Notts County have the opportunity to put things right once again this Saturday, as the Magpies welcome Yeovil Town to Meadow Lane for another Vanarama National League clash.
Notts were beaten by local rivals Chesterfield by three goals to one in the week. A late, first half strike from Elisha Sam gave the travelling faithful hope of a successful away trip, but that hope rapidly faded away in the second half courtesy of a brace from Laurence Maguire and a penalty from Akwasi Asante. This defeat has made many believe the Magpies will have to settle for the Vanarama National League play-offs once again for the third time since they entered the league back in 2019. However, all hope is not lost due to the fact there are many points still to play for and a win this Saturday would help the cause hugely. A player who could really continue to help Ian Burchnall’s side on their way to still competing for the automatic promotion place is Elisha Sam. The Belgian forward has netted seven times already in 2022, following a beginning of the season in which many had believed he wouldn’t have been around for much longer. His resurgence into the side has been highly significant, with Sam becoming a heavy fan favourite. Scoring some important goals already in big games against the likes of FC Halifax Town, everyone associated with the club and its best interests will be hoping this rich run of goalscoring form will continue until the end of the season and there would be no better time to continue finding the net than this weekend. In terms of injuries within the squad for this fixture, the only expected absentee is still Jim O’Brien. The Scottish midfielder has been absent from the side since the turn of the new year and there has been no expected date given for his return. Other than O’Brien, the squad remains injury and suspension free, giving Ian Burchnall another selection headache.
As for the visitors, they also come into the fixture off the back of a defeat to Chesterfield. In this game, a superb strike from Jim Kellerman in the first half turned out to be the difference as the Spirerites closed out the narrow lead to send the Glovers home empty handed. These two sides have met already this season back in early October. A sunny afternoon in Somerset saw the Magpies leave comfortable winners by two goals to nil courtesy of a brace from Ruben Rodrigues. Darren Sarll’s side currently sit thirteenth and winless in five in the Vanarama National League but a win over Notts County this weekend could only take them as high as twelfth. However, defeat this weekend would see Yeovil Town remain thirteenth but potentially only by a point given both Eastleigh and Maidenhead United win. Within the Glovers’ side is Jordan Barnett, who spent a large period of last season at Meadow Lane. The full back was released following the conclusion of the play-off campaign and signed for Yeovil Town prior to the beginning of the current season. The 22-year-old will be hoping he can mark his return to Nottingham with a victory, a victory which would really hurt the Magpies’ remaining hope of the Vanarama National League title.
So, what can we expect from this fixture?
I expect a very positive response from Notts County given their midweek disappointment. The Magpies need to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive and a win this weekend is much needed to do so. Yeovil Town play some nice football, yet I cannot see that being enough to keep Ian Burchnall’s at bay this weekend. The key players within the ranks at Notts have been criticised recently due to some poor performances, and now it is their turn to respond to that again this Saturday.
My prediction: Notts County 2-0 Yeovil Town.
- Notts County: WWDWL
- Yeovil Town: DLDDL
- Notts County: Jaros, Chicksen, Cameron, Brindley, Richardson, Brunt, Palmer, Rodrigues, Roberts, Wootton, Sam.
- Yeovil Town: Smith, Barclay, Wakefield, Barnett, Worthington, Staunton, Wilkinson, Little, Williams, Yussuf, Knowles.
Venue & time:
- Meadow Lane, 3pm Saturday 5th March 2022.
*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @Official_NCFC Notts return to Meadow Lane after midweek loss at Chesterfield.