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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:54 30th January 2010

Notts County 2-0 Barnet

A ninth clean sheet of the term and a third league win on the bounce, Notts County climbed to fifth place with a 2-0 victory over Barnet. Karl Hawley wasted no time in putting his side ahead, powering into the bottom-right corner inside the opening stages. From another free-kick, Ben Davies added a second, sending the Magpies into the interval 2-0 to the good. It proved to be the final goal of an untidy encounter that Dave Kevan's team deservedly came out of with another three points in the bag. A contrast in form was on show heading into this clash, Notts on a high after beating Dagenham & Redbridge to make it five wins in six league outings, whilst Barnet, on the other hand, had slipped down the standings alarmingly since the teams' last meeting at Underhill, with no win in 13 fixtures. To make things worse for the visitors, they went behind within five minutes, when Matthew Hamshaw, making his first league start of the campaign, swung a free-kick into a congested penalty area. Mike Edwards rose highest to nod across goal, where Hawley reacted sharply to slam past Jake Cole at his near post. The goal meant that the Bees' away defensive record became the joint worst in the division, alongside table-propping Darlington. However, Ian Hendon's team appeared much better organised following the concession, the match reverting to a midfield battle. A quiet spell was ended when a long ball down the line from Stephen Hunt sent Davies racing free of the backline, allowing him to fire a stern, low cross across the face of goal. Lee Hughes, who had found the net in the each of the last five matches, somehow looped over from four yards out. Davies didn't fail to add Notts' second, though, when Hawley was brought down just outside the box. The inventive wide-man, netting his third in three games, lashed the ball through the wall, thanks to unsettling work by Neal Bishop, into the same spot as last week's wondrous strike against Wigan. Mike Edwards almost netted a third, as Hamshaw fired another dangerous ball within close proximity of Cole. As the Barnet stopper watched on, Edwards stretched to direct an improvised effort just past the post. Cole was almost caught out shortly after by another Davies set-piece. The winger struck ferociously towards the top corner, forcing the goalkeeper to thump firmly behind with both fists. The opening ten minutes of the second period saw the match return to a scrappy affair, both sides struggling to carve out opportunities. Fortunately, tempers had calmed after a fiery end to the first half. Hughes found himself with the opening chance, gathering John Thompson's pass down the right. Cutting between two defenders inside the box, he scuffed with his left boot but nearly caught out Cole when a deflection sent the ball trickling in the opposite direction. From the resulting corner Edwards rose in a crowded goalmouth to header powerfully. Cole instinctively tipped the ball onto the bar and over - his finest stop of the afternoon. Though the visitors experienced little in terms of goalmouth action, Albert Adomah managed to create his side's best chance of the game. Controlling a cross, he flicked over the head of Johnnie Jackson but was unable to connect cleanly with the volley, allowing Kasper Schmeichel to gather routinely to his right. Adomah appeared to have been given a license to roam and if anyone in an amber jersey was to get a goal back, it was him. Drifting into the middle, he slid the ball into the feet of the newly introduced John O'Flynn, whose low drive was denied by Schmeichel. In another lull, the Barnet fans broke out in the conga, undeterred by the score-line, before the game was sparked back into life by Davies. Edwards had darted a diagonal pass onto the left wing, where the midfielder unleashed a hopeful effort that dipped onto the roof of the net. The Magpies now sit just two points outside the top-three but have another break from League Two football when they take on Wigan in the FA Cup this Tuesday. Attendance: 6,444 (270 Barnet supporters) Brook Air Man of the Match: Ben Davies Notts County: Kasper Schmeichel, John Thompson, Mike Edwards, Stephen Hunt, Johnnie Jackson, Matt Hamshaw, Neal Bishop, Ricky Ravenhill (Clapham 30), Ben Davies, Karl Hawley (Akinbiyi 80), Lee Hughes (Rodgers 62). Substitutes: Russell Hoult, Graeme Lee, Craig Westcarr, Ben Fairclough, Jamie Clapham, Sean Canham, Ade Akinbiyi. Scorer(s): Hawley (5), Davies (25) Yellow Card(s): Bishop (32), Hunt (45) Barnet: Jake Cole, Joe Devera, Kenny Gillet, Mark Hughes, Gary Breen, Albert Adomah, Michal Hyde, Albert Jarrett, Paul Furlong (Hyde 70), Lee Sawyer (O'Flynn 56), Matt Lockwood. Substitutes: Phil Carpenter, John O'Flynn, Ryan O'Neill, Joe Tabiri, Jake Hyde, Daniel Leach, Ahmed Deen. Scorer(s): None Yellow Card(s): Sawyer (33), Hughes (43) Report by Dane Vincent
    Data provided by Press Association

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