A look at the last of the six teams who are making a return to this level in 2015/16.
Manager: Ricardo Moniz
Last Season: Sky Bet League One, 21st.
Following a miserable end to last season, Notts County find themselves back in the basement division of the Football League.
At one point it was all going so well for the Magpies. At the end of October, they occupied third position in Sky Bet League One – and we’re on a five-match winning streak which had led to a real sense of optimism around Meadow Lane.
Nevertheless, their downfall was largely down to a rotten run of form which saw them win just four out of their last 30 games, whilst keeping only five clean-sheets in the process.
They almost escaped the drop on a dramatic final day as they took the lead away at mid-table Gillingham and scores elsewhere looked very favourable for them at one stage. However, the hosts hit back with three late strikes to bring an end to County’s five-year stay in the third tier.
Ricardo Moniz replaced the popular Shaun Derry a few months ago and is set to lead the club next term.
WE’VE MET BEFORE
Our games with Notts County are always hotly-anticipated and we have met on no fewer than 41 occasions in the past.
The last meeting occurred in September last year. The Magpies won 2-0 in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round tie on home soil courtesy of goals by Ronan Murray and Jake Cassidy.
Our last league encounter back in March 2008 finished in a stalemate, but we did beat County on our own patch in October 2007 thanks to a ‘double’ by Michael Boulding.
Our last six competitive meetings with Notts County are as follows:
Notts County 2-0 Stags, Meadow Lane, September 2014
Notts County 0-0 Stags, Meadow Lane, March 2008
Stags 2-0 Notts County, One Call Stadium, October 2007
Notts County 0-0 Stags, Meadow Lane, March 2007
Stags 2-2 Notts County, One Call Stadium, October 2006
Notts County 2-2 Stags, Meadow Lane, March 2006
Numerous players have appeared for both ourselves and Notts County during their playing careers.
Arguably the most notable player is John Thompson, who helped the Magpies to the League Two title in 2009/10 – then helped us regain our Football League status by winning the Conference Premier, three years later.
Back in 2012, full-back Kieron Freeman, now of Sheffield United, appeared for ourselves and then Notts County within a couple of weeks. The outings were punctuated by an FA Cup in which he turned out for Nottingham Forest.
Current boss Adam Murray made a couple of appearances during a short sting at Meadow Lane in 2003/04, whilst former chief Paul Cox was on the Magpies’ books as a youngster.
Keith Curle, now manager of Carlisle United, and Billy Dearden also managed both clubs.
Amongst others to have appeared for both clubs are as follows: Darren Ward, Liam Mitchell, Gary Silk, Ricky Ravenhill, Paul Bolland, Matt Hamshaw, Ian Baraclough, Phil Stant, Chris With, Trevor Christie, Paul Mayo, Mark Stallard, Neil MacKenzie, Colin Calderwood and Kevin Pilkington.
Notts County’s relegation to Sky Bet League Two means our visit to Meadow Lane will be our shortest trip of the season.
Away supporters continue to be housed in the Jimmy Sirrel Stand which runs the length of the pitch. Up to 5,000 fans can be accommodated in this covered, all-seated facility.