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3-0
13 April 2019 Venue Alexandra Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Crewe (A)

12 April 2019

Notts County head to Crewe on Saturday looking to go three games unbeaten in Sky Bet League Two.

The Magpies earned what could prove to be a crucial point at home to Northampton last week after having a man sent off and going behind but fighting back for a 2-2 draw.

The result looked set to move them out of the dropzone but a late Yeovil equaliser saw Notts stay in the bottom two on goal difference alone.

In midweek, Macclesfield picked up a win in their game in hand and climbed to 22nd with the Magpies slipping to the foot of the table.

Victory on Saturday could take Notts out of the relegation places, though, ahead of the busy Easter period.

Standing in their way at the weekend are Crewe, who have lost their last two but occupy a comfortable mid-table spot with five games remaining.

Last week's loss at Port Vale followed a home defeat to Cheltenham, but the Alex had recorded impressive victories over Mansfield (2-1) and Crawley (6-1) in their previous outings.

They boast one of the best home records in the division and will be keen to avoid an end-of-season slump, while Notts will continue their push for EFL survival.  

Ardley says…

“Crewe are a good footballing team who will be looking to bounce back. I know they were disappointed last week and the manager will hope to get a reaction.

“We’re going into their den where they are confident and very good. It’s going to be a really tough game and we’ll have to play exceptionally well to get anything from it.

“We’re trying to build momentum and we’re getting somewhere now, so we hope that continues over the next four weeks.

“The boys are as focused and fit as they have been all season and I believe they are ready to go out and battle for five games and give everything they have."

Crewe boss David Artell says…

“You can't say anyone is in a false position at this stage of the season but, at the same time, we have to be really wary we don't get caught out.

"Notts County’s form so far might have been alarming but you know they're not as bad as they have showed - and recent results are proving that.

“They’ve only lost one in five, which is very good for a team in their position, and if we don't approach the game properly or play the right way it will be a tough afternoon.

"I’m keen for us to push on and try to get into the top 10 because I want to show that progress has been made from last season."

Team news

Notts were dealt a blow in the goalkeeping department during the week as Ross Fitzsimons was ruled out of contention through illness, meaning he will miss out alongside Ryan Schofield, who serves his one-game suspension.

West Brom’s Alex Palmer has been brought in on an emergency loan to deputise. The 22-year-old joined Oldham on similar terms earlier in the season and was part of the Latics side that beat Cambridge 3-1 in November.

Ardley also confirmed that Notts' top scorer Kane Hemmings had some fluid removed from his knee earlier in the week before returning to training.

Crewe captain George Ray could return to the side after missing out last week through suspension, while Lewis Reilly has been recalled from a loan spell at Curzon Ashton.

Artell has suggested he could ring the changes at the weekend, saying only goalkeeper Ben Garratt did enough at Port Vale to warrant keeping his place.

We’ve met before

Notts are looking for a third straight win against the Alex after 2-1 and 4-1 successes in the previous two encounters.

The Magpies earned their first victory of the current campaign when the sides met in September with Rob Milsom and Elliott Hewitt on target either side of Jordan Bowery’s goal.

Crewe were 2-0 winners in last season’s clash at the Alexandra Stadium – their only win in the fixture this millennium.

Elsewhere in League Two

Yeovil slipped into the bottom two due to Macclesfield’s victory in midweek and have a six-pointer on the horizon on Saturday.

21st-placed Crawley visit Huish Park having taken just one point from their last five matches – the same return as the Glovers.

The Red Devils are only six points clear of the dropzone and have lost four in a row, so will hope to arrest their slide, while Yeovil will want to build on last week’s point at Swindon.

Macclesfield, buoyed by their late victory over Exeter, travel to sixth-placed Forest Green, who’ve won three of their last five.

At the other end of the table, Lincoln could confirm promotion with victory at home to Cheltenham, while fifth-placed Tranmere host MK Dons, who visit Meadow Lane on Good Friday.

The afternoon’s officials

Referee: Matthew Donohue

Assistants: Christopher Ward and Richard Wild

Fourth official: Wade Smith

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Match Reports

Crewe 3-0 Notts

13 April 2019

Notts County suffered a 3-0 defeat away at Crewe Alexandra.

Ryan Wintle and James Jones joined Aaron Taylor-Sinclair on the scoresheet shortly after Kane Hemmings had missed a golden chance to level the scores on a bitterly disappointing afternoon.

Neal Ardley made one enforced change to the team that battled to a 2-2 draw with Northampton last weekend.

Ryan Schofield, who was dismissed in that match, served his one-match suspension and, with Ross Fitzsimons ill, emergency West Bromwich Albion loanee Alex Palmer took his place between the sticks.

Matt Tootle and Sam Stubbs kept their place to face their former team, while their fellow ex-Railwayman David Vaughan had to settle for a spot on the bench.

On a chilly, overcast afternoon Crewe squandered a golden early opportunity when Paul Green drifted into space in the area to meet a free-kick. His header was weak, though, and Palmer held the ball comfortably.

The loanee was called into action again shortly afterwards, diving to his right to make a good save from Perry Ng's free-kick. The ball fell for Charlie Kirk on the rebound but he could only volley it over.

Crewe were emerging as the dominant force and Stubbs' defensive instincts were brought to the fore on 21 minutrs when he made an excellent intervention to deny Chris Porter a shot at goal six yards out.

The Magpies were struggling to impose themselves on Crewe's defence but had a glimmer of hope when Stubbs lost his marker in the area and looked set to connect with Michael Doyle's inswinging corner. The ball was just too high for him, though, and the hosts launched a counter-attack which resulted in Wintle firing a speculative effort wide.

Three minutes later, though, the hosts had the lead when a short corner routine resulted in Taylor-Sinclair guiding a header into the bottom corner of Palmer's net.

Notts' response came from Tootle, who claimed the Magpies' first shot of the afternoon with a well struck-effort from 25 yards. Ben Garratt was able to palm the ball away.

Stubbs was called upon again as half-time neared, getting in the way of Ng's well-struck half-volley, before Hemmings received the game's first booking for a foul on the same player.

There was one Notts change at the break as Enzio Boldewijn made way for Craig Mackail-Smith.

But Notts had to have their defensive heads on again shortly after the restart as Stubbs and Tootle sprawled to the ground to block a shot in the area.

Shortly afterwards, Callum Ainley sent a snapshot over Palmer's crossbar following a quick counter-attack through the middle of the pitch.

It had been a long wait for a clear-cut chance but on the hour mark it finally came courtesy of industrious work by Stead, who won the ball near Crewe's byline before rolling it into the middle, where Hemmings was waiting for a tap-in. The in-form forward miscued his shot horribly, though, scuffing the ball well wide.

Notts' pain was then nearly doubled when, moments later, Tommy Lowery received a cut-back in the area, only to send his shot straight at Palmer.

The hosts then did have the ball in the net for a second time when Lowery squared the ball for Porter to tap home, only for the assistant to flag the scorer offside.

Richard Duffy, who had sustained an injury in the build-up to the disallowed goal, hobbled off as Ardley was forced into his second change. Ben Barclay entered the fray.

And Hemmings nearly made amends for his miss shortly after play resumed, latching on to the ball in the area and striking the ball sweetly from a narrow angle. Garratt did well to push the ball into his side-netting.

Lewis Alessandra's introduction followed, with Stead heading for the bench.

And the substitute nearly had an equaliser to celebrate when Tootle arrived late in the area before bundling a left-wing cross just wide at the back stick.

Unfortunately, however, the next goal was to come at the other end as Wintle guided home a cut-back with a first-time finish inside the area.

And it got worse for Notts on 83 minutes when subsitute James Jones received the ball inside the area before seeing his heavily deflected shot loop up over Palmer and into the net.

O'Brien entered the book for a foul on Ng and Palmer made a good save to deny Kirk, who looked certain to score after scampering into the area.

And that was to be the last action of note as Notts remained bottom of the table.

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