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Match 1 - Dover Athletic (a)

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

Expectations were high as Notts faced a threadbare Dover Athletic at the Crabble Athletic Stadium in the opening fixture of the National League season.

Unfortunately it wasn't the football that took the headlines but the worst possible attempt at a match stream probably ever witnessed since the birth of the internet.

Neal Ardley ditched the midfield diamond favouring an experienced 4-4-2 with Jake Reeves and Adam Chicksen the only two newcomers to make the starting eleven whilst other signings Ruben Rodrigues and Jimmy Knowles took their place on the bench.

In hindsight the lack of online viewing was probably a blessing in disguise as Notts' tactics had all the hallmarks of a team selected to avoid a defeat on the road rather than going for a win.

Those who read the match preview will know that despite Dover's squad struggles a close contest and a 1-0 win to the hosts had been predicted and this is further confirmed by the match stats:

On the face of it Notts had slightly the better of the game with 58% possession, but if there was one thing that stood out it was the corner count. Notts had 9 corners without any return compared to just the 2 for Dover, the second of which resulted in the winning goal.

Possession is measured in passes completed not time on the ball so this would suggest whilst Notts are confident in knocking the ball about in the midfield and defensive third of the pitch they need to be much more clinical and assertive in the attacking third whilst tightening up on defensive duties when facing set pieces.

One of the things I'll be monitoring this season will be where and how goals are scored and conceded and hopefully this will allow us to analyse further any patterns that emerge.

Unfortunately with just one game played I can't really add some of the usual stats relating to points needed, progress, goals and minutes etc but this will come after a few games have been played.

One thing I have done is create a player rating table based on the ratings algorithm I used last season and a few Fantasy Premier League style points thrown in.

Points are gained by players for the following depending on position;

Up to 60 mins played

Over 60 minutes played

Goals scored


Clean sheets

Penalties saved

Points are deducted for the following;

Penalties missed

Every 2 goals conceded

Own goals

Yellow cards

Red cards

These will represent match points and are then added to calculations relating to player contribution for goals, clean sheets, PPG etc which in turn will be converted to provide an ongoing season total. I will do this for every competitive game so it won't just be restricted to league games.

I will post an article soon to explain further how these ratings are calculated which will hopefully make things a little clearer.

There's not much to shout about after just one game with players mainly getting minimum points just for putting their boots on, so scores are very similar with the substitutes scoring slightly lower due to not having much time to influence anything and Reeves dropping points due to his yellow card.

It will be interesting to see how this starts to shape up after half a dozen games or so.

So we look forward to Wednesday night and the televised game at home to Altrincham. It's likely we will see a change to the eleven that started against Dover and would be surprised not see Rodrigues and Boldewijn start in a game where anything less than 3 points will be disappointing.

Until then . . . COYP!


Pics: Dan Westwell

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