This time a week ago, Notts County sat in the relegation zone of League Two and without a win all season. A week later and Notts have got themselves out of the bottom two with two wins from as many games.
The revival under Harry Kewell had to be immediate, and it has been exactly that. The Magpies are now unbeaten in four matches, and travel to lowly Macclesfield Town on Saturday, a side still waiting for their first league win of the season.
The Silkmen nearly got their long awaited first win of the season on Tuesday night, but despite having an early 2-0 lead at Newport, they were pegged back by a stoppage-time equaliser from Jamille Matt – a player who scored Newport’s stoppage time winner against Notts at Rodney Parade back in August.
Macclesfield are four points adrift at the foot of the table and looking through their squad would suggest it could be a long season for them. Not many names jump out, and there’s no names in the squad that would mean anything to Notts fans. Peter Vincenti and on-loan striker Jordan Ponticelli both played for Coventry last year, the latter scoring against Notts as they Sky Blues lost 2-1 at Meadow Lane back in April.
Notts are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Macclesfield dating back as far as 2008, but haven’t played them since 2010. The Magpies beat them home and away in 2009/10 when County were promoted from League Two, including a 4-0 win at Moss Rose in their first away game of the season.
Harry Kewell has a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of the trip to Cheshire, except for the exclusion of Rob Milsom who got sent off against his former club Crawley on Tuesday night. The midfielder will be a huge loss for County as he’s been hugely effective under Kewell since re-signing for the club, but does give other players who have been on the fringe since the new boss came in, such as Noor Husin and Andy Kellett, a chance to prove themselves.
But regardless of who takes Milsom’s place, there’ll be no doubt that Notts will be going to Macclesfield looking to get their first away win of the season. Lewis Alessandra, Jon Stead and Kane Hemmings to name just a few are all playing the best that they ever have in a Notts shirt and ‘keeper Ross Fitzsimons is quickly regaining confidence and is not shipping three goals a game anymore.
Notts are entering a more difficult run of fixtures over the next few weeks, so if they can enter that on the back of a five-game unbeaten run then confidence will rightfully be sky high. There’s no reason with the form that both teams are in that Notts can’t beat Macclesfield to set that up. Notts fans will travel in numbers and hopefully will return to Nottingham having seen a comfortable Notts win at Moss Rose.
Picture Credit: Notts County