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02 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: Port Vale (H)

1 March 2019

Notts County host Port Vale on Saturday in a crucial game in the Sky Bet League Two relegation battle.

The Magpies can move within two points of safety with victory at Meadow Lane, closing the gap on the visitors - who occupy 22nd place - in the process.

After recording back-to-back wins over Forest Green and Mansfield, Notts ended February with defeats to Newport and Tranmere and will hope to return to winning ways.

Port Vale, meanwhile, have recorded victory just once since November and have only scored one goal in their last six league games.

They’ve picked up just five points in 2019 and have lost their last four matches with John Askey yet to oversee an upturn in form after replacing Neil Aspin as manager at the start of February.

Six-pointer is a cliché used regularly in football but, at this stage of the season, both sides will be fully aware of how important a win would be.

Notts boss Neal Ardley says…

“The main priority of this week was to get the fitness and freshness back so we are able to replicate the intensity of the performances against Mansfield, Forest Green and Lincoln.

“If we play like that we are a match for anyone – every game we have left is vitally important and I always find that the best time to roll your sleeves up is during adversity.

“I don’t know whether Port Vale will come for a point or set out to beat us so we can’t focus on them – it’s about what we do, and doing that well.

“It could be an anxious game with neither team wanting to lose but I want our boys to bounce out of the changing rooms with no apprehension and focused on producing a high level of performance.”

Askey says…

"It's a great opportunity and one of the biggest games the club has ever had on Saturday.

“There will be a big crowd and I know Notts County are encouraging all their supporters to get behind them because they know the importance of it.

"I'm sure there will be a lot from Port Vale making the trip to Nottingham and it's going to be a huge game with a good atmosphere and one the players should relish.

“Our movement, aggression and determination has got to be better so we can win games – we need to get in the 18-yard box more, make the chances easier and make more use of set pieces."

Team news

Several senior Notts players got minutes in the tank for the reserves on Tuesday during the 3-0 win against Fleetwood and may stake a claim on Saturday.

Elliott Hewitt returned from the Fylde coast with some swelling around his knee which is expected to clear up ahead of the weekend so Ardley should have a fully fit squad to choose from.

Tom Pope is expected to lead the line for Port Vale. The skipper has 11 goals in all competitions this season but hasn’t scored a league goal since early December.

Luke Hannant and Tom Conlon will hope to return to the starting XI after dropping to the bench last time out. They were both introduced as second-half substitutes in the defeat at Cheltenham.

We’ve met before

Port Vale have won on just one of their last five visits to Meadow Lane with their most recent success coming in 2015.

Last season’s meeting ended 1-0 to Notts as Jon Stead got the only goal of the game with a late spot-kick.

There was late drama when the sides faced off at Vale Park earlier this season with Pope netting an 89th-minute equaliser after Elliott Ward looked to have won it for the Magpies in the 87th. Kane Hemmings and Hannant were both on target in the first half of the 2-2 draw.

Elsewhere in League Two

There’s another crucial game in the relegation battle at Huish Park, where 21st-placed Yeovil host Morecambe who are 20th.

The Glovers ended a six-match losing streak with a 1-0 success against Cambridge last week while the Shrimps have won two of their last three.

Macclesfield will look to end their five-game winless run at second-placed Bury, knowing a defeat coupled with a Notts victory will see them slip to the foot of the table.

Cambridge are six points clear of the dropzone but they’ve lost two on the bounce and are tasked with a tough trip to Grimsby who have won four of their last five.

The afternoon’s officials

Referee: Craig Hicks

Assistants: Gareth Mellor and Matthew Parry

Fourth official: Joe Clark

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Match Reports

Notts 0-0 Port Vale

2 March 2019

Notts County were held to a 0-0 draw by Port Vale at Meadow Lane.

Rob Milsom had Notts' best chance to win it with an opportunity in the first half, while the Magpies had Ryan Schofield to thank for some fine work between the sticks on a nervy afternoon.

Neal Ardley made one change to the team that faced Tranmere Rovers last weekend as Virgil Gomis returned to the starting line-up in place of Kane Hemmings, who had to settle for a place on the bench.

With so much at stake for both sides, there was an understandably cagey start to the game with Enzio Boldewijn claiming the first notable shot, whistling the ball a yard or two over the bar from just outside the area on 18 minutes.

Moments later the hosts went close again, Jon Stead working his way into the box brilliantly before picking out Rob Milsom. The marauding full-back's shot was well saved by visiting keeper Scott Brown.

Nerves were jangling at the other end a couple of minutes later as Leon Legge's goalbound header was instinctively blocked by a Notts defender following a corner.

And, moments after Stead had curled a long-range effort off-target, Ryan Schofield had to produce a superb save to push Tom Conlon's free-kick away from the top corner of his net.

The visitors were building momentum as the half progressed and they nearly had the lead when Manny Oyeleke's deflected effort bobbled just wide of the post following a spell of concerted Valiants pressure.

Conlon saw yellow for cynically halting Boldewijn on the break and the Dutchman tried to respond in the best way possible before the referee called time on the half. He couldn't keep his 25-yard shot down, however, and the sides returned to the changing rooms at deadlock.

There were no changes at the break but Vale came within inches of altering the scoreline moments after the restart as Tom Pope headed Mitch Clark's cross narrowly wide.

Boldewijn offered Notts' retort with a low shot off target before Schofield had to push a dipping David Worrall effort over the bar after Sam Stubbs had half-cleared a corner.

And the visitors should have been ahead on 65 minutes when Worrall was picked out with a clever pass into the area. He squared the ball for Oyeleke, who had time to take a touch but instead dragged the ball wide with a first-time shot.

Vale were looking the more likely team to open the scoring and Pope, who had earlier been booked for a poor challenge on Michael Doyle, squandered another opportunity for the visitors when he stretched to meet a left-wing cross only to head the ball over the bar.

Ardley responded with his first change of the afternoon, sending Hemmings on for Gomis, and Craig Mackail-Smith made way for Lewis Alessandra shortly afterwards.

And the changes seemed to spark Notts into life as they created their best moment of the half, O'Brien playing Rose to the byline before the full-back rolled a dangerous low cross into the middle. Agonisingly, no-one was on hand to turn it home.

The game was anyone's going into the final throes and Conlon saw a fierce drive blocked before Doyle fired a long-range effort over the bar at the other end.

Two minutes were added on at the end of the match but neither team was able to find a winner to aid their battle against relegation.

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Ticket News

Tickets: Port Vale (H)

2 March 2019

Tickets are on sale for Notts County's home match against Port Vale on Saturday 2 March (3pm kick-off).

Matchday prices

Category Derek Pavis Stand Air-IT Kop Stand Haydn Green Family Stand
Adult £22 £22 £22
65 and over £16 £16 £16
18-21 £16 £16 £16
Under 18 £9 £9 £9
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.

Bringing the kids?

Click here to find out what's happening in the Family Stand.

Hospitality

To enquire about hospitality for this fixture, please email kirsty.edwards@nottscountyfc.co.uk or call 0115 955 7222.

Click here to view our range of packages.

Sensory rooms

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

Parents and carers are able to visit the rooms before matchday if they wish to check its suitability.

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