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17:23 31st October 2009

Notts County 1-1 Shrewsbury Town

A late Graeme Lee header rescued a point for Hans Backe's Notts County in a thrilling encounter between two promotion hopefuls. The visitors struck first through Jamie Devitt who found space in the box after the Notts defence had failed to clear a low Lewis Neal cross. He wrong-footed Kasper Schmeichel - cleverly placing the ball into the bottom-left corner from 12-yards out. Notts dominated the majority of the second period and managed to drag themselves level through the unlikely figure of Lee. The centre back authoritatively latched onto Luke Rodgers' in-swinging cross to header past Phillips in the Shrews' goal. County continued to mount the pressure, but were unable to nudge themselves in front.  More to follow... By Dane Vincent Graeme Lee rescued a late point for Notts County to preserve the team's unbeaten record at Meadow Lane. Jamie Devitt had put the visitors in front in the first-half with a neat finish from inside the box. Lee levelled the match in the 85th minute when he found himself unmarked to header past Steve Phillips in the Shrews goal. New manager Hans Backe said before the match that he wanted to play attacking football and he proved it by sticking with the same attacking line-up that defeated Crewe 2-0 last Saturday. Once again, this saw Johnnie Jackson and Ben Davies pulling the strings in the middle of the park with flying wingers Craig Westcarr and Matt Ritchie either side of them. The game started in an end-to-end fashion with both sides showing offensive ambitions. Shrewsbury had two early efforts through a distant Dean Holden strike and a glancing Dave Hibbert header - both failed to threaten. County, on the other hand, had two penalty claims in front of the Kop waved away. First Lee Hughes tumbled from a push, before Luke Rodgers was sent sprawling a minute later; however nothing was given, despite the vocal protests from the nearby home supporters. Notts started to control the game, pinning the visitors back in their own half. Rodgers struck over from inside the box after being played through by Westcarr following some nice interplay by the Magpies front pairing.

Subsequent to a harmless long-range strike by Westcarr, the visitors began to fight back. Left-winger Devitt in particular started to cause problems for the home rearguard. His link-up play with Hibbert nearly led to the opener when he found space inside the area. His sharp cross saw the sliding Fairhurst unable to connect, but it allowed former County loanee Lewis Neal to force Kasper Schmeichel into a parried stop. It was the danger-man Devitt that broke the deadlock moments later when Neal's low cross wasn't dealt with by the Notts defence. He collected the ball just inside the box and proceeded to cleverly place into the bottom-left corner - sending Schmeichel the wrong way. Backe's side came out after the break with much more intent. An early passing move saw the stretching Jackson lay-off Rodgers, who forced Phillips to thump the ball away for a corner. Hughes had two opportunities to put his side back on even terms. One saw his headed cut-back nearly result in a bungled own goal, but the chance that followed was Notts' best of the game so far. Davies' daisy-cutting centre fell kindly into the path of the number nine who struck first-time, but Phillips blocked well down to his right. The ball wriggled free except nobody was at hand to pounce. The Shrews followed with a superb breakaway that saw a Holden cross flicked on by the newly introduced Jake Robinson for Schmeichel to acrobatically push away. Hibbert fired in the rebound, only for Graeme Lee to throw his body on the line with a heroic obstruction. Notts survived the visitors' pressure and came close through Rodgers diving header and Ade Akinbiyi's intelligent turn and shot. But it was the unlikely figure of centre-back Lee that finally pulled the home team level. Rodgers made some space for himself on the right flank and swung a cross perfectly onto the head of the unmarked defender, whose authoritative header flew beyond Phillips. Jackson nearly stole all three points for the Magpies but his powerful strike from 25-yards was met by a horde of Shrews defenders. Attendance: 7,562 (1,046 away supporters) The Big Wheel Man of the Match: Matt Ritchie Notts County: Kasper Schmeichel, Matt Ritchie (Akinbiyi 76), Mike Edwards, Graeme Lee, John Thompson, Lee Hughes, Ben Davies, Luke Rodgers, Craig Westcarr (Bishop 38), Johnnie Jackson, Daniel Jones. Substitutes: Russell Hoult, Matt Hamshaw, Ricky Ravenhill, Neal Bishop, Karl Hawley, Jamie Clapham, Ade Akinbiyi. Scorer: Lee (85) Yellow Cards: Bishop (61) Shrewsbury Town: Steve Phillips, Dean Holden, Graham Coughlan, Kelvin Langmead, Dave Hibbert (Elder 72), Paul Murray, Lewis Neal, Shane Cansdell-Sheriff, Jamie Devitt (Labadie 70), Waide Fairhust (Robinson 65), Kevin McIntyre. Substitutes: Jake Robinson, Nathan Elder, Steve Leslie, Harry Hooman, Jake Simpson, Joss Labadie, Chris Neal. Scorer: Devitt (30) Yellow Cards: Labadie (90)  
    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.