Notts Concentration Back On League

Notts County return to Vanarama National League action once again this weekend following midweek FA Cup heartbreak. The Magpies travel to the Silverlake Stadium to face Eastleigh FC.

The Magpies have failed to win in both of their previous visits to the Silverlake Stadium. Their first visit was in fact their first fixture as a Vanarama National League side. After suffering from a staggered pre-season, Notts fell to a 1-0 defeat on the day. On their second visit, Eastleigh resulted as 2-0 winners with goals coming from former Magpies defender Andrew Boyce and Joe Tomlinson. With these results firmly behind them in the past, can Ian Burchnall’s side make it their third time lucky? Well, form certainly suggests that the result could easily go in favour for the visitors. Notts County are currently five games unbeaten in the league, with wins over the likes of Stockport County and Grimsby Town being picked up along the way. During their current rich run of form, the Magpies have netted eight times whilst only conceding twice. Furthermore, a win this weekend could see Notts climb as high as second, all being that results elsewhere go in their favour. Recently, Kyle Cameron has been absent from the matchday squad due to illness. However, after midweek replay defeat to Rochdale AFC, head coach Ian Burchnall insisted that the centre-half will be back for this weekend’s fixture. Since his arrival from Torquay United last summer, Cameron has played a majorly influential role in the heart of the Notts backline. In the five games he’s been side-lined for, the Magpies have only won just once whilst losing the remaining four. Whilst the 24-year-old has been present, Notts County remain unbeaten. As this is the case, his return this Saturday will undoubtedly be welcomed by all involved with the club. As well as this, his defensive insurance for me increases the visitors’ odds of leaving with all three points this Saturday evening.

Moving onto the hosts, they come into this weekend’s fixture off the back of a narrow defeat away to Yeovil Town. The spitfires currently sit fifteenth in the Vanarama National League, eight points adrift of the play-off places. Their most recent victory came three games ago, as they defeated Maidenhead United by a goal to nil. Tyrone Barnett’s first half strike turned out to be enough to ensure Eastleigh the victory in a game where a defeat would’ve found them on a run of four games without a win. Ben Strevens’ side have found the back of the net eighteen times thus far this season, whist conceding twenty-one leaving them with a current goal difference of minus three. Spitfires’ midfielder Harry Pritchard has netted five of the eighteen goals for this weekend’s hosts, making him the current top goal scorer so far this campaign. Due to this, I have highlighted the 29-year-old as the player to watch for the Magpies in this game. The midfielder appeared 37 times for previous club Bradford City, in which he netted five times before leaving to join current club Eastleigh. The trickery in his possession and the fact he’s scored as many as he managed for the Bantams already this season is a factor as to why he is the player to watch for Ian Burchnall’s side at the Silverlake Stadium this Saturday.

So, what can you expect from this fixture?

I believe this will be a task too big for the Spitfires this weekend. The Magpies are in fine unbeaten form and are well on their way to achieving their season’s goal of promotion if they can maintain them. An Eastleigh side on form made up of a mixture of positive and negative results will be lacking confidence, however the Silverlake Stadium is a difficult place to visit and leave victorious from. Although this is the case, I can see it being the third time lucky for Ian Burchnall’s side as I expect them to come out of this fixture this weekend with all three points.

My personal prediction: Eastleigh FC 0-3 Notts County FC.

Current form:

  • Eastleigh: WLWLL
  • Notts County: WWDWW 

Probable line-ups:

  • Eastleigh: McDonnell, Boyce, Kelly, Broadbent, Miley, Pritchard, Hesketh, Hare, House, Whelan, Barnett.
  • Notts County: Patterson, Chicksen, Brindley, Lacey, Taylor, Kelly-Evans, Vincent, Palmer, Roberts, Rodrigues, Wootton. 

Venue & time:

  • The Silverlake Stadium. 3pm Saturday 20th November 2021.

*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).

*Main image @officialgtfc the Silverlake Stadium will host Notts County this weekend.

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