County Aiming To Close Gap On Chesterfield

Notts County welcome Chesterfield to Meadow Lane this weekend, for a local derby with added pressures as both teams are within the Vanarama National League Play-Off places.

The Magpies come into the fixture off the back of a crucial 1-0 victory over fellow high-flyers Boreham Wood. A first-half strike on the night from the reliable Matthew Palmer was enough to ensure Notts the huge victory, a victory in which saw them move up one place into sixth. A key performer on the night for Ian Burchnall’s side was Harry Arter. The club were falling rapidly through poor results before the Irishman’s arrival and since his arrival at the club, Notts have won both the games they have played against two of the league’s most organised outfits whilst ending the poor run of form. The midfielder’s presence and know-how of winning the big games will most certainly come as an advantage for his side this weekend, as they look to close the gap on the Spireites. Also, this week, centre-back Sam Graham returned toe Meadow Lane for the third time in the space of three years on loan. The 21-year-old’s previous two spells were cut short for different reasons but now returns under Burchnall, as he fits the criteria of a ball-playing central defender as well as a like-for-like replacement for the injured Kyle Cameron. I fully expect Graham to be amongst the starting line-up this weekend, alongside fellow new arrival Harry Arter. Finally on the hosts, the only confirmed absentee for the game is club captain Kyle Cameron, however several may not be included. Cal Roberts was missing from both sides that beat Dagenham and Redbridge and Boreham Wood and is doubtful for the weekend likewise Alex Lacey, who despite playing ninety minutes on Tuesday was one of few strugglers towards the end due to ongoing illness and therefore may enjoy a deserved break. As for suspensions, there are no players missing through being side-lined via a red card.

As for the visitors, they come into the game off the back of a 1-0 defeat to Altrincham. A goal from the creative Matty Kosylo was enough to ensure Paul Cook’s side slipped to ten points behind league leaders Stockport County. Many Spireites supporters believed their squad needed strengthening to maintain their promotion dreams prior to the 17:00 deadline this past Thursday. However, the staff in charge at the club did not feel the same and no new signings were made by the club on the day. This led to unhappy remarks being left under previous tweets, with a few made in direction of Cook. As this is the case, to settle the unsettled this weekend, Chesterfield will have to come away with a positive result from Meadow Lane which has proven to be a difficult task already this season for most sides. The visitors have managed to collect eight points from their last fifteen played for, with draws coming against Boreham Wood and Southend United. They will still be without club and league top goal scorer Kabongo Tshimanga for their second clash against the Magpies this season, as the forward is still sidelined due to a broken leg suffered against Weymouth FC. Having already beaten Notts 3-1 this season, it is no secret that a repeat of previous successes would steer Cook’s side in the right direction, arguably back on track to try and file a late attempt of salvaging a potential claim for the Vanarama National League title.

So, what can we expect from this fixture?

A highly entertaining clash between two of the league’s biggest sides with an incredible atmosphere, one you would not find anywhere else from the Sky Bet League Two and under. Both sides need the victory, and I can see a winner coming from this game as both will set up to attack with force and speed with the qualities both possess. A game with few goals awaits but I am fully backing Notts County to make it nine points from three and furtherly close the gap on second.

My prediction: Notts County 2-0 Chesterfield.

Current form:

  • Notts County: DLLWW
  • Chesterfield: WDDWL

Probable line-ups:

  • Notts County: Slocombe, Richardson, Graham, Lacey, Rawlinson, Kelly-Evans, Arter, Palmer, Vincent, Rodrigues, Wootton.
  • Chesterfield: Loach, Whittle, Grimes, Rowley, Maguire, King, Kellermann, Mandeville, Khan, Asante, Quigley.

Venue & time:

  • Meadow Lane 3pm Saturday 26th March 2022.

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

*Main image @Official_NCFC the Notts County players celebrate a huge three points against Boreham Wood.

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