Both Notts and Chesterfield have struggled early this season, but a 3-2 win in Derbyshire on Saturday may have relieved some of the pressure on Neal Ardley.

Michael Callander looks at the season to date, as well as what today’s result means for the Magpies going forward.

Enzio Boldewijn put the visitors ahead in the first half before Jordan Smith’s equaliser 11 minutes later.

Tom Denton headed home with twelve minutes to go, but Ruben Rodrigues equalised in the dying minutes. Kyle Wootton got the winner with seconds to go, keeping Notts 10th and sending Chesterfield down to 21st in caretaker manager John Dungworth’s first game in charge.

Former Forest and Bristol City caretaker manager John Pemberton was shown the door by Chesterfield in midweek, putting both clubs’ preparations for the derby up in the air.

Notts have taken 13 points from their first eight National League games, compared to nine over the same spell last season. Four points is a fair margin of improvement, but some Magpies fans have been less than impressed by Neal Ardley’s work in the dugout so far this season.

Some Notts fans have been calling for Neal Ardley to be sacked and things didn’t improve when Chesterfield took the lead.

Saturday’s win might have done something to quiet some of those calls for at least a week when they take on Wealdstone at Meadow Lane, but Ardley will certainly have to take a win from that game to start to turn things around.

Three consecutive wins over Altrincham (H, 3-1), Barnet (H, 4-2) and Sutton (A, 1-0) put them on the right track with nine points from their first four games, but they’ve only picked up four points from their five since and are nine points off league leaders Torquay with a game in hand.

There’s plenty of time for Notts to turn their season round and Saturday’s win might be the catalyst they needed. Turning a 2-1 deficit going into injury time into a 3-2 win at the death shows the resilience Notts will need going into a relentless run of fixtures over December.

Having had a couple of games postponed due to COVID-19 cancellations, Notts have one of the league’s more congested festive periods.

Starting with Wealdstone on Friday Nov 27, their fixture list comprises of Dagenham (A, Wed), Woking (H, Sat), Boreham Wood (A, Tue), Yeovil (A, Sat). From then they have a two-week break before travelling to Kings Lynn on Boxing Day.

The Magpies’ final game of a bizarre 2020 is at home to Dave Challinor’s Hartlepool. The sides drew this fixture 2-2 last season with Challinor in the stands before he was officially appointed after leaving AFC Fylde.


Featured image: Notts County FC

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