nPower League 1
Tuesday 5th February 2012
The Lamex Stadium, Stevenage
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Weather Forecast: Sunny intervals, 4°c
Referee: M Heywood (Cheshire)
Last time we met:
Robin Shroot netted an injury-time winner as Boro came from behind to beat Notts County at Meadow Lane in early October. After a goalless first half, referee Darren Drysdale awarded three spot-kicks after the break. The Magpies' regular penalty taker Jeff Hughes hit the post with his effort, but Jamal Campbell-Ryce made amends after Francois Zoko was fouled. Notts sub Alan Sheehan was sent off for handball with Lucas Atkins netting from the spot, before Shroot's late winner. The result saw Boro replace Notts County in second in League One and the Magpies slipped to fourth.
The hosts started brighter, as Alan Judge and Neal Bishop fired over the bar, while Zoko's header was punched away by Steve Arnold. At the other end, Akins and Greg Tansey forced good saves from Magpies goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski. Hughes was brought down by Akins after the break but saw his spot-kick hit the left-hand post and, when Zoko was felled by Mark Roberts, Campbell-Ryce put Notts ahead. Sheenan, who had only been on the field for seven minutes as a second-half substitute, was dismissed after handling Marcus Haber's goal-bound shot on the line and Atkins converted from the spot. Haber then set up substitute Shroot for a dramatic winner as Notts were beaten at home for the second time this season.
Boro: Arnold, Gray (Shroot), Roberts, Charles, Comminges, Risser, Grant (Dunne), Morais (Freeman), Tansey, Akins, Haber
Subs not used: Lopez, Ball, N’Gala, Day
Stevenage could make changes after Saturday’s defeat to Leyton Orient. Steve Beleck, Luke Freeman and Robin Shroot will all be hoping for recalls but Jon Ashton is out for the season.
Notts County are expected to name a similar team to that which lost at Hartlepool although Gavin Mahon and Enoch Showunmi are available if caretaker boss Chris Kiwomya opts for more experience in this game.
The Notts County Scout Report
Notts County come into this game in 10th place in League 1 after earning 43 points from their 29 games so far.
The Magpies are on a run of two wins in their last five games, those being against 1-0 against Oldham and 2-0 at Portsmouth. They’ve also drawn 1-1 with Sheffield United and lost 2-1 to both Leyton Orient and Hartlepool in recent weeks.
Whilst their home form is disappointing with only 18 points from 14 games, County’s away form is the fifth best in the league with six wins, seven draws and just two defeats on the road this season, during which time they’ve scored 24 and conceded 14.
Possible Notts County line-up for Tuesday (3-4-1-2 formation):
Fabian Spiess; Gary Liddle, Dean Leacock, Alan Sheehan; Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Joss Labadie, Andre Boucaud, Jeff Hughes; Alan Judge; Francois Zoko, Yoann Arquin
Subs from: Julian Kelly, Kevin Pilkington, Gavin Mahon, Hamza Bencherif, Romello Nangel, Enoch Showunmi, Emmanuele Smith
If Notts County are going to work their way back up the League 1 table then they’ll need their strikers like Yoann Arquin to find the back of the net on a more frequent basis. The French forward impressed in a struggling Hereford side last season, scoring nine times in just 16 starts for the former League 2 side. This season he has notched six times for the Magpies although his last goal was in the 2-0 FA Cup victory at Portsmouth back in November.
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.
• The referee for this game will be Mark Heywood from Cheshire. The last Boro game he took charge of was the 1-0 FA Cup First Round win at Hartlepool last season.
• A yellow card for Anthony Grant will trigger an automatic one-match suspension. The midfielder has received four cautions so far this season.
• Should he start against Notts County then Miguel Comminges will make his 10th start in a Boro shirt whilst Marcus Haber could make his 30th appearance for the club.
• A goal for Mark Roberts will be the skipper’s 25th for the club since joining in 2008.