Notts County v Torquay United

Last updated : 19 January 2007 By Paul Smith

All eyes will be on the Playoff zone as Notts take to the field with the league's bottom side on Saturday. With the top six sides racing away, one Playoff position is seemingly the realistic goal for a number of clubs in League 2. Bristol Rovers currently occupy the last place on 39 points. Notts, in ninth, are just a point adrift, and down to sixteenth placed Darlington, on 34 points, all are well in contention.

It means a win for Notts gives them a great chance of returning to seventh place, a position they held throughout September and some of October. Only two fixtures in this Saturday's fixtures see the nine sides chasing seventh place face each other. That comes with Rovers hosting Chester and Stockport travelling to managerless Peterborough United.

Pipe... Key man missing for Notts
If Notts are to finally give their home support something to shout about and beat Torquay, as they should, then a Playoff place could well be theirs as the weekend ends.

Team News


David Pipe is out after his first Professional red card at Accrington last week. He will miss three games following the dismissal for violent conduct. Austin McCann remains sidelined with the thigh injury he picked up in training last week. Tcham N'Toya is another who continues to miss out with a hamstring strain. Following his return to Sheffield United, the Magpies will be missing Ian Ross, but Junior Mendes should retain his squad place despite suspected ligament damage.


Danger man and top scorer Jamie Ward faces a late fitness test, after picking up an hamstring injury. Definitely out is the suspended Matt Hockley. United have a number of players awaiting their debuts, including on-loan Bournemouth midfielder Stephen Cooke and youngster Nathan Simpson.

Form Guide

We all know of Notts' ridiculous home form of late, winning just once since mid-September. In all games, Notts have won one and lost one in 2007, whilst they ended 2006 with a draw at Swindon Town.

Torquay have gone 18 games without a win, which was before Notts even faced them at Plainmoor. Winning only twice on their travels, the Gulls' last travelling success was on September 9th, winning at Bury.

Silk... Return to the side?

Probable Notts line-up

Kevin Pilkington, Gary Silk, Alan White, Mike Edwards, Stephen Hunt, Andy Parkinson, Matt Somner, Jay Smith, Dan Martin, Lawrie Dudfield, Jason Lee.

Key Figures

In terms of men to watch, should Ward pass his fitness test, Notts will have to be on guard against a man who has ten goals to his name, more than any single Notts player so far, despite performing for a side with just 20 goals to their name. That is some feat. There appears a great lack of confidence elsewhere in the ranks, and should Ward miss out, their appears no other key figure to carry the Torquay assault. However, new boy Cooke may provide some raw energy.

Notts' main man could be Jay Smith. The on-loan Southend man has impressed most of late, with his midfield energy and passing ability. With Ross departed, Smith takes on an extra responsibility, and if on form could make the difference. Lawrie Dudfield's shooting boots will be critical as he searches for his first home goal for Notts.

Drapes' Prediction: Notts 3-0 Torquay. Dudfield, Martin and Edwards to score.