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23 September 2017 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Lincoln City (H)

Notts host Imps for the first time in more than seven years

23 September 2017

Notts County host Lincoln hoping to register a fifth successive win to keep the pressure on Exeter at the top of the Sky Bet League Two table.

The Magpies have won all four of their league outings in September without conceding a goal and welcome a Lincoln side to Meadow Lane who arrive on the crest of a wave having won the National League title last season.

The Imps sit a point outside the play-off places with their only defeats of the campaign coming against league leaders Exeter and play-off hunting Mansfield Town.

Danny Cowley's men have seven points from four away trips thus far in 2017-18 but Notts have dropped just two points at Meadow Lane and still only have one competitive defeat at home under Kevin Nolan, who signed a new three-year deal with the club earlier this week.

Lincoln manager Danny Cowley says...

"Kevin Nolan has played at the highest level. He has done an excellent job from when he first went in there.

"Notts County are a very experienced group and a very good team, some of their players have Premier League pedigree so they will be used to big atmospheres and big crowds.

“Our group had that great experience in the FA Cup run last season when we played in front of big crowds regularly.

"I think that helped our players deal with the pressures and demands of expectation and not only that, it has now become something we enjoy.”

Team news

Nolan is monitoring the fitness of Shaun Brisley (above) after the central defender limped out of the win at Crawley with an injury.

The manager doesn't believe striker Shola Ameobi will recover from his hamstring problem in time to feature.

Former Notts and Lincoln striker Mark Stallard says...

"It should be a good game. Notts have got off to a flyer despite the opening day defeat and Lincoln have only lost twice - they're getting to grips with the division.

"As far as young, up and coming managers go, Kevin Nolan and Danny Cowley tick all of the boxes.

"Both clubs seem to be on the up and it should be a cracking atmosphere."

Read a full interview with Mark Stallard in this weekend's edition of The Mag.

Dangerman

Matt Rhead has been invaluable to Lincoln as the focal point of their attack since joining the Imps from Mansfield Town in the summer of 2015.

The big striker proved more than suitable for life in the National League, scoring 35 goals in 86 appearances at that level across the past two seasons.

He started off as a journeyman in the non-league circuit, playing for the likes of Nantwich Town, Congleton Town and Corby Town.

But it was at Mansfield where he enjoyed his first taste of life in the EFL after scoring four goals in the 2012-13 season as the Stags won the National League title to secure a return to the fourth tier after a four-season absence.

Rhead scored just nine goals in the following two campaigns and turned down a new contract at the One Call Stadium, opting to move to Sincil Bank, where his career has been reinvigorated.

We've met before...

Notts have a superior head-to-head record against the Imps, winning 34 of the 64 meetings between the sides.

The last outing at Meadow Lane in April 2010 ended 3-1 to the Magpies with Lee Hughes, Graeme Lee and Delroy Facey on target as Notts continued their march towards the League Two title.

Lincoln's last win in Nottingham came in December 2008 when Romanian striker Adrian Patulea struck the only goal of the game.

What are the odds?

Sky Bet have priced Notts up as 13/8 favourites to extend their winning run to five games in a row with the visitors seen as the outsiders at 17/10 and the draw at 9/4.

Notts' home wins have been either by a 1-0 or 2-0 scoreline; the former is available at 7/1 with the latter 11/1.

Fancy a repeat of the 5-3 win at Sincil Bank from January 1998? You can get massive odds of 250/1 on the same scoreline at Meadow Lane this Saturday!

Jorge Grant took his tally for the campaign to five by scoring the winner at Crawley last time out and is 17/2 to open the scoring again this weekend.

Terry Hawkridge (above) is relishing the opportunity to come up against his former club and is 10/1 to get the opening goal or 7/2 to find the net at any time during the 90 minutes.

For a longer shot, defender Dan Jones got off the mark with a stunning free-kick during the victory over Morecambe and is available at 50/1 to open the scoring again against the Imps.

Notts winning to-nil with a fifth successive clean sheet is 7/2, while a Magpies win with both teams scoring is available at 4/1.

The average time of Notts' first goal in a home league game this season is 38 minutes. You can get 13/2 on the first goal of the game coming between the 31st and 40th minute.

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

Report: Notts 4-1 Lincoln

Notts go top with derby win

23 September 2017

Notts County made it five wins on the spin with a 4-1 victory over Lincoln City at Meadow Lane.

Jon Stead opened the scoring in the first half after Lincoln had seen Billy Knott red-carded.

And, although the visitors bit back with an equaliser straight after the break, goals from Matt Tootle, Jorge Grant and Terry Hawkridge fired Notts to the top of the Sky Bet League Two table.

Kevin Nolan made one change to the team that beat Crawley last weekend, Hawkridge returning to face his former club in place of the bench-bound Lewis Alessandra.

Backed by more than 4,000 visiting supporters, Lincoln started the match brightly and had a golden opportunity to open the scoring with 10 minutes on the clock when Matt Green raced into the area before rolling the ball a yard wide of the far post.

Notts' response came from Jon Stead, who turned sharply in the area before curling the ball towards the bottom corner. Paul Farman in the Imps net was able to get down to his right to make the save.

Adam Collin was called into action at the other end a minute later, tipping the ball over the bar after Josh Ginnelly's shot bounced up off the turf. From the resultant corner, Sean Raggett sent the ball over with a free header.

Jonathan Forte also struck the ball over the bar with a volley under pressure before the spotlight fell on referee Sebastian Stockbridge, who had a decision to make when the ever-tenacious Ryan Yates stooped to compete with Billy Knott for a bouncing ball in midfield. Knott's boot connected with Yates' head in a thunderous collision and Stockbridge showed the Lincoln man a straight red card.

And, 11 minutes later, Notts capitalised by taking the lead. Milsom picked out Stead with a cross and the forward's volley took a deflection off his marker and spun into the bottom corner.

Moments later, it could have been two. Grant worked himself infield from the right before sending the ball goalwards from the edge of the area. His left-footed effort was weak, however, and Farman made a comfortable save.

Four minutes were added on at the end of the half, during which Nolan was forced into his first change after Dan Jones pulled up mid-play. Carl Dickinson replaced him.

1-0 was how it stayed going into the break but, within two minutes of the restart, the visitors had an equaliser.

A deep cross was headed back across goal by Anderson and the ball found its way through the bodies in the middle to nestle in the corner of the net.

Notts came close to restoring their lead almost immediately when Brisley's shot was deflected just wide by a Lincoln defender.

But that wasn't to matter as, on 55 minutes, Notts were back ahead in sensational style after Stead picked out Tootle with a clever pass in the area. The marauding full-back took a touch before lashing it low beyond Farman and into the bottom corner.

Notts kept up their pressure and had a half-chance to make it three when Stead was the first to a loose ball in the area. Farman managed to narrow the angle at his near post to beat the forward's close-range effort away.

But that was to be only a temporary reprieve as, with 20 minutes to play, Stead won a free-kick on the corner of the area and left the rest to Grant. The Forest loanee shaped to cross the ball but instead aimed for the far top corner, crashing the ball in off the post to put breathing space between his side and the Imps.

Rob Milsom made way for Elliott Hewitt with a quarter of an hour remaining and Alan Smith took Stead's place as injury time beckoned.

But there was still time for Hawkridge to scorn his former club by opening his Notts account. He cut inside from the left and scampered along the edge of the area before curling the ball low past the stranded Farman.

Forte had penalty appeals waved away deep into three added minutes after he was sandwiched forcefully between two Lincoln defenders as he chased a ball over the top, leaving him requiring lengthy treatment.

But there was to be no miraculous comeback from the Imps as Nolan's men knocked Exeter off their perch to claim first place.

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Ticket News

Please arrive early

Avoid queues for Imps visit

23 September 2017

With a large crowd expected, Notts County supporters are urged to arrive early for today's match.

Those who purchased their tickets online can print at home or scan their barcode from their phone at the turnstile, avoiding the need to queue at the ticket office.

Supporters who need to buy on the day can visit the dedicated matchday booth located between the Air-IT Kop and Jimmy Sirrel stands (cash only). Click here for more information about buying home tickets.

More information on Lincoln tickets can be found here.

Fans are also advised that dogs trained in the detection of pyrotechnics will be stationed at turnstiles around the ground.

To allow for the safe dispersal of Lincoln supporters following the conclusion of the match, County Road will be closed to traffic between 3.35pm – 5pm. Those attending the match are therefore advised to factor this into their travel plans.

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