All you need to know ahead of Meadow Lane visit
Notts County v Luton Town
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 12th September 2015, kick-off 3pm
Live coverage on lutontown.co.uk and Hatters Player
• Town aiming for back-to-back League 2 wins
• Hatters lie 19th in the table on five points
• County played a game less, lie 22nd
• Cameron McGeehan and Paddy McCourt available
• Jack Marriott serves last game of two-match ban
• Over 1,500 Hatters fans expected
• Town won six of last nine visits (W6 D2 L1)
WHO? Notts County, aka the Magpies, were formed on 28th November 1862, making them the oldest football club in the world to play at a professional level. They were founder members of the Football League and, although they have never won a top-flight title, they have once won the FA Cup, lifting the competition in 1894. Wikipedia reliably informs us that, with a total of 13 promotions and 16 relegations, no club has moved between the divisions in England on more occasions than County. And we thought following Luton Town was a rolleroaster.
WHERE? County’s home since 1910, Meadow Lane is a smart 20,000 all-seater stadium. The ground’s record attendance was set in 1955 when 47,310 squeezed in to witness an FA Cup sixth round tie against York. Meadow Lane lies just 300 yards away from the City Ground, the home of city rivals Nottingham Forest.
TICKETS PLEASE. Hatters fans can now pay on the day at Meadow Lane, although stipulations apply to certain age groups – best read all that here. Almost 1,500 tickets were sold through the Luton Town ticket office. Town supporters will be housed beside the pitch in the Jimmy Sirrel Stand, where not a single pillar will obstruct your view. Full ticket details can be read here.
HOW TO GET THERE. Door-to-door it’s 97.7 miles from the Kenilworth Road car park to the turnstiles at Meadow Lane. Depending on traffic, that’s roughly a two-hour trip. If you’re driving it’s pretty simple: take the M1 north, leaving the M1 at Junction 26. Take the A610 towards Nottingham and then follow the signs for Melton Mowbray. Turn left before the River Trent in to Meadow Lane. The ground’s postcode is NG2 3HJ. If you’re going by train, Meadow Lane is a 10-15 minute walk from Nottingham’s station.
BOB IT. As you’d expect the Bobbers Travel Club are running coaches to Meadow Lane. The coach departs Luton rail station at 11.30am and the fares are £22 for adults and £19 concessions. To book a place call 01234 856542.
THIS TIME ROUND. County were relegated from League 1 on the final day of last season, finishing in 21st place. At the helm is Dutchman Ricardo Moniz, who has brought in 17 new faces over the summer. County began the season with a bang, winning at Stevenage on the opening day before dumping out Huddersfield of the Capital One Cup in their next fixture. Since then, however, the Magpies have lost three of their following four league fixtures, drawing the other. Last time out they beat Mansfield 3-1 in the JPT, but Moniz’s side go into the game fresh having not played in League 2 since a 4-1 defeat at Morecambe on 29th August.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? We’ll get straight to the stat of interest here: the Town hold a decent record against County at Meadow Lane in recent years. Since January 1994 the Hatters have won six and lost just once in their previous nine visits, including a run of four straight wins between 1994 and 1999. The Hatters were successful on their previous visit, winning 2-0 in March 2009 with goals from Tom Craddock and Chris Martin. County have only won four of the past 27 meetings between the two clubs home and away. One of those wins in particular though was tough for the Town to take: a 2-1 defeat at Meadow Lane cost the Hatters their place in the Premier League on the final day of the 1991/92 season – the last time both clubs played a match in the top flight.
OVERALL HEAD-TO-HEAD. The Town have only lost 14 of the 67 meetings, winning 34 times. P67 W34 D19 L20 F130 A 75.
OLD BOYS NETWORK. County have former Town keeper Kevin Pilkington on their books. The veteran stopper is the Magpies’ goalkeeper coach and is still registered as a player. Meanwhile, Paddy McCourt spent a spell on loan at Meadow Lane last season while Nathan Doyle and Ryan Hall have also played on-loan for the Magpies in the past.
REF WATCH. Lancashire whistler Ben Toner takes charge of Saturday’s game. So far, in the four matches he has overseen this season, he has shown 12 yellow cards – nine of which came in one game between Mansfield and Oxford on 22nd August. Promoted to the Football League list of referees this season, Ben has once before taken charge of a Luton game: the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Welling in 2013.
TOWN TEAM NEWS. The Hatters are able to select Cameron McGeehan and Paddy McCourt this weekend. McGeehan was suspended by the Northern Irish Football Association for turning down an Under-21 call up, while McCourt was on duty for their senior side. Jack Marriott serves the last match of a two-game suspension for his red card against Leyton Orient, while Dan Potts, Nathan Doyle and Paul Benson remain doubtful.
LIVE AND ONLINE. As ever, we’ll be reporting live from Meadow Lane. Build-up starts at noon, so get on our early blog on the Wall for all the latest updates. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for photos, videos and all the behind-the-scenes action. Hatters Player subscribers will be able to listen to live commentary from just before 3pm with Simon Pitts in the press box. Post-match, remember to check out the official website, YouTube channel and Player for reports, interviews and photographs and don’t forget to tune in from midday on Sunday for all the highlights in glorious HD!