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23 March 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: Exeter (H)

22 March 2019

Notts County host Exeter City on Saturday in Sky Bet League Two action.

The Magpies will be looking for a second win in three games as they continue their battle against the drop and could move level on points with Yeovil in the fight for survival.

Notts bounced back from a 4-1 loss to Cheltenham with a 3-1 victory at Carlisle before a goalless draw against Morecambe at Meadow Lane last week, taking them to just three points from safety.

Ahead of the clash with Exeter, the Magpies will take confidence from their record against teams in the play-off race having beaten Forest Green, Mansfield and Tranmere in addition to the Cumbrians.

The Grecians, meanwhile, climbed back into the top seven with a 3-0 victory over Colchester last week, which ended their three-match winless run.

They’ll be looking to solidify their spot in the play-offs and go one step further than last season when they were beaten in the final at Wembley.

Notts boss Neal Ardley says…

“Exeter play with energy, press well and have threats like Lee Holmes so it’s no surprise they’re in the play-offs. 

“They play with penetration so we’ll have to react to them trying to get in behind us and be aware of how they play and how good their players are – then we need the one-v-one moments to go our way.

“We have to look at the best way to approach this game, give Exeter a real test and give ourselves the best possible chance of winning.

“If we perform to the plan and work together to execute it, I believe we can win every game and that starts on Saturday.”

Exeter boss Matt Taylor says…

“Notts have got a good set of players and the manager has got them organised and given them some structure and belief.

“Only one of the top 10 teams have beaten them at home this season and that shows how difficult it is going to be this weekend.

“We have got a bit of confidence on the back of last weekend and we go to Notts County hoping for another positive outcome but we know how difficult it will be.

“We expect it to be a tough test but all our concentration has to be on ourselves – we know that if we put in a performance that we are capable of, we are a stern test for any opposition.”

Team news

Jim O’Brien had stitches removed from his leg on Thursday and will hope to prove his fitness.

Ardley has confirmed captain Jon Stead will be available for selection after going off injured at Cheltenham a fortnight ago.

Exeter could welcome back several key players who have missed out recently with Troy Brown and Aaron Martin featuring for the reserves in midweek.

Pierce Sweeney and Lee Martin have both returned to training and are also in contention.

We’ve met before

Last season’s meeting at Meadow Lane ended 2-1 to Exeter, while Notts were 3-0 winners at St James Park with Lewis Alessandra’s opener followed by Jorge Grant’s brace.

Earlier in the campaign, Enzio Boldewijn’s strike wasn’t enough for the Magpies as the Grecians earned a comprehensive 5-1 win in Devon.

Elsewhere in League Two

Yeovil sit just three points above the drop zone and will look to avoid a fourth straight defeat when they visit MK Dons on Saturday, who have the division’s third-best home record.

Macclesfield are level on points with Notts and will hope to capitalise on the Glovers’ tough trip to Milton Keynes when they welcome Stevenage to Moss Rose.

Cambridge and Morecambe will hope to go one step closer to safety when they visit Carlisle and Swindon respectively, while Port Vale will look to go five without defeat as they host Forest Green.

The afternoon’s officials

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Assistants: Simon Shaw and Steven Rushton

Fourth official: Mark Griffiths

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Match Reports

Notts 0-1 Exeter

Magpies beaten at the death

23 March 2019

Notts County were beaten 1-0 by Exeter City at Meadow Lane.

The Grecians played with ten men for most of the game following Ryan Bowman's dismissal midway through the first half and, after soaking up pressure throughout the afternoon, the visitors nicked three points with virtually the last kick of the game through Nicky Law.

Neal Ardley made two changes to the team that drew at home to Morecambe last weekend.

Fit-again Jim O'Brien replaced David Vaughan in midfield, while Craig Mackail-Smith returned to the starting 11 in place of Lewis Alessandra.

Both defences had to be alert in the opening exchanges of the first half, Exeter keeper Christy Pym getting a foot to the ball as it rolled across his six yard box before, moments later, Richard Duffy denied Law a crossing opportunity after the experienced Grecian had showed good feet deep in Notts territory.

Bowman collected his first booking on 17 minutes after an aerial challenge on Duffy which left the former Exeter man requiring treatment.

Dean Moxey followed his team-mate into the book shortly afterwards for a similar challenge on Mackail-Smith.

And a busy period for referee Carl Boyeson ended with Bowman's dismissal on 23 minutes after the forward caught Michael Doyle late when trying to press the midfielder high up the field.

Notts now had a man advantage but there was a nervy moment in the Magpies' defence when Law's low cross took a couple of ricochets. Thankfully for Notts, the ball found its way into Schofeld's arms.

The Magpies' best chance of the half followed a minute later when Enzio Boldewijn picked out Mackail-Smith with a low cross. The loanee hit it first time on the half-turn but could only send the ball over the bar from 12 yards out.

After assessing the pattern of play following Bowman's dismissal, Exeter boss Matt Taylor made his first change, replacing the forward-thinking Lee Holmes with defender Pierce Sweeney.

Notts responded with a speculative effort from Tootle, who tried to catch Pym off his line only to see the keeper pluck his goalbound lob out of the sky.

Boldewijn then saw a deflected effort easily saved moments before Hemmings tried to lay the ball off for the Dutchman in the area, only to inadvertantly put the ball behind for a goal kick.

Half-time was fast approaching and Notts continued their pursuit of a goal before the depleted visitors would have a chance to regroup at half-time.

Tootle's cross-shot had too much pace on it for anyone in a black and white shirt to turn it home, though, and the final big opening of the half went to the visitors.

It came following a Mackail-Smith slip near his own touchline which allowed the lively Kane Wilson into the area. With Notts back in numbers he had to exchange some slick one-touch passes with Law to try and work a shooting opportunity as Notts fans watched on with bated breath.

In the end, though, O'Brien made an important block to consign the first half to stalemate.

Jon Stead replaced Rose at half-time and Notts began the second period on the front foot, winning a corner in front of the Air-IT Kop which led to O'Brien's 20-yard effort being held by Pym.

The keeper was called into much tougher action moments later, diving to his right to divert Tootle's well-struck effort over the bar.

Exeter were defending resolutely and Notts had to wait until the 67th minute for their next opening, when O'Brien's long-range effort deviated through the air before being pushed away by Pym in unorthodox fashion.

Milsom wrote his name into the book for a foul on Kane Wilson and Sam Stubbs fired an effort over the bar following a corner as Ardley's men continued their hunt for the all-important opening goal.

Virgil Gomis joined the fray on 83 minutes, taking Mackail-Smith's place moments before Stead flashed a 20-yard effort wide, Milsom saw a shot blocked and O'Brien curled the ball over the angle of post and crossbar.

The Magpies were given three additional minutes in which to find a crucial winner which was not forthcoming and, as they poured forwards in search of a winner, Exeter made their only second-half chance pay on the break.

Substitute Donovan Wilson got to the byline and lifted the ball to the back post where Law was perfectly positioned to apply a simple finish from a yard out and condemn Notts to a cruel defeat - meaning Ardley's side remain bottom of the table and three points from safety with seven games to play.

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Ticket News

Tickets: Exeter City (H)

23 March 2019

Tickets for Notts County's home match against Exeter City on Saturday 23 March (3pm kick-off) are still on sale with adults prices only £12.

The club, alongside Notts County FITC who are celebrating their 30th anniversary, are looking forward to welcoming a big crowd to Meadow Lane for their annual Community Day.

Click here to see what's happening.

Matchday prices

Category Derek Pavis Stand Air-IT Kop Stand Haydn Green Family Stand
Adult £12 £12 £12
65 and over £12 £12 £12
18-21 £12 £12 £12
Under 18 £7 £7 £7
Under 16 £7 £7 £7
Under 12 £1 £1 £1
Under 7† Free Free Free

†Under 7s' tickets can only be claimed online if an adult purchase is made in the same transaction.

How to buy

Tickets can be purchased online and printed at home by clicking here.

Alternatively, visit the Meadow Lane ticket office or call 0115 955 7210.

Tickets to the value of £1.50 or more will be subject to a 60p per ticket administration fee when purchased online or over the phone.

Bring a Friend

Season ticket holders who have yet to use their Bring a Friend voucher can redeem it at the ticket office for this match.

The final opportunity to use the voucher will be the home match against Northampton Town on Saturday 6 April.

Sensory rooms

Parents or carers of supporters with complex learning difficulties are able to book tickets in the club's sensory rooms by emailing alice.kelk@nottscountyfc.co.uk.

If you would like to arrange a pre-match visit to the sensory rooms to assess their availability, please use the contact details above.

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