A centre-back like his father, Alan, Sam Stubbs recently spoke to The Sun about emulating his old man as well as The Magpies’ bid to avoid the EFL trapdoor.

“I don’t have to look for for inspiration,” Stubbs Jnr. said.

“I was just a baby when dad discovered he had testicular cancer. I am a bit of a miracle because if his cancer had developed a year earlier I wouldn’t be around now!

“Strange as it sounds, it probably couldn’t have happened to a better person, because he was strong enough to deal with it.

“Dad is my idol and if I tun out to be half the man he is then I’d be happy.”

The young defender says it’s crunch time for one of the oldest clubs in English football.

“No disrespect to Yeovil or Macclesfield, who are also scrapping for survival, but the same history isn’t involved,” he said.

“Clubs slip out of the football league and it barely creates a ripple. If we drop out of the top flight for the first time in 157 years, the whole football world will know about it.

“That can’t happen on our watch. It’s in our hands to pull off the greatest escape in the club’s history. We can’t allow that heritage and history to disappear without a fight.”

Stubbs played as Notts County were beaten 3-0 by Crewe Alexandra on Saturday. Alex Pattison and Yeovil Town lost out by a single goal at home to Crawley, while Sol Campbell’s Macclesfield fell to defeat at the hands of play-off chasing Forest Green Rovers, who are currently without Ben Liddle due to injury.

That trio of results mean its as you were in the League Two survival fight, County and Yeovil level at the foot of the table, Macclesfield currently occupying the spot above the drop zone with two more points.

Elsewhere in League Two, there were second-half substitute appearances for Stephen Walker and Hayden Coulson with MK Dons and Cambridge. Both youngsters tasted defeat on the day, to Tranmere Rovers and Newport County respectively.

Another on the the bench on Saturday was Luke Armstrong - he remained there in Accrington Stanley’s home win over Walsall.

Aynsley Pears featured in goal for Gateshead as their fading play-off hopes were dealt another blow with defeat away to Eastleigh.

There’s a big game for Martin Braithwaite’s Leganes tonight - they play Madrid rivals Real at home.

Marvin Johnson was not in the squad for Sheffield United, who were reduced to ten men and slipped up against Millwall in the race for automatic promotion from the Championship.