Notts County resume their Vanarama National League campaign this weekend. They welcome Stockport County to Meadow Lane for their biggest game thus far this season on home soil.
The magpies are looking to pick up where they left off in the Vanarama National League, before taking two attempts to see off Tamworth to reach the Emirates FA Cup first round. Last time out in the Vanarama National League, Notts County travelled to somerset to face Yeovil Town, where in which the magpies left 0-2 winners courtesy of a Ruben Rodrigues brace, concluding their short winless run of games. As mentioned, Ian Burchnall’s side had to go to a replay with seventh tier Tamworth, following a 0-0 draw this past Saturday. The replay for the Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie was held this past Wednesday at Meadow Lane, a night which saw the magpies breeze past the lambs comfortably in a game that finished 4-0. There were many positives for Notts County to take from this game, one being the brace netted by forward Kairo Mitchell. The club branded it a ‘lengthy pursuit’ when announcing the signing of the Grenadian international in the summer and with displays like he produced this past Tuesday evening, you can understand why. Mitchell’s first of two was a fierce strike into the bottom right corner from just outside the penalty area. His second, a powerful header which sailed cleanly into the top corner, which gave his side a two-goal lead on the night. With a long wait for his first goal in a Notts shirt for two to come at once, the forward will be hoping for the opportunity to build off his brace against the hatters this weekend. After performing in the matter in which he did, it’s safe to say a place in the starting eleven isn’t unrealistic at all this weekend. Another stand-out performer for the magpies this past Tuesday was full debutant, Frank Vincent. Likewise, Kairo Mitchell, Vincent was one of seven summer signings brought into the club by Ian Burchnall. After concluding a rehabilitation period that kept the midfielder out for the opening of the Vanarama National League season, the former AFC Bournemouth man has slowly been introduced to the first team fold in the past few weeks. However, it wasn’t until the replay with Tamworth that Vincent was given the nod and started his first game in a black and white shirt. Consider it opportunity well taken, as the 22-year -old illustrated his qualities to the magpie faithful in attendance, topping off an impressive individual performance with a nicely taken goal. Due to this and likewise with Kairo Mitchell, a place in this weekend’s starting eleven for the home side is not unrealistic.
As for the visitors, Stockport County, they come into this weekend’s game off the back of a comfortable 3-0 victory over Stamford in their Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie. On the day, goals from Ryan Croasdale, Paddy Madden and Scott Quigley sent Stockport County into the Emirates FA Cup first round, in which they were rewarded with a trip to the University of Bolton Stadium to face Bolton Wanderers. Last time out in the Vanarama National League, Stockport County defeated Aldershot Town. The game resulted in a 1-0 win for this weekend’s visitors, courtesy of a goal from Paddy Madden in first half stoppage time. This result meant that the hatters remained a point adrift of the magpies, in tenth place in the Vanarama National League. Paddy Madden and John Rooney share top spot when it comes to Stockport County’s top goal scorers thus far this season, with the pair netting three each. As this is the case, both are who I have highlighted as the dangermen for Notts County to attempt to keep quiet this weekend. Beginning with Paddy Madden, the
forward arrived with masses of expectation following his move from English Football League One side Fleetwood Town, which was a fee believed to be around a quarter of a million pounds. He appeared one hundred and thirty-one times for Fleetwood Town, netting forty-three times before sealing his move to Greater Manchester, where he has appeared twenty-two times thus far netting eleven. As for John Rooney, he arrived to Stockport County from Barrow AFC, following their Vanarama National League champions season. The midfielder netted twenty-seven times in eighty-three appearances for the bluebirds, before joining the hatters where he has netted twenty-three times thus far in forty-six appearances. As the pair share more than a hat full of goals between them, it is evident as to why both have been highlighted the potential dangermen for the visitors to Meadow Lane this weekend.
So, what can you expect in the game this Saturday?
Firstly, a crowd larger than any in the English Football League Two. With the Stockport County faithful travelling impressively in their numbers once again, with the expectation of six thousand Notts County supporters as an additional factor, the attendance at Meadow Lane this weekend guarantees a top-quality atmosphere for what is set to be an enthralling encounter. The game is set to be one of many clear-cut chances due to high amounts of attacking football, considering both sides could enter the Vanarama National League play-off places if they pick up a positive result in the clash. The magpies will be looking to not only build off an impressive away victory at Yeovil Town, but also extend a run of clean sheets from three games to four. As for Stockport County, they will be looking to also build off the win they secure last time out in the Vanarama National League against Aldershot Town. The hatters will also be looking to set off on a good run of form, before travelling to Bolton in attempt to cause what would arguably be the biggest upset of the Emirates FA Cup first round.
My score prediction for the game is: Notts County 1-1 Stockport County.
- Notts County: WLLLW
- Stockport County: WLWWW
- Notts County: Patterson, Chicksen, Brennan, Cameron, Brindley, O’Brien, Palmer, Rodrigues, Roberts, Nemane, Wootton.
- Stockport County: Ross, Palmer, Fryers, Keane, Southam-Hales, Kitching, Whitfield, Rooney, Croasdale, Crankshaw, Madden.
Venue & time:
- Meadow Lane, 3pm Saturday 23rd October 2021.
*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @Official_NCFC Notts were 1-0 victors at Meadow Lane last season against Stockport.