Notts v Macclesfield... BIG match preview

By Paul Smith
Last updated : 17 November 2007

The feel good factor remains around Meadow Lane as recently installed management team Charlie McParland and Dave Kevan continue to impress many.

So much so that home fans are predicting a comfortable win against a Macclesfield side yet to have been beaten at Meadow Lane.

A fairly quiet week from the Magpies by recent standards, with everything geared up to focusing on what should still be a tough game.

With Histon dispatched routinely in the cup, and a seemingly safe second round draw at home to Havant and Waterlooville, it is now time for McParland's men to start climbing up the League Two ladder.

Team News

Notts - Neil MacKenzie misses what is hoped to be his only game due to a

MacKenzie... Big loss
hernia operation and Mike Edwards, Jason Lee and Jay Smith are out. Lawrie Dudfield and Craig Lindfield are free of injury and should start, while Krystian Pearce came back from midweek international duty free of injury. Spencer Weir-Daley and Myles Weston are available for selection.

Macclesfield - Richard Edghill is a long term injury victim and continues on the sidelines. Francis Green, Jamie Tolley and Simon Wiles are pushing for recalls to the starting eleven.

Form guide

Notts - The said feel good factor stems from a four game unbeaten run that includes three victories. With only two goals shipped in that spell and eight scored Notts are in their best form of the season so far. It has taken them into the second round of the FA Cup and moved them into seventeenth in the league but not just nine points behind the playoffs.

Macclesfield - The Silkmen were dumped from the Cup at Blue Square Premier side Rushden and Diamonds last week. Prior to that, inconsistent is the best way to describe Ian Brightwell's side, with two wins, three draws and three defeats from the start of October. Macclesfield are one place and one point below Notts in the league.

The view

Brightwell... Knows what he wants
Notts - Versatile youngster Gary Silk on his role: "When a new manager comes in everyone sees it as a fresh start. As long as I'm playing I don't mind too much where I'm playing as long as I'm in the starting eleven. I do like it in midfield because I get more touches on the ball and hopefully I'll start there on Saturday."

Macclesfield - Manager Ian Brightwell on Notts' form: "New boss Ian McParland has had an impact since arriving and his team are playing with more confidence, helped by a few useful loan signings. But we know what to expect, and more importantly what to do."

Key men

Notts - In the absence of both playmakers Neil MacKenzie and Jay Smith, Richard Butcher is set to be given the chance to move back in to his preferred central midfield role and has a big task on his hands to replicate first MacKenzie's recent form, and second his own early season goalscoring heroics. Incredibly Butcher is yet to score a winning Notts goal, instead making a name for himself as a late hero to salvage a point. But he

Thomas... Silky Silkman
needs to now be a match winner and his ability to arrive late in the box will be key against a Macclesfield side lacking in confidence. One of the fittest players in the league, Butchers best form often comes in the last twenty minutes, so a good start to build his confidence is important.

Macclesfield - Danny Thomas. Most of the talk as a key man has centred around top scorer Martin Gritton, but it is livewire winger Thomas who creates the danger. He has scored in each of the Silkmen's last three home games, but more dangerously uses his pace and dribbling ability to get to the by-line and create a chance - usually for Gritton. The left winger will give Lee Canoville a tough time, and when on song is one of the best attacking weapons in the division.

Big battle

Lawrie Dudfield v Luke Dimech.

Dimech, the powerful Maltese international was strongly linked with a move to Meadow Lane four seasons ago, but instead made a name for himself as a no-nonsense defender with rivals Mansfield Town. Is the lynchpin of the Town side, and wins most of his headers. With no Jason Lee, the in-form Dudfield is the target man should Notts go down that route, and will have to continue his recent goalscoring spree against a formidable League Two defender. If Dudfield is able to get himself into a one-on-one situation he will make things happen for Notts, but his work rate and ability to pull Dimech from his position could open things up for the Magpies.

Butcher... to notch?
Possible line-ups

Notts - Kevin Pilkington; Lee Canoville, Adam Tann, Stephen Hunt, Paul Mayo; Andy Parkinson, Richard Butcher, Gary Silk, Myles Weston; Lawrie Dudfield, Craig Lindfield.

Macclesfield - Tommy Lee; Carl Regan, Luke Dimech, James McNulty, Kevin McIntyre; Simon Wiles, Adam Murray, Terry Dunfield, Danny Thomas; Martin Gritton, Francis Green.

Prediction

Notts to win, and with a clean sheet to boot. Butcher and Lindfield to bag in a 2-0 win.

Notts. County Match Reports

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