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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

09 March 2019 Venue Jonny-Rocks Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Cheltenham (A)

8 March 2019

Notts County make the trip to Cheltenham on Saturday in Sky Bet League Two action.

After a goalless draw with fellow strugglers Port Vale to start March, the Magpies will be hoping to record a first victory of the month at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Notts looked like they might climb out of the dropzone in mid-February but a three-match run without a win has left them five points from safety with 11 games to play,

Cheltenham, on the other hand, have put some distance between themselves and the rest of the relegation candidates in recent weeks and sit in 17th with 42 points.

This is largely thanks to home victories against teams around them – beating Port Vale, Cambridge, Yeovil and Macclesfield during their five-match unbeaten run in front of their own fans.

They’ve not confirmed survival yet but will feel they are close to it, while Notts will look to close the gap again with a win.

Notts boss Neal Ardley says…

“Last time these teams played each other they were both fighting at the bottom but Cheltenham have ground their way into a good place and, if they carry on how they are, they’ll get enough points to be safe.

“Michael Duff has got them solid, organised and playing to their strengths. They are good at what they do, have some talented players and are on an unbeaten run at home, so they will be favourites.

"But if we can keep the steeliness in our defending and have that bit more quality going forward, we can be a match for anyone."

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff says…

“They've changed their team a lot since we last met them, bringing in a lot of new players, and they've had some good results recently as well.

“They took seven points from games against Lincoln, Forest Green and Mansfield and they know they need to come and get a result, so we have to be aware of the wounded animal.

"They've got experienced players now so they'll have a little bit more know-how and we remember when we were in that position and recall the fight and the drive we had to get out.”

Team news

Elliott Hewitt’s knee injury is more serious than first feared and, in the coming days, he will learn if he requires surgery.

Andy Kellett and Alex Howes both picked up knocks playing for the reserves on Tuesday, while Craig Mackail-Smith has a slight achilles problem but has trained and Ardley hopes he will be fit.

Veteran striker Luke Varney scored twice for the Robins when they visited Meadow Lane in November and will hope to lead the line again after dropping to the bench in midweek.

Chelsea loanee Jacob Maddox will also have his sights set on a return to the starting line-up, as will Conor Thomas. All three were introduced during the second half of the 1-1 draw with Bury on Tuesday.

We’ve met before

Notts have been beaten by the Robins on just one of their six trips to Cheltenham – a 2-0 reverse in November 2006.

The Magpies’ six-game unbeaten run in this fixture was ended in November with Tyrone Barnett adding to Varney’s brace in the 3-0 defeat.

Elsewhere in League Two

The four sides directly above Notts all face opposition from the top seven this weekend.

Looking to record a third straight win, Yeovil kick-off the action with a trip to league leaders Lincoln on Friday night where they can move nine points clear of the dropzone.

Macclesfield, Port Vale and Morecambe all host promotion pushers on Saturday with MK Dons, Mansfield and Forest Green their respective visitors.

Cambridge are in 19th and face Paul Scholes’ Oldham at the Abbey Stadium with the Lactics on a four-match winless run.

The weekend’s officials

Referee: Thomas Bramall

Assistants: Abbas Khan and Rob Smith

Fourth official: Christopher Husband

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Match Reports

Cheltenham 4-1 Notts

Hemmings penalty not enough

9 March 2019

Notts County were beaten 4-1 by Cheltenham Town at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

The Magpies found themselves 2-0 down going into the break following a Will Boyle header and a Luke Varney penalty.

Billy Waters made it three shortly after the restart before Kane Hemmings dispatched a penalty.

But Tyrone Barnett made the points safe for the hosts with a scrappy goal late on.

Neil Ardley named an unchanged starting 11 following the 0-0 home draw against Port Vale.

That meant Craig Mackail-Smith was deemed fit enough to start despite struggling with a minor Achilles problem during the week.

Virgil Gomis also kept his place, with Kane Hemmings having to settle for a seat on the bench.

An even start led to Rob Milsom claiming the game's first meaningful shot on 16 minutes, the left back seeing his effort take a slight nick off a Cheltenham defender on its way wide.

The hosts' response came from marauding wing back Chris Hussey, who couldn't keep his header down after meeting Charlie Raglan's cross in space at the back post.

But it was only to be a temporary reprieve as, five minutes later, Raglan's cross was this time headed home by Boyle.

Notts' problems were doubled shortly afterwards when Mackail-Smith felled Waters after chasing him into the area. Veteran striker Varney made no mistake from the spot.

A difficult first half was capped by an injury to Jon Stead which led to Hemmings' introduction shortly before the referee called time.

There were no other Notts substitutions at the break but Ardley sent his players back out in a 3-4-3 formation with Mitch Rose alongside Sam Stubbs and Ben Barclay. Mackail-Smith, Gomis and Hemmings formed the front three.

But the hosts began the half on the front foot and Boyle should have made it 3-0 with a stooping header at the back post. Instead of nestling in the back of the net the ball looped up towards the back post and Ryan Schofield had to turn it behind.

Town didn't have to wait much longer to extend their lead, however, as Kevin Dawson collected a loose ball in the middle before playing Waters through on goal. He coolly guided the ball beyond Schofield and into the net.

Notts had penalty appeals waved away shortly before the hour-mark when Boldewijn appeared to have been tripped after scrapping to regain control of the ball following a heavy touch. The referee waved play on.

But Thomas Bramall did point to the spot minutes later when Boyle was penalised for climbing on Mackail-Smith as the pair battled for an aerial ball in the box. Hemmings rolled the spotkick into the bottom-left corner to give the Magpies hope.

Notts appeared to be lifted by the goal and applied plenty of pressure on their hosts before Rose went into the book for pulling Waters back as he looked to launch a counter-attack.

But the match soon levelled out again and Ardley was forced into another change with 82 minutes on the clock when the hobbling Jim O'Brien made way for David Vaughan.

Boldewijn saw an effort blocked as Notts continued their pursuit of a goal to set up a nervy finale.

But any hopes of a comeback were extinguished on 88 minutes when Town substitute Barnett turned the ball home from close range following a corner.

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Ticket News

Tickets and travel: Cheltenham (A)

8 March 2019

Tickets are on general sale for Notts County’s Sky Bet League Two trip to Cheltenham Town.

There will be no price increase on the day and supporters can pay cash at the turnstiles.

Those who wish to buy or collect in advance of matchday can do so from Notts' ticket office before 4pm on Friday 6 March. All uncollected pre-paid tickets will be available to pick up at Cheltenham on matchday.

Notts have been allocated 500 reserved, covered seat tickets located behind the goal in the Hazelwoods Stand. An additional allocation of tickets is available if required.

Tickets purchased through Notts’ ticket office are priced:

Adult: £21

65 and over: £15

Full-time students: £7

Under 19: £7

Tickets for away fixtures can be purchased online, by calling 0115 955 7210 or in-person at the club shop/ticket office.

Tickets to the value of £1.50 and above will be subject to a 60p per ticket admin fee when purchased online or by phone.

Disabled supporters

In line with Cheltenham’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 disabled supporters should obtain tickets in advance from Notts County. They are priced at the appropriate age-related rate for the disabled supporter with a personal assistant ticket issued free of charge.

Notts have been allocated two pairs of wheelchair disabled and personal assistant tickets, priced £15 for the disabled supporter and free for the personal assistant. 

Official away travel - SOLD OUT

The bus will depart from near the club shop on Meadow Lane at 11am.

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