Notts v Hereford... BIG match preview

By Paul Smith
Last updated : 02 October 2007

Two home games in four days should, for any promotion hunting team, herald a minimum return of four points. Notts are well on course for that after the superb 1-0 win over high-flying Chesterfield on Saturday.

Now Meadow Lane welcomes another of the early season pacesetters in Hereford United.

Meadow Lane... Hosts second game in four days

Another three points would be ideal and a fantastic return which would put a marker down for the Magpies' claims that they are serious about promotion.

Hereford will be smarting from their 2-1 defeat at Grimsby Town and will be determined to make sure they come out of these back to back fixtures with at least three points.

Team News

Weston... Surprise inclusion?
Notts - Myles Weston exclusively revealed to NCM on Saturday that he may be in contention for a substitutes place for this game after three weeks out with a hamstring injury. Jay Smith is also fighting for a place after a groin injury. There are no fresh injury concerns after Saturday's match but both Lawrie Dudfield and Andy Parkinson are fighting it out to replace Hector Sam who failed to impress.

Hereford - It is difficult to know what is going through manager/chairman Graham Turner's mind after their loss against the Mariners. He had picked the same side for the fourth consecutive game, winning twice in that spell. However Trent McClenahan is pushing for a recall while Theo Robinson impressed as a substitute and both could challenge for a start.

Form guide

Notts - Three unbeaten now with seven points eamed from the last possible nine. Still the Magpies have lost only once in the league and are now up to eleventh three points adrift of Hereford in the third automatic promotion place. At Meadow Lane it is two wins and two draws so far this term. Thompson's men are however searching for their first back-to-back league wins in thirteen games.

Hereford - Three wins from four away games means they will come to Nottingham with no fear. A great start to the season has them in third with an overall league record of two draws, four wins and two defeats. To make things better for the Bulls they did the double over Notts last season winning 1-0 in this corresponding fixture just before Christmas last year.

The view

Turner... Ready for Notts test

Notts - Left-back Paul Mayo spoke to Magpie World: "Draws at home aren't much use although we aren't getting beat they don't do a lot for you. We've got to win our home games and see what we get on our travels. Things are starting to gel now and hopefully we can be a bit more consistent."

Hereford - Boss Graham Turner spoke to the assembled media after the Bulls game with Grimsby: "We never got going but we start again now on Tuesday at Notts County. If we can go there and get a result it wipes the memory of this one."

Key men

Notts - Matt Somner could be key should he continue his superb recent form. It has often gone unnoticed but the recent performances of the likes of Richard Butcher and Neil MacKenzie owe a lot to the former Brentford mans dirty work. It is vital Notts get the central area right and

Somner... Must be at industrious best
nobody is more important there than the grafter that is Somner. If he wins his tackles and keeps it simple - in other words release the more gifted Butcher and MacKenzie - Notts can dominate the game.

Hereford - Trevor Benjamin hit a late consolation at Grimsby to add to his impressive start to the season which has heralded five goals in eight games so far. He also bagged as Walsall won the championship trophy at Meadow Lane last season. A very physical player, Benjamin's pace and power will frighten the Notts defence who will have to be just as good as they were at the weekend. If Benjamin is kept quiet another vital clean sheet could be on the cards.

Big battle

Paul Mayo v Lionel Ainsworth

Nottingham born Ainsworth has been a revelation at Edgar
Street. The right winger is direct, takes opponents on and has blistering pace. He can score and create goals aswell and will be a real threat for the experienced Mayo. If Ainsworth gets the better Hereford will create chance after chance. However Mayo has also started the season impressively, winning his share of plaudits with some solid defending and good attacking. It should be fascinating and whoever comes out on top may win their side the game.

Likely line-ups

Notts - (4-3-3) Unlikely to make changes, aside from possibly Dudfield for Sam. Kevin Pilkington, Lee Canoville, Adam Tann, Stephen Hunt, Paul Mayo, Richard Butcher, Matt Somner, Neil MacKenzie, Lawrie Dudfield/Hector Sam, Jason Lee, Spencer Weir-Daley

Hereford - (4-4-2) Brown, McClenahan, Beckwith, Broadhurst, Taylor, Ainsworth, Smith, Diagouroga, Easton, Benjamin, Robinson

Prediction

Notts need to win this one if they are to finally put down their marker for a possible promotion push. However, the Bulls are a tough side and so a draw is most likely. 1-1

Notts. County Match Reports


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