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03 February 2018 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Crewe (H)

2 February 2018

Notts County host Crewe Alexandra in Sky Bet League Two looking to get back to winning ways.

The Magpies are without a victory in their last three league games and have been caught up by the chasing pack.

Crewe have lost their past three outings to slip to 21st in the table, three points above the relegation zone.

Their manager, David Artell, has been dealing with a host of injuries in his squad, who have not drawn a league fixture since 12 August, and saw star player George Cooper depart for Peterborough last month.

The Alex need a win to ease their relegation worries and would love nothing more than to spoil the party with a crowd of more than 17,500 expected at Meadow Lane.

Tickets for this game have been priced £2 by Notts chairman and owner Alan Hardy as he celebrates his anniversary in charge.

A limited number of single and restricted-view tickets are available until 7pm. Click here for more information.

Notts boss Kevin Nolan says...

“We have a great rapport with the fans and there is a real chemistry,  togetherness and will to win.

“We have built a great camaraderie over a year and hopefully those extra 10,000 people who come to the game will join in.

“We are going to need them at some point in the game because it’s not going to be easy.”

Crewe manager David Artell says...

“The challenge is there for us and we have to rise to it. We did it earlier in the season when we beat them at home and we won at Portsmouth last season in front of a big crowd.

“We know what we have to do. We have to get the ball down and play and when we are under pressure, we have to be men, stand up to that and see it through.

“Notts County are a good side and we know we will have to play well to get a result. We did that for an hour at Swindon last week, so now we have to make sure we do it for 90 minutes.”

Team news

Midfielder Matty Virtue is available once more after serving a one-game ban but goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons remains sidelined for another two matches.

New signings Ben Hall and Mason Bennett could be involved after joining the club on transfer deadline day earlier in the week. 

Crewe, meanwhile, could hand a debut to Newcastle loanee Jamie Sterry, who joined the Railwaymen on deadline day.

However, full-back Zoumana Bakayogo is suspended after being sent off in last weekend's 4-3 defeat at Swindon, which also saw goalkeeper Dave Richards and defender Michael Raynes limp off with injuries.

The pair continue to be monitored in the build-up to the game at Meadow Lane.

Dangerman

Shaun Miller rejoined Crewe on loan from Carlisle last month after nearly six years away from Gresty Road.

He began his career with the Railwaymen and scored 43 goals in 179 appearances before being snapped up by Sheffield United in the summer of 2012.

His two years at Bramall Lane were stop-start and saw him move out on loan to Shrewsbury before joining Coventry City.

He would have a similar time at the Ricoh Arena, leaving to spend time on loan at Crawley Town and York City prior to his release by the Sky Blues.

The striker then joined Morecambe on a one-year deal, where he reignited his career by scoring 16 goals in 43 appearances which led to interest from elsewhere and he made the move to Carlisle in June 2016.

After falling down the pecking order at Brunton Park, and with Crewe's top goalscorer Chris Porter ruled out for up to six weeks, Alex manager David Artell moved to bring the forward back to Cheshire.

We've met before...

Notts have a superior head-to-head record against the Railwaymen with 21 wins from 44 previous meetings.

The Magpies are unbeaten in the last six games between the sides at Meadow Lane with Crewe's last win in Nottingham coming in March 1997 when Mark Rivers' goal secured victory.

Last season's meeting ended in a draw as Alex Kiwomya cancelled out Jonathan Forte's strike for a share of the spoils.

Notts' last home success against the Alex came in January 2015, when Billy Daniels' stunning volley won the game late on.

What are the odds?

Sky Bet have priced Notts up as 8/13 favourites to take all three points, while the Railwaymen are 9/2 to come away from Meadow Lane with the win. The draw is 14/5.

A 2-0 win for the Magpies against the Cheshire outfit can be backed at 13/2, with a 4-1 scoreline available at 25/1 and a 1-0 win at 11/2.

Jon Stead has started 2018 in fine form with six goals in as many games and the striker is 9/2 to score the first goal this weekend or 6/4 to find the net at any time.

Defender Nicky Hunt says Notts cannot allow the pressure of a big crowd to get to them and he is one of the unlikelier shouts to be first on the scoresheet at odds of 40/1.

Notts are 9/4 to win the game with both teams scoring or 7/4 to win the game to-nil.

You can bet on the game here.

Supporters who sign up to Sky Bet using this link can help the club financially.

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Match Reports

Notts 4-1 Crewe

Husin, Hewitt (2) and Bennett on the scoresheet

3 February 2018

Notts County beat Crewe Alexandra 4-1 in front of more than 17,000 spectators to return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two.

With £2 tickets on offer to all, the crowds flocked to Meadow Lane and were treated to a goal of the season contender from Noor Husin, the former Crystal Palace man cancelling out Shaun Miller's early opener.

Notts were comfortable from there on in, Elliott Hewitt scoring before and after the break and debutant Mason Bennett adding gloss to the scoreline late on.

Kevin Nolan made two changes to the team that drew with Swansea City in the Emirates FA Cup.

Terry Hawkridge and Carl Dickinson made way for Lewis Alessandra and Dan Jones, while new signings Bennett and Ben Hall took their place on the bench.

It was not to be the start Notts wanted in front of a packed Meadow Lane as the visitors took an early lead. The Magpies were caught short at the back and Adam Collin could only parry Jordan Bowery's shot into the path of Miller two yards out. He guided the ball into an empty net.

Elliott Hewitt blazed an effort over and Miller fired the ball straight at Collin from range as both sides looked for the crucial next goal.

Thankfully, it went to Notts - and in sensational style as Husin collected the ball 25 yards out before bending an effort into the top corner.

Miller controlled a looping ball on his chest in the area before guiding it over the bar and Jorge Grant curled a free-kick over as the sides continued to exchange blows.

And it was Notts who were next to strike, their second goal coming in somewhat scrappier circumstances as Jon Stead's cross from the right flew through a crowd of bodies before reaching Hewitt. He bobbled the ball down into the turf, over the keeper and into the net to complete Notts' turnaround.

Richard Duffy sent the ball inches wide with a diving header and Grant fired over from 25 yards before the referee called time on a topsy-turvy first half for the Magpies.

Alessandra was in the thick of the action after the restart, being denied by a superb last-ditch challenge following Stead's cross before minutes later skipping away from two men and supplying Shola Ameobi, whose snapshot was saved.

Collin palmed away Bowery's header and Ben Garratt saved from Grant as chances continued to present themselves on a damp afternoon at Meadow Lane.

And the next one ended up in the back of Crewe's net as Hewitt rounded off a superb move involving Grant, Alessandra and Stead - the latter slipping in the ex-Ipswich man to allow him to slam the ball past Garratt for his second of the afternoon.

Bennett replaced Ameobi for his Notts debut shortly afterwards and showed his pace when trying to run on to Grant's lofted ball. It had just too much on it and ran through to the keeper.

Miller bobbled an effort wide before Husin, booked minutes earlier for remonstrating with the officials, curled the ball off-target.

And, shortly after Jones had positioned himself well to divert Callum Ainley's goalbound header behind, Husin made way for Liam Noble to rapturous applause from the 17,000-strong crowd.

Bennett was inches away from turning home Alessandra's low cross from the right before Stead made way for Alan Smith with two minutes of normal time remaining.

And there was still time for Bennett to mark his debut with a goal when Garratt couldn't deal with Alessandra's cross-cum-shot, palming the ball into the substitute's path to set up a goal very similar to Crewe's opener - a tap in from two yards in front of the Air-IT Kop.

Five minutes of added time were indicated, during which Bennett saw a deflected effort crash back off the bar.

But there were to be no more goals as Notts ended the day in third place, one point clear of Mansfield in fourth.

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