Home comforts are certainly proving popular at Notts County with four wins in their last six matches at Meadow Lane.

If you add to that the Magpies have only lost at home twice in the National League – at the hands of Grimsby Town and Woking (before they were rubbish) – which you can bump up one with an FA Cup defeat at the hands of higher division Rochdale.

Off the back of a 3-1 loss at Chesterfield on Tuesday night – a game the Spireites fans would like to believe is a derby – Notts are looking forward to returning to their manicure surface rather than the threadbare beach which Yeovil also experienced in Derbyshire.

Speaking after the midweek defeat, Notts County manager Ian Burchnall admitted it would be tough for his side to achieve anything more than the play-offs this season.

He said: “The reality is we can only take care of our own situation, so that is Yeovil at the weekend and then Solihull next week, and not much more than that.

“Stockport have been in unbelievable form and that’s why they are where they are, but I don’t know what they’ll do in the upcoming games or what the other teams around us will do.

“We just have to take care of ourselves because there’s still a lot of games to play. We are in the play-off positions now, but we are not where we want to be, but this (game at Chesterfield) was the first in quite a few where our performance level dropped.”

There’s no shortage of goals in our opposition team, in fact the combined totals of their three top scorers, Kyle Wootton (15 goals), Callum Roberts (11 goals) and Reuben Rodrigues (10 goals including two at Huish Park last October) tally up to more than the entire Yeovil squad combined.

But, the man of the moment is striker Eli Sam who has scored five goals in his last five including three in his last three despite only playing twice in the first half of the season.

Burchnall added: “We changed the system to a 4-1-2-3 or a 4-4-3 which allows a wide forward where he is at his best, when we were playing with two central strikers it was not quite suiting his skillset.

The system change has given him that freedom and when he’s had his opportunity he has taken it.

Prior to the Chesterfield defeat, Burchnall reckons they conceded one shot in the previous three games, but in their last outing set plays cost them.

If there’s some comfort that Darren Sarll can take, just watch the highlights of the goals they conceded at Chesterfield – the highlights are here if you need them, Darren – and see the defensive mix-ups which gave Lawrence Maguire two goals.

If our set plays are to pay off, maybe this is a defence that can be got at.


FROM THE MANAGER

Notts manager Ian Burchnall believes his side is capable of bouncing back from Tuesday’s defeat at Chesterfield.

After the visit of Yeovil, his side face trips to play-off rivals Solihull Moors, $tockport County and Dagenham & Redbridge, the manager said: “Each time we have had a set back we have responded well and we have to focus on that because when we have performed well we have got points out of games.

“The games are coming thick and fast now, so we have to learn the lessons from (the defeat at Chesterfield) and get in to the next one.

“We are going to play a lot of difficult games now for the next month, but we know if we can get through that we have a good run in to the end of the season.

“There’s a long way to go, we are below where we would like to be but we are not a million miles away.

Asked what he expects from Yeovil, he added: “I watched there game against Chesterfield and they were a little unlucky [that’s putting it mildly, Ian!] because they have some good chances in the first half and then conceded a very good goal.

“We beat them away and since then they have really improved, they are well organised and have some good threats, experienced players like Adi Yussuf [stop sniggering at the back!] and they will come with plenty of energy and a plan to frustrate us.”


TEAM NEWS

Defender Ed Francis, a former Manchester City and England youth team captain, is expected to be missing for the weekend.

He missed the midweek match at Chesterfield after coming off in the win at Woking last weekend with an ankle injury.


A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

On the pitch, there will be at least one player on either side of the weekend’s fixture facing their old employers.

In the green corner, Jordan Barnett arrived at Huish Park following his release by Notts at the end of last season, where he played 12 times scoring once….against Yeovil.

Jordan Barnett
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Barnett was on the bench for the goalless draw with Maidenhead United in midweek when his all-action display was lacking, so may return.

In the black-and-white corner, central defender Alex Lacey was a virtual ever present in his two seasons at Yeovil in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

In the latter season, he was was awarded with the Green & White Supporters Club and Community Sports Trust Player of the Season.

Having rejected an offer of a new contract in Somerset, he signed for League One Gillingham and arrived at Notts in November 2019 following his release from the Gills.

However, Lacey has only turned out 15 times for Notts this season and his last appearance came at the start of February, highlighting the options available to this weekend’s opponents.

Other players who recent experience playing for both teams include:

  • Mitch Rose – Notts County (2019-2020, Yeovil Town (2021)
  • Francois Zoko – Notts County (2012-13), Yeovil Town (2015-2019)
  • Carl Dickinson – Notts County (2016-18), Yeovil Town (2018-2021)
  • Yoann Arquin – Notts County (2012-14), Yeovil Town (2018-2019)
  • Leroy Lita – Notts County (2015 – loan), Yeovil Town (2016)
  • Adam Coombes – Notts County (2013-14), Yeovil Town (2010 – loan)

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