A tale of old boys

Last updated : 08 January 2009 By Dane Vincent

It was a case of old boys haunting their former clubs in the most recent encounter between Notts County and Exeter City.

In the 2-2 draw at St. James' Park, ex-Magpie, Matthew Gill stunned the travelling fans when he latched onto a deep cross to power home a diving header - somewhat uncharacteristic of his displays in the black and white stripes.

Michael Johnson got one back after the break, but all looked lost when Matt Taylor put The Grecians ahead in the 87th minute.

With whistles circulating the home terraces urging the referee to blow up for full-time, Sean Canham - who was released by the South-West club in 2005 - popped up to net a late equaliser after coming off the bench minutes earlier.

City have gone from strength-to-strength since then and continued to push for the play-offs in their first season back in the football league. They are currently two points adrift of Rochdale in seventh, with a game in hand.

Their away form has proven fundamental to this success, having lost just twice on the road thus far. In their other eight outings they have picked up an impressive five wins and three draws.

Closing 2008, Exeter went off the boil slightly and picked up just two wins in their most recent eight games.

Coupled with Notts' dire home record, the bookies see this as an even tie that could go either way. The best odds for County are 7/4, whereas City can fetch a slightly longer 8/5. For all the prices, click here...

The Magpies have a notable record against The Grecians and have reigned victorious 14 times in the 35 clashes between the two sides, losing only five.

NCM Verdict:
Although Notts have yet to overcome a top-half team this term, taking three-points on Saturday is huge possibility with Exeter's form dipping slightly.

Both sides will be looking to kick off their 2009 campaign in style, after having their fixtures over the past week postponed.

Considering that the visitors have excelled on the road and Ian McParland's men have struggled at Meadow Lane, a draw looks to be the likely outcome.

Prediction: Notts County 1-1 Exeter City