TT MATCH PREVIEW
Steve Harris – @Steveharris84
Match details: Notts County versus Torquay United
Venue: Meadow Lane, Nottingham
Date: Saturday 23rd January 2021
Current form (last six all competitions):
Notts County: W, L, W, W, L, W
Torquay United: L, W, W, W, L, W
Notts County: Kyle Wootton 7
Torquay: Danny Wright 8
Head to Head:
Notts County: 20
Last time the two teams met: Saturday 12th October 2019, Notts County 2 – Torquay United 0
Notts County continued their fine form in the National League with a win over Torquay at Meadow Lane. Richard Brindley fired the Magpies into an eighth-minute lead with a 25-yard strike into the bottom corner after Torquay half-cleared a corner – his first goal for the club.
Kristian Dennis doubled their advantage three minutes into the second half, glancing in a Sean Shields free-kick for his seventh goal of the season and third in as many games. This meant the Magpies had lost just once in nine games while United saw their three-game winning streak ended.
Manager: Neal Ardley
Neal Ardley spent the vast majority of his playing career with the ‘original’ Wimbledon for whom he made over 300 career appearances in all competitions between 1991 and 2002. He was also capped ten times by England at Under-21 level. Spells with Watford, Cardiff City and Millwall followed his departure from Wimbledon before he announced his retirement from playing in 2007.
After his retirement from playing, Ardley’s coaching career began when he was appointed as Cardiff City’s academy manager. He would hold this role for five years until he took on his first senior managerial role with AFC Wimbledon, as successor to Terry Brown, in October 2012.
In his first season in charge, Ardley helped to the Dons to avoid relegation from the Football League, with a 2-1 win over Fleetwood Town on the final day of the 2012-13 campaign. Three years later, he guided the Dons to their first ever promotion as a Football League club when they beat Plymouth Argyle 2-0 in the 2016 League Two play-off final.
Ardley then went on to establish the Dons in League One and was the third longest serving manager in the Football League at the time of his departure on November 12, 2018. Eleven days later, he was appointed as Notts County manager, but after failing to prevent the Magpies from being relegated from the Football League for the first time ever. After missing out on an immediate return last season, when they were beaten in the play-off final by Harrogate Town, Ardley and the Magpies will be hoping to go one better in the 2020-21 campaign.
One to watch: Kyle Wootton
After progressing through the youth ranks of Scunthorpe United, Kyle Wootton appears to have found a home at Meadow Lane since making his loan move from the Iron to Notts County permanent in January 2020. Wotton made his debut for Scunthorpe in the 2014-15 season and then enjoyed loan spells with Lincoln City, North Ferriby United, Cheltenham Town, Stevenage and FC Halifax. He found the back of the net 18 times in all competitions over the course of the 2019-20 campaign, and is currently Notts County’s top scorer in the 2020-21 season with seven goals.