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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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23 February 2019 Venue Prenton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Tranmere (A)

22 February 2019

Notts County visit Tranmere on Saturday looking to complete the double over their hosts.

Manager Neal Ardley’s first win in charge of the Magpies came in December’s meeting at Meadow Lane as a thrilling encounter ended 3-2.

His side have been one of Sky Bet League Two’s form teams in February, picking up wins against Forest Green and Mansfield and a point against Lincoln in recent weeks.

Those results set Notts up with a chance to climb out of the relegation zone on Tuesday but they were beaten 4-1 by Newport and will hope that result proves to be no more than a blip.

Tranmere, meanwhile, occupy ninth spot in the table and are just three points outside the play-off places in their first season back in the EFL.

They’re on a three-match unbeaten run and won 2-1 at Port Vale on Tuesday night, with League Two’s top scorer James Norwood taking his tally to 22 with a brace. 

31 of Tranmere’s 49 points have come at Prenton Park, leaving Rovers with the sixth best home record in the division.

Ardley says…

“We have to make sure we learn from Tuesday night, react positively and put some points on the board.

“We have a job to do and a target to hit. We’ll be going to Tranmere looking to produce a high level of performance and win the game.

“They’re on the verge of the play-offs and have that winning habit. They’ve got plenty of threats including the top scorer in the division.

“Prenton Park is always a tough place to go but hopefully we thrive on the atmosphere because against Mansfield and Lincoln recently we were lifted by it.”

Tranmere boss Micky Mellon says…

“Every game in this division is tough. You have to fight until the very end to get something and I’m not expecting anything different against Notts.

“At this stage of the season, it’s starting to emerge what prize you are fighting for, whether that be to stay up, get in the play-offs or win the league.

“It's a time of the campaign when anything can happen, so we have to make sure we concentrate on the things we know bring us success.

“I’m pleased to take seven points out of nine from our last few games and they have been good performances as well."

Team news

Ardley says Notts are having to nurse some minor issues following Tuesday night’s game and he may have to make some late decisions about his squad.

Craig Mackail-Smith and Jon Stead will hope to return to the starting line-up after having to settle for appearances off the bench in midweek.

Tranmere were unchanged on Tuesday from last weekend’s goalless draw with Cambridge so Mellon may consider shuffling the pack for his side’s third game in seven days.

Harvey Gilmour and Jonny Smith were used from the bench in midweek, while January signing Chris Dagnall will hope to make his first start after coming on as a substitute twice since joining from Bury on deadline day.

We’ve met before

December’s meeting between these two teams was the second in a row to finish 3-2 to the home side, with Tranmere coming from behind to win at Prenton Park the last time Notts visited back in 2014.

Stead netted a brace in this season’s reverse fixture with Kane Hemmings getting the Magpies’ other goal, while Smith and Connor Jennings were on target for Rovers.

Elsewhere in League Two

Victory for Notts could see them climb out of the relegation zone if other results go their way on Saturday.

After winning just twice since October, Yeovil are in danger of slipping into the bottom two if they lose at home to Cambridge this weekend, who themselves are only four places above the dropzone.

Second-bottom Macclesfield have taken only two points from their last four games and will prop up the table if they don’t earn victory at Crawley and Notts win at Tranmere.

Port Vale, who the Magpies host next weekend, have lost four of their last five matches ahead of a trip to Cheltenham on Saturday.

Morecambe have recorded back-to-back wins to move six points clear of the dropzone but host league leaders Lincoln, who have drawn their last four.

The weekend’s officials

Referee: Scott Oldham

Assistants: Peter Gooch and Chris Isherwood

Fourth official: Richard Woodward

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Match Reports

Tranmere 1-0 Notts

Jennings wins it for hosts

23 February 2019

Notts County were beaten 1-0 by Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.

Connor Jennings' second-half goal was enough to swing an even match in the hosts' favour, keeping Notts at the bottom of Sky Bet League Two.

Neal Ardley made two changes to the side that suffered defeat against Newport County in midweek.

The move saw Jon Stead and Craig Mackail-Smith return to the starting line up, with Virgil Gomis and Lewis Alessandra having to settle for a place on the bench.

Tranmere came into the game with the sixth-best home record in the division and began on the front foot, seeing shots from Ben Pringle and top scorer Oliver Norwood go off-target in the early exchanges.

Ryan Schofield was tested properly for the first time on 17 minutes, producing an acrobatic save to push Jennings' excellent volley over, shortly before David Perkins went into the book for a late foul on Jim O'Brien.

And that proved the catalyst for Notts to get a foothold in the game as they went close for the first time on 25 minutes, Stead playing a tasty ball across the face of goal with no-one on hand in the middle to turn it home.

Mackail-Smith and Michael Doyle were both off-target with efforts as Notts continued to play their way into the match.

But Rovers so nearly went into the break with a fortuitous lead as Ben Barclay inadvertantly sent the ball towards the bottom corner of his own net with an attempted clearance, which Schofield did very well to push away to safety.

And that was to be the final action of the half as the sides returned to the dressing room level.

There were no changes at the break but Notts nearly altered the scoreline in their favour shortly after the restart when Mackail-Smith played Stead in down the left. The forward found Enzio Boldewijn with a low cross to the near post but the Dutchman couldn't beat the keeper with his flicked finish.

Hemmings went into the book after catching Mark Ellis when the pair went in for a 50/50 on halfway and the forward made way for Alessandra shorlty afterwards.

But there was nothing the playmaker could do to prevent Rovers taking a 69th-minute lead.

The chance came after O'Brien's diving header in midfield resulted in the ball falling kindly to Pringle, who raced at the Notts defence. It was a 3 v 2 situation in the hosts' favour and Jennings made no mistake when presented with the ball in the area, passing it low beyond Schofield and into the net.

Notts needed a quick response and Doyle went into the book for snapping into a challenge on Zoumana Bakayogo as he pressed high up the field.

Ardley's next change saw Gomis replace Boldewijn on 78 minutes. The Forest loanee lined up alongside Mackail-Smith, with Stead playing behind the front two and Milsom joining Barclay and Sam Stubbs in a back three. Alessandra and Mitch Rose were now deployed as wing backs.

Schofield saved a Norwood shot and Gomis dipped an effort a yard or so wide shortly before Notts were given six additional minutes in which to find an equaliser.

It was the hosts who nearly got the next goal, though, as Norwood whistled an effort inches wide of the post.

Stead bobbled a half-volley wide of the far post from the edge of the area in the final added minute and that was the last chance of a Notts revival as Ardley's men left Merseyside empty-handed.

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Ticket News

Tickets and travel: Tranmere Rovers (A)

22 February 2019

Tickets for Notts County’s Sky Bet League Two trip to Tranmere Rovers are available from cash turnstiles on the day.

Matchday prices

Adult: £20

65 and over: £13

18-22: £13*

Under 18: £7

Under 12: £4**

*Tranmere operate a strict ID policy for this age category. ID displaying the supporter's date of birth must be provided on the day. Failure to do so will result in supporters being charged the full adult price.

**Only available if purchased with an adult/senior match ticket.

Disabled supporters

In line with Tranmere’s policy, tickets for supporters with a disability and their personal assistants are available to those on the middle or high level of PIPS or DLA from the DWP.

Ambulant and wheelchair disabled supporters should obtain tickets in advance from Notts County. They are priced at £11 for the disabled supporter with a personal assistant ticket issued free of charge.

Official away travel

Official away travel will depart from near the club shop on Meadow Lane at 10.30am.

General adult/senior: £22

General under 18: £13

Season ticket holders/Lifeline members/NCFCOSA members: £21

Season ticket holder under 18: £12

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