Notts v Havant & Waterloovile... BIG match preview

Just 90 minutes seperate Notts and round three of the greatest domestic competition in the world.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all await as a possible
Meadow Lane... Notts' home
match-up for Charlie McParland's men in January, with Notts bidding to make the third round for the first time since they very nearly defeated Middlesborough at Meadow Lane, narrowly losing 2-1 despite leading, back in the 2004/05 season.

But first Havant & Waterlooville stand in the way.

They currently sit two levels below the Magpies, performing on a part-time basis.

It should be routine, but this is the FA Cup.

Team news

Lindfield... Could be final Notts game
Notts - Mike Edwards and Jay Smith remain out but both are back in light training with Smith set to return for the League Two visit of Shrewsbury a week on Saturday. Jason Lee could return to the squad after missing all of McParland's matches in charge since breaking his arm in training back in October. Craig Lindfield could play his last game for the club with his loan up for expiry following the match.

Havant - Jay Smith, who gave an exclusive interview to NCM in the build up to the tie, is set to start in defence in place of captain Tom Jordan who is suspended. Jamie Slabber looks like missing out on Havant's biggest game of the season but Rocky Baptiste will be fit. Charlie Henry and Chemal Fenelon are cup-tied.

Form guide

Notts - McParland's men have been rocked by back-to-back league defeats going into the cup tie. This followed a spitrited run of four unbeaten, including the first round of the competition which heralded a 3-0 home win over Histon of the Blue Square Premier.

Havant - Defeat in the FA Trophy to Bognor Regis illustrates that Notts should be comfortable victors. Alike with their whole season, Havant have been inconsistent of late, losing three and winning two of their November games in all competitions. For the record the Hawks are eleventh in the league. They defeated York City 1-0 in the last round.

The view

Notts - McParland is wary of a possible Havant threat: "We know they will be desperate to cause an upset, and they'll be really up for it. We may have to be patient like we were against Histon, because this is their big day and they won't just come here for the day out - they want to win and they will throw everything at us."

Havant - Left-back Brett Poate is sure to anger Notts fans as he wished the
City Ground... Havant star wanted Reds clash instead
lowly Hawks had been drawn against fierce city rivals Nottingham Forest instead. He said: "Of course, it would have been nice if we had got one of the really big teams like Nottingham Forest or someone, but I suppose we're still pretty happy with what we've got.

"We've certainly got a chance because we know we can go there and do a job just like we did at York in the last round.

"We think we can give them a good game and everyone at the club is looking forward to it.

"It's a big chance for us and you never know what can happen in this competition." He continued to bite at the Magpies: "We don't know what sort of crowd will be at Meadow Lane, but I'd say it probably won't be quite at full capacity!"

Key men

Notts - Myles Weston played arguably his best game for the club in last weeks 2-1 defeat at Lincoln City, looking exciting and dangerous everytime
Gurney... Former Swindon captain now at Havant
he touched the ball. If he is given service he should be able to run the visitors ragged and creat chance after chance for Notts' forwards. League Two men can't cope with his pace and trickery, so Blue Square South players should be petrified. Still has to work much harder on his final product but he will be the man Notts look to for a breakthrough.

Havant - Former Swindon Town stalwart Andy Gurney currently occupies whatever position he is needed to with the Hawks. Will be remebered best in the football league as an uncompromising, tough tackling right back. However he is likely to pop up as an attacking midfielder too given his performances there this season. Whichever position he is in is experience of league stadiums and teams will be vital to an inexperienced Havant outfit. If it is he who marks Weston then it may be a bit more difficult for the Notts man to get what he wants from the game.

Big battle

Notts forwards v the goal
Meadow Lane goal... Expecting big things

Forget all the old cliches about the magic and romance of the FA Cup and the potential for a giantkilling. Notts should run riot against their counterparts who sitting 40 places below them in the league ladder. The Magpies managed three against a spirited Histon side, and should get even more against their deep south counterparts. Granted, Havant's best player this season has been goalkeeper Kevin Scriven but Notts should put the part-time defence to the sword. Expect goals, and lots of them. Should Notts fail to hit more than three questions should be asked unless Scriven has been ridiculously good.

Possible line-ups

Notts (4-4-2) - Kevin Pilkington; Adam Tann, Krystian Pearce, Stephen Hunt, Paul Mayo; Richard Butcher, Neil MacKenzie, Gary Silk, Myles Weston; Craig Lindfield, Hector Sam.

Havant (4-4-2) - Kevin Scriven; Shaun Wilkinson, Brett Poate, Andy Gurney, Jay Smith; Neil Sharp, Alfie Potter, Tony Taggart, Mo Harkin; Richard Pacquette, Rocky Baptiste.


Notts to rain goals down on Havant with a 5-0 success. Lindfield is due a performance and goal, while Sam, Spencer Weir-Daley, Weston and Neil MacKenzie will score.