A limited Notts County side face another tough away trip this weekend, as the Magpies travel to Dagenham & Redbridge for a real six-pointer as far as the Vanarama National League Play-Off places are concerned.
The word limited is used as the squad has been massively affected by illness, which led to many apparently playing unwell in Tuesday evening’s heavy 3-0 defeat to league-leaders Stockport County. Ian Burchnall admitted beyond the conclusion of the game at Edgeley Park that they considered playing forward Kyle Wootton amongst the backline due to Connell Rawlinson and Alex Lacey both being heavily affected by the current issue. However, now the game is three days behind us, it is with heavy hope that many of the current first team squad have made a full recovery prior to the weekend’s huge clash. In more positive news, Notts County completed the loan signing of the massively experienced Harry Arter. The midfielder joined the club until the end of the season from neighbours Nottingham Forest, after spending time out on loan at Charlton Athletic. The 32-year-old will be available for selection Saturday and is fully expected to come straight into the side, as the Irishman possesses the exact characteristics the Magpies have been lacking recently in the middle of the park. As for previous meetings with the Daggers, Notts County defeated the East London based side 2-1 at the beginning of the season. On a very cold evening in Nottingham, goals from Frank Vincent and Kyle Wootton were enough to get the three points in a situation that saw the Magpies much better off than they currently are. Finally, Notts County are currently winless in their last five, with that run being made up of three defeats and two draws. As this is the case, it is no secret how important a win is for the club this weekend, not only to end this poor run of form but to also keep their promotion dreams alive.
As for this weekend’s hosts, they come into the fixture off the back of an impressive 0-3 away victory against Southend United. Goals on the night from Junior Morias and Matt Robinson with the other being an own goal from Will Atkinson ensured Daryl McMahon’s side had a goal for each point won. The 0-3 victory meant the side’s last three Vanarama National League results have all concluded in the same score line, with the other wins coming over Maidenhead United and Yeovil Town. Only two points separate the two sides heading into the game this weekend, with both needing victories to lift them into the Play-Off places. With Grimsby Town unlikely to get a positive result away at Boreham Wood, both managers I would expect to set up in favour of attacking football to give their sides the best opportunities to win the game. After picking up good form at the right time, the home faithful will be demanding repeats of previous successes as the Daggers look to secure an opportunity to make their long-awaited return to the Football League. With the visitors still struggling with ongoing illnesses, it is no secret that this is the best time to get a win over Notts County.
So, what can we expect from this fixture?
A close contest even with a mixed Notts side. As mentioned, both sides need the victory, but I cannot see it being a game with many goals at all. With my expectation of both setting up firmly to attack, I can see the game resulting in a draw with defenders coming out on top against the attackers.
My prediction: Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Notts County.
- Dagenham & Redbridge: DLWWW
- Notts County: WLDDL
- Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Reynolds, Rance, Johnson, Robinson, Weston, McCallum, Comley, Sagaf, Wright, Morias.
- Notts County: Jaros, Chicksen, Lacey, Rawlinson, Taylor, Richardson, Francis, Palmer, Roberts, Rodrgiues, Wootton.
Venue & time:
- Victoria Road 3pm Saturday 19th March 2022.
*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @Dag_RedFC The Chigwell Construction Stadium ready to host the Magpies.