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12 January 2019 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: Cambridge (H)

12 January 2019

Notts County face Cambridge United on Saturday in a huge game at the bottom of Sky Bet League Two.

Just five points separate the 24th-placed Magpies and the U’s in 21st and a 15,000-strong crowd is expected at Meadow Lane with all tickets priced £2.

Notts come into the match on the back of a 3-3 draw with play-off chasing Colchester, where they were cursing their luck not to have left with maximum points.

It was a similar story for Neal Ardley’s side the last time they played at Meadow Lane. Bury goalkeeper Joe Murphy was in inspired form to deny the Magpies a victory in their final game of 2018 after another positive performance against a promotion candidate.

Cambridge, meanwhile, faced the top two in recent weeks and tasted defeat on both occasions – losing 2-1 at home to Lincoln and 6-0 at MK Dons on New Year’s Day.

The U’s have lost their last six away games in all competitions but won 2-0 at home to Stevenage last week.

New Cambridge boss Colin Calderwood has picked up two victories from his first five matches in charge and will hope for a happy return to Nottingham after managing Forest for 125 games between 2006 and 2008.

Ardley says…

“All footballers want to play in front of big crowds and if there is positivity in the stadium from the first minute to the last it will help drive us on.

“If we are able to use the energy of the supporters in the right way it will be a powerful thing and can help us start to build momentum.

I’m trying to avoid calling it a six-pointer but it’s a natural thing. If they win, the gap increases and it becomes harder for us to close it again.

“It’ll be a tough game but this is an opportunity to make up for lost points in recent weeks."

Calderwood says…

“The biggest surprise in the division is that Notts are where they are and everyone expects a resurgence from them at some point.

“It’s an acid test for us on Saturday but a terrific game that we are looking forward to because it’s about Cambridge United and our performance.

“We need to focus on doing our job. My philosophy involves looking to score goals so we’ll be going there to win the game.

“We have to have more self-belief and confidence. With the way the season has gone that can be difficult so we have to force the issue a bit more.”

Team news

New signings Jim O’Brien and Ryan Schofield are firmly in Ardley’s reckoning after joining Notts this week, while Lewis Alessandra will hope to be more involved after making his long-awaited return to action after coming off the bench against Colchester.

Matt Tootle will again be absent after suffering a tear in his thigh, with Elliott Hewitt, Kane Hemmings and Enzio Boldewijn remaining sidelined.

Calderwood was pleased to see George Taft play 90 minutes of the win against Stevenage and he is set to continue in the heart of the Cambridge defence.

Liam O’Neil and Reggie Lambe both missed out last week but are in contention for a return to the side on Saturday.

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy will also hope to see his name in Cambridge's starting 11 after the forward completed a loan move from Aston Villa on Friday.

We’ve met before

Notts haven’t won any of their last eight meetings with the U’s and suffered a late 3-2 loss at the Abbey Stadium earlier this season courtesy of Barry Corr's stoppage-time header.

Boldewijn scored his first of the season to open the scoring with Richard Duffy also on the scoresheet, while Ade Azeez netted a brace for the hosts.

The Magpies’ last victory over Cambridge came at Meadow Lane in 2004 with Matty Williams and Chris Palmer scoring in the 2-1 win. Shane Tudor got the visitors’ goal.

Elsewhere in League Two

Second-bottom Macclesfield make the trip to in-form Grimsby, who have won six of their last nine league games. Four of those successes have come at Blundell Park.

Yeovil are chasing a first victory since 27 October and face the tough task of earning it away to fourth-placed Mansfield.

Morecambe make the long journey down to Exeter, while Port Vale will hope to end a six-game winless run when they host Colchester.

The afternoon’s officials

Referee: John Busby

Assistants: Craig Taylor and Rob Smith

Fourth official: Duncan Street

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Match Reports

Notts 0-1 Cambridge

Magpies defeated in front of huge crowd

12 January 2019

Notts County were beaten 1-0 by Cambridge United at Meadow Lane.

United defender Greg Taylor's first-half-header was enough to move the visitors further away from the drop zone as the Magpies' troubles worsened.

Notts went close on a couple of occasions but were unable to find the crucial breakthrough in front of 15,026 supporters.

Neal Ardley named his three January signings in his starting line-up, handing full debuts to goalkeeper Ryan Schofield and midfielder Jim O'Brien. Central defender Ben Barclay made his home bow after playing at Colchester last weekend.

Lewis Alessandra was given his first start since recovering from injury, sitting behind forwards Jon Stead and Kristian Dennis.

Rob Milsom and O'Brien shielded a three-man central defence of Pierce Bird, Richard Duffy and Barclay, with Cedric Evina and the returning Elliott Hewitt playing as wing-backs.

The match began in cagey fashion and there wasn't a real chance to speak of until the half-hour mark.

It fell to Dennis, who received the ball from Hewitt, spun with it in the area and sent a low effort wide of the far post.

Evina was looking threatening in attacking areas and nearly squeezed the ball home at the near post only for visiting goalkeeper David Forde to divert it out for a corner.

The balance of play began to swing in favour of Cambridge as half-time neared, however, and after Schofield had dived to his right to turn Brad Halliday's long-range effort wide, Colin Calderwood's men took the lead from the resultant corner.

Taylor rose highest in a crowd of bodies at the far post, looping a header back across goal and landing it in the corner of the net.

Notts nearly snuck an equaliser on the cusp of half-time, O'Brien seeing a low 20-yard effort tipped wide by Forde.

But the Magpies returned to the dressing room with it all to do.

There were no changes at the break but Notts' first substitution came on 66 minutes when Alessandra made way for Nathan Thomas in attacking midfield.

And Notts came so close to the equaliser moments later when Dennis nipped in ahead of Forde to meet Evina's low cross. The ball ran wide of goal but the forward managed to get to it before it went out, rolling it agonisingly along the goal line and just past the far post.

Further clear-cut chances were proving hard to come by, however, and as the clock ticked down towards full-time Ardley sent young forward Kion Etete on in place of Evina.

Notts were now in a 3-4-3 formation with Thomas down the left and Hewitt on the right.

And the former had an opportunity to play the hero in the final throes of normal time when he took charge of a free-kick 25 yards out.

But he could only float the ball over the bar, sending Notts into six minutes of added time desperate for a goal.

It wasn't to come, however, as Calderwood's men picked up a big victory to aid their own fight against the drop.

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Ticket News

Only single and restricted view tickets remaining

Last chance for tickets

12 January 2019

Tickets are now extremely limited for Saturday's £2 for Cambridge fixture.

A limited number of single and restricted view tickets remain available but supporters are reminded that they must sit in their allocated seat.

If you have purchased a Notts ticket before, activate your account using the customer/member number shown on your old ticket. If you don’t have these details or are buying your first ticket with us, click here to register a new account.

Please note – a 60p per ticket admin fee will be applied to all tickets purchased online or by phone.

Call 0115 955 7210.

Please note – a 60p per ticket admin fee will be applied to all tickets purchased online or by phone.

The ticket office, situated on Meadow Lane, is open now.

Derek Pavis Stand – Offers a view from the side of the pitch.

Air-IT Kop – Located behind the goal, this is where Notts’ more vocal supporters are situated. Perfect for those who enjoy a livelier matchday atmosphere.

Haydn Green Family Stand – Supporters using this stand will have access to a number of exciting family-friendly activities. Bringing young children? We recommend you sit here. Click here to see what’s on.

Jimmy Sirrel Stand – This area is reserved for away supporters only.

To coincide with the ticket offer, the following discounted packages are available for this match.

Club 155 - £30

Enjoy a delicious three-course carvery in the luxurious Club 155 Suite, where there'll be a pre-match interview with a special guest, complimentary programmes and teamsheets, tea and coffee and a visit from the Man of the Match after full-time.

You'll also have a reserved, padded seat with an unrivalled view of the action.

Click here for more information on Club 155. 

Club Carlsberg - £15

Looking for a more relaxed upgrade to your matchday? Wear your colours with pride in Club Carlsberg, where you'll have access to a private pay-bar and be served a delicious one-course meal.

A complimentary programme and teamsheet is included, along with a reserved premium seat.

Click here for more information on Club Carlsberg.

Our ticket office are happy to take any queries you may have. Give them a call on 0115 955 7210 during our opening hours.

If it's your first visit to Meadow Lane, here's a handy guide.

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