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15:47 27th February 2010

Notts County 5-0 Hereford United

It was the Craig Westcarr show at Meadow Lane this afternoon, as Notts County claimed a 5-0 victory over Hereford United. The wide-man opened his account in the 34th minute, capitalising on a mistake by the Hereford backline. This sent County into the interval a goal to the good, despite a sluggish opening to the encounter. Westcarr's second was certainly the finest of his three, slamming into the top corner after a neat counter attack. This appeared to kill the game off and his side took full control of the game. His third and final came from the penalty spot after Luke Rodgers had been brought down inside the box. This 72nd minute strike rounded off his first ever professional hat-trick. There was still time for more after Westcarr had been given a standing ovation by the home crowd. Rodgers found the net from another spot-kick, with the visitors down to nine men. Rodgers grabbed a second almost instantly, connecting with an accurate centre from the right. This proved to be the final goal of the game, rounding off a five-star home debut for the new gaffer. Steve Cotterill took up his spot in the home dugout for his first game in charge of the Magpies. His team were looking to build on back-to-back draws by claiming three points against their mid-table chasing opponents. In a slow start by both outfits, it was the visitors that forced the first save of the afternoon, when Matt Done floated a free-kick into the area for Daniel Preston to flick towards the far corner. Although it bounced awkwardly, Kasper Schmeichel was able to leap across his goal line to palm away with authority. County didn't fail to put the ball in the net, though, just moments after this scare. Karl Hawley nodded on a long ball inside the box that allowed Rodgers to unleash a powerful volley past Chris Adamson in the Bulls' goal. His celebrations were cut short by the assistant referee, who had deemed the striker to be standing in an offside position. Nonetheless, this appeared to give Notts a lift and they began to dominate the majority of the possession. Westcarr was next to have an effort denied, this time by the Hereford stopper. Creating space for himself in a crowded box, he fired across the face of goal but Adamson got down sharply to push away. United still presented a threat, albeit in small doses, and could have taken the lead through Gavin McCallum. Ben Davies' attempted clearance deflected into his path, leading to the forward lashing over from the corner of the six-yard box. From a similar angle Notts danger man Westcarr finished well to put his team ahead. Pressure from Luke Rodgers led to Sam Gwynne slipping in possession, leaving Westcarr to place past Adamson from close range. Karl Hawley could have doubled the lead shortly after the break, utilising some close control on the touchline. Squeezing between two defenders, his averted strike was gathered by the stretching Adamson, low to his right. Continuing his first half terrorising, Westcarr did manage to add Notts' second of the afternoon. This stemmed from a fast breakaway, involving some tidy footwork by Luke Rodgers and a quick Karl Hawley lay-off, stretching John Trewick's men as they switched play at pace. Westcarr, however, still had work to do and he skipped past his marker, before slamming unstoppably into the far top-corner. The goal came at a vital time, abruptly halting Hereford's brightest spell of the game. From the penalty spot, Westcarr was able to claim the match ball, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. It made him the third player to net a hat-trick in County colours this term. The spot-kick came when Delroy Facey's flick-on sent Rodgers racing through on goal. Adamson rushed off his line, upended the striker and was subsequently shown a red card. Rodgers could have added a fourth for Notts , too, when Matt Hamshaw's incisive through ball sent him racing through, one-on-one with substitute goalkeeper. Attempting to dink the ball over the outrushing Adam Bartlett, the ball trickled harmlessly wide. The lively front-man had another effort stopped, prior to Hamshaw's shot being handled on the line, meaning another penalty - and another red card. After Paul Downing had trudged off the pitch, Rodgers stepped up to fire assertively into the corner. Rodgers struck again just moments later, as well. John Thompson, advancing down the right, delivered a perfect cross for the forward to volley into the roof of the net from inside the goalmouth. It was the third time this season that Notts had wowed the home audience with five goals, though it could have been six if Hamshaw's stinging strike wasn't parried away by Bartlett. They now go into another match at Meadow Lane against Macclesfield on Tuesday night, a team they put five past in the teams' previous meeting at Moss Rose. Attendance: 6,036 (269 Hereford United supporters) Man of the Match: Craig Westcarr Notts County: Kasper Schmeichel, Graeme Lee, Stephen Hunt, Jamie Clapham, Craig Westcarr (Hamshaw 75), Ricky Ravenhill, Neal Bishop (Edwards 80), Ben Davies, Karl Hawley (Facey 67), Luke Rodgers. Substitutes: Russell Hoult, Mike Edwards, Matt Hamshaw, Sean Canham, Ben Fairclough, Sean Canham, Delroy Facey. Scorer(s): Westcarr 34, 57, 72; Rodgers 88, 89 Yellow Card(s): Thompson 43, Rodgers 58, Hamshaw 76 Hereford United: Chris Adamson, Richard Rose, Kenny Lunt, Marc Pugh, Leon Constantine (Bartlett 72), James McQuilkin, Sam Gwynne, Paul Downing, Daniel Preston, Matt Done (Morris 59), Gavin McCallum. Substitutes: Adam Bartlett, Ryan Green, Ryan Valentine, Lee Morris, Darren Jones, Tyler Weir, Matt Manset. Scorer(s): None Yellow Card(s): None Red Card(s): Adamson 71, Downing 86 Report by Dane Vincent
    Data provided by Press Association


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