Notts County face another lengthy journey on the road this weekend, as the Magpies travel to Devon to take on Torquay United.
Ian Burchnall’s side come into this fixture off the back of an impressive 0-3 away victory against Southend. A hat-trick on the day from Ruben Rodrigues ensured the Magpies extended their unbeaten run to four games. Following the conclusion of the game, Ian Burchnall cleared up all rumours over a fall out with winger Cal Roberts. The head coach insisted there had been no fall out and Roberts’ absence was down to nothing but resilience to not change a winning side. The 24-year-old took to twitter on the evening to reassure fans that this was in fact the case and stated he would be training hard to return to the squad for this weekend’s clash against the Gulls. Unfortunately, a player that will not be featuring for Notts County this weekend is Kyle Cameron. The centre-half joined the club in the summer from this weekend’s opponents following their failure to gain promotion in the play-off final against Hartlepool United. The move caused mass amounts of online back and fourths between both fanbases, which has ultimately led to a bigger meaning when the pair collide, but due to a hamstring injury that has recently caused a setback in the rehabilitation process, the club captain has no choice to play the role of motivator again to give his side the best odds of overcoming the familiar faces in yellow and blue. Richard Brindley is also still required to sit out of action due to his sustained broken arm against Dagenham and Redbridge but beyond the pair of defenders, there are no fresh injury or suspension concerns for Ian Burchnall to lose sleep over. This undoubtedly is music to the ears of the Magpies faithful, considering now they have entered the business end of the season and are still well within their quest of the top three finish.
As for this weekend’s hosts, they come into this fixture off the back of a 3-0 victory over current league strugglers Weymouth. Goals on the afternoon in the Southwest from Stephen Wearne, Armani Little and Danny Wright ensured each conversion merited the same value in points for Gary Johnson’s side. The Gulls have only lost once in their previous five outings in the Vanarama National League, that defeat came by the hands of promotion chasing FC Halifax Town. However, in the same period, Torquay United have found the back of the net a total of ten times whilst keeping two clean sheets along the way. The hosts earned themselves a point at Meadow Lane at the beginning of the season, where a massively dominant Notts County side could only find the back of the net once for a 1-1 draw. The Gulls were reduced to ten men in the first half of the game and therefore you could argue it could be branded a defensive masterclass. However, on the topic of defensive masterclasses, Johnson will undoubtedly be demanding the same from his side this weekend in order to keep the forever present threats the Magpies have in their abundance quiet, especially that in-form Portuguese midfielder who is chasing the twenty goals in the season mark.
So, what can we expect from this fixture?
I expect a cagey atmosphere given the animosity between the two following the conclusion of the summer transfer window that saw the Magpies fly in a dispossess two of the Gulls’ key players from them in Kyle Cameron and Aaron Nemane. Despite the Plainmoor being a hard place to go this season, the Magpies have proven they are more than capable of ending opposition’s good runs of form and I expect them to do the same again this weekend, as they continue to close the gap on their intended finishing position of third place.
My prediction: Torquay United 0-2 Notts County.
- Torquay United: DWLWW
- Notts County: LWWDW
- Torquay United: MacDonald, Wynter, Lemonheigh-Evans, Moxey, Lewis, Little, Wright, Edwards, Wearne, Lapslie, Duke-McKenna.
- Notts County: Jaros, Chicksen, Kelly-Evans, Lacey, Rawlinson, Richardson, Arter, Palmer, Vincent, Rodrigues, Wootton.
Venue & time:
- Plainmoor, 3pm Saturday 9th April 2022
*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @TUFC1899 Notts will be hoping for three more points in Torquay.