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15 December 2018 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: Tranmere (H)

14 December 2018

Neal Ardley takes his place in Meadow Lane’s home dugout for the first time on Saturday as Notts County host Tranmere Rovers.

After taking the reins at the end of November, the gaffer has had a long wait before leading his side out at the Lane.

His opening two games have been testing away trips to Sunderland and Mansfield and he hopes to record his first win as boss in his first home match.

Standing in the way are newly-promoted Tranmere who have been impressive since returning to the EFL and occupy seventh place in Sky Bet League Two.

34 points from their opening 21 games have seen them emerge as candidates for back-to-back promotions and they are sure to provide a stern test.

Ardley says…

“I can’t wait to lead the team out here because Meadow Lane has something special about it.

“Home games can be crucial for us. We’ve got an unbelievable set of supporters here so if we can all join together we can make the upcoming matches here really important.

“Tranmere will play with a good tempo and have a front two that are scoring goals and are full of confidence.

“They’ll get in our faces and believe they can hurt us – our job is to make sure we have attacking intent and be at our very best to get something out of the game.”

Tranmere boss Micky Mellon says…

“On Saturday, where Notts County and ourselves are in the table makes no difference.

“There is a lot of football to be played so I can’t judge yet because that time comes after 46 games when the last whistle is blown.

“We have to go into the game with the right mentality and will have to be very good to get a result.

“Most clubs in this division have more experience than us so we will be coming up against players who are more used to playing at this level.”

Team news

Ardley confirmed that Keston Davies could return to the squad after recovering from the knock which kept him out of last week’s game at Mansfield, while Matt Tootle has returned to full training as well.

Jon Stead played 80 minutes at the One Call Stadium and Kane Hemmings came on for the last half-hour so both will be pushing to start.

Tranmere will be missing both Ollie Banks and Harvey Gilmour through injury but Mellon is able to welcome Larnell Cole back to his squad.

We’ve met before

The last meeting between the two sides came in March 2014 when Rovers ran out 3-2 winners at Prenton Park.

Notts won 2-0 at Meadow Lane earlier in the season with Joss Labadie and Marcus Haber on the scoresheet.

Arguably the most famous clash was in the 1990 Division Three play-off final when goals from Tommy Johnson and Craig Short earned promotion for the Magpies.

The weekend’s officials

Referee: Robert Lewis

Assistants: Richard Wigglesworth and Duncan Street

Fourth official: Christopher Ward

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Match Reports

Notts 3-2 Tranmere

Magpies claim big win in Ardley's Meadow Lane bow

15 December 2018

Neal Ardley led Notts County to their first league win since the start of October in his first home game in charge as Tranmere Rovers were beaten 3-2 at Meadow Lane.

The new boss saw his side take the lead three times, Stead scoring twice and Kane Hemmings notching the other.

Jonathan Smith and Connor Jennings were the men to twice draw Rovers level but there was to be no third as the Magpies claimed a crucial victory.

Ardley made two changes to the side that faced Mansfield last weekend, Hemmings returning to the starting line-up following an injury lay-off and Keston Davies coming back into the 11. Will Patching and Shaun Brisley were the men to make way.

The Magpies lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Jamie Turley partnering Elliott Ward and Keston Davies shielding the back four.

With Elliott Hewitt on right-back duty, Rob Milsom accompanied David Vaughan in central midfield with Hemmings, Stead and Nathan Thomas offering attacking outlets.

In horrible, wintry conditions Notts claimed the first big chance of the day. It fell to Nathan Thomas, who controlled Hemmings' pass on his chest before sending a left-footed half-volley inches wide from the edge of the area.

Both sides were battling for dominance and Stead found his way into the book for a late lunge on Ritchie Sutton as the Magpies pressed to win the ball in the middle of the park.

But Stead will have been much happier with his involvement shortly afterwards as gave his side the lead in front of the Family Stand.

Hemmings was pivotal once again, showing good awareness in the area to lay the ball off for Dan Jones to roll it across the face of goal for Stead to tap home at the back stick.

The Magpies' joy was short-lived, though, as Rovers' Smith cut in from the right, weaved on to his left foot and scored with a low shot through several bodies in the penalty area.

It looked like the sides were going into the break level after Tranmere keeper Scott Davies made a routine save from Thomas two minutes before the break.

But excellent hassling from Thomas and Stead shortly afterwards saw the latter win the ball inside Tranmere's penalty area, enabling him to pick out Hemmings six yards from goal who made no mistake in restoring his side's lead with a first-time finish.

There were no changes at the break and Notts came close to scoring a third shortly after the restart when Thomas' low, driven cross just evaded Milsom two yards out.

And the visitors' relief turned to delight moments later when Jennings drifted into space in the area to nod home a cross from the right.

Jennings and Ross Fitzsimons both then went into the book as the Rovers forward jostled to take the ball off the keeper to ensure a speedy restart.

Fitzsimons was involved again on 68 minutes, keeping out Smith's effort after Zoumana Bakayogo had drilled in a low cross from the byline.

But Notts' determination to win shone through once more as, inside the game's final quarter of an hour, Thomas' quick feet drew a trip from Mark Ellis in the area. Stead made no mistake from the spot, restoring the Magpies' advantage.

Ardley's first substitution saw Vaughan replaced by Cedric Evina, who went on to the left wing in a 4-4-2 formation.

And the former Doncaster man was joined by Kristian Dennis shortly afterwards, Hemmings making way.

Dennis nearly made an immediate impact, darting on to a ball over the top and firing an effort goalwards from a narrow angle. Davies made an instinctive save to keep his side in the game.

Time was running out for the visitors, however, and Notts looked comfortable defensively going into four minutes of added time.

And Tranmere were unable to break through as the Magpies claimed a big win in the driving December rain.

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Ticket News

Tickets: Tranmere (H)

15 December 2018

Tickets for Notts County's home match against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday 15 December (3pm kick-off) are now on sale.

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.

Bring a friend for free!

This is one of 10 Bring a Friend fixtures for season ticket holders, who can redeem the voucher included in their pack at the club shop.

Bringing the kids?

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


To enquire about hospitality for this fixture, please email 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

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

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