouth (3-0).
If Boro are looking for positives then they can draw on the fact that although Keith Curle’s men are yet to suffer defeat in any competition away from home, they have lost twice at Meadow Lane. As well as the aforementioned defeat to Walsall, the Magpies also lost 1-0 to Bradford City after extra time in the first round of the League Cup.
Possible Notts County line-up for Tuesday (4-3-3 formation)
Bartosz Bialkowski; Julian Kelly, Dean Leacock, Gary Liddle, Carl Regan; Neal Bishop, Alan Judge, Jeff Hughes; Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Yoann Arquin, Francois Zoko
Subs from: Enoch Showunmi, Gavin Mahon, Joss Labadie, Hamza Bencherif, Lee Hughes, Fabian Spiess, Haydn Hollis
Yoann Arquin has settled in well at Meadow Lane since his summer move from Hereford United. The French striker impressed in a struggling Bulls side last season, finding the back of the net nine times in just 16 starts and has previously played for Nancy B, Paris Saint-Germain B and Red Star 93 to name but a few of the French sides he has represented. So far Arquin has scored three times for the Magpies, including twice against Portsmouth recently, and has struck a promising relationship with fellow summer signing Francois Zoko, who himself has scored three times.
Notts County Trivia:
• Notts County are the oldest professional league club in the world, having been formed back in 1862.
• Italian giants Juventus took its famous black-and-white striped kits from Notts County and have since forged a close relationship. County were even invited to play the Italians in a historic exhibition game last year to mark the opening of Juventus’ new stadium in Turin.
• No club has moved between the divisions of the Football League on more occasions than Notts County, who have won 13 promotions and suffered 15 relegations.
• Neil Warnock and Sam Allardyce both spent time as manager at Meadow Lane. Former England boss Sven Goran-Eriksson was also named Director of Football in July 2009 but resigned less than a year later when the current owners took over.
• Notts County are yet to concede a goal in the first half of any league game so far this season.
• The referee for this game will be Darren Drysdale from Lincolnshire, who is also a sergeant in the RAF. The last Boro game he refereed was back in September 2009 when Boro came from two goals down to win 3-2 at Mansfield Town in the Blue Square Premier.
• Jon Ashton’s next start for the club will be his 160th overall.
• The next appearance for Bondz N’Gala and Robbie Rogers will be their 5th for the club.
• Robin Shroot’s next goal for Stevenage FC will be his 10th for the club.
Preview by Dave Toyn