By Michael Callander
Notts County will hope to pick up a third win in four games in all competitions if they travel to Weymouth on Saturday.
I say “if” because those in the know in National League circles are concerned about a potential suspension, conclusion or cancellation of the 2020/21 season, with England currently in national lockdown due to COVID-19.
If the season were to be concluded with less than half the season played, points-per-game (PPG) may well be the way the powers that be would decide the final league table and, if applicable, promotion and relegation from the fifth tier.
But, as this is a match preview, let’s assume there will be a football match taking place between Weymouth and Notts County as advertised.
Saturday’s hosts were promoted from the National League South (which has been suspended) last season, and have had a hard time of it as you might expect, sitting 21st with 15 points from 18 games. They’re five points above Dover Athletic, who have four games in hand on them. Whether they will get to play those games is another question, one we won’t get into here.
What have they been up to recently? In their last two league games, winning. The Terras beat Hartlepool United at home last Saturday, before taking a 2 – 0 win at Aldershot Town on Tuesday night. Their first two league games of 2021, though, brought just one point from a 1 – 1 draw at home to Eastleigh. The Bob Lucas Stadium then hosted a 3 – 0 defeat to fellow relegation strugglers Yeovil.
Notts County moved above Solihull Moors with a win over them on Wednesday night, after the fixture was pushed back by a day and moved to Meadow Lane instead of Damson Park.
Things were looking difficult for them in front of goal before kick-off, as they hadn’t scored two in a league game for six games, stretching back to late November. Enzio Boldewijn and Ruben Rodrigues gave Notts’ top scorer Kyle Wootton two relatively simple finishes in the last 15 minutes to give Notts three points and a 2 – 0 scoreline which belies how tight and tense most of the game was.
Wootton now has eight National League goals this season, having scored 18 in all competitions last term as Notts reached the playoff final.
Neal Ardley’s side have taken seven points from their last five league games, hampered by 1 – 0 home defeats to Boreham Wood and Hartlepool in December.
They certainly have an opportunity to continue their push for a second consecutive playoff campaign, and have three games in hand on FC Halifax Town and are just a point behind. They have four games in hand on fourth-placed Altrincham with a three-point gap.