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15:52 6th March 2010

Accrington Stanley 0-3 Notts County

Notts County climbed to fifth in the table with another convincing win, this time away at Accrington Stanley. Although Accrington attacked early on, it was Notts that went in at the break a goal to the good. Ben Davies capitalised on Lee Hughes' penalty miss to prod in the opener. The second came shortly after the break, Hughes making amends for his miss from 12 yards. Making the most of a defensive error, he finished coolly for his 24th of the campaign. Luke Rodgers rounded off the win with a spectacular volley. Combined with a moment of magic from Hughes, this was certainly a contender for goal of the season. Top-scorer Hughes returned to the starting line-up following a two match ban, as Steve Cotterill went in search of a third straight win in charge. Stephen Hunt, however, missed out with a hamstring injury, meaning that Tuesday's match winner, Jamie Clapham, dropped to left-back. The home side could have been in front early on after starting the better of the two teams. Robert Grant, racing through on goal, slammed narrowly wide of the target and Michael Symes sent a volley flying just over the bar from the edge of the box moments later. It was Notts that come closest in these early stages, though, from a Jamie Clapham corner. Climbing highest to connect with the floated centre, Graeme Lee headed powerfully towards the corner, only for Luke Joyce to clear off the goal line. Hughes dragged an effort wide after he'd beaten the offside trap before mass confusion broke out at the other end of the pitch on 12 minutes. Darran Kempson had fired into the roof of the net from close range during a hectic goalmouth scramble but the referee appeared to disallow the goal for handball. Then, he decided to change his mind, claiming that it was a County infringement instead. Consulting his assistant, with players from both teams surrounding him in protest, Mr Hall reverted back to his initial decision, much to the approval of the travelling support. It was certainly proving to be an exciting first half, with plenty of action at both ends, and more was to come. Luke Rodgers headed over from a Davies cross and John Miles bent just wide of the fully stretched Kasper Schmeichel's back post, but still nobody found the net. This looked set to change when Hughes was brought down inside the area by Stanley defender Phil Edwards. However, for the first time this term, the striker was denied from the spot by the legs of Ian Dunbavin. Accrington fans leapt from their seats in celebration, though they soon returned to their backsides, with their heads disbelievingly in their hands. Davies had reacted first to the save and poked home from inside the six-yard box for his tenth of the season. The lead could have been short lived if it wasn't for the woodwork. Grant, from a free-kick on the corner of the Notts area, swung towards the far post and, with Schmeichel rapidly retreating, saw his delivery cannon off the roof of the bar. The second half could not have started better for the Magpies, as Stanley's Edwards gifted them a second goal within three minutes. In a moment of indecision, he played the ball infield on the edge of his own box, directly to Hughes, who made up for his earlier miss with a cool finish down the centre. He could have added his second of the afternoon almost instantly from 25 yards. Controlling a long pass perfectly, he held up play and fired inches past the bottom corner. A true moment of brilliance from Hughes set up County's third, as the front-man sent Rodgers racing clear with a tremendous, unforeseen heel flick. Taking a moment to compose himself - a few yards too soon, some might have argued - he volleyed powerfully into the corner of the net. Notts might have been firing on all cylinders but a great deal of the credit would have to be given to the defence. Stanley's offensive approach varied, though the backline rarely faltered, quashing every onslaught, aerial or grounded, with an effective no-nonsense approach. A late bustle in the goalmouth almost created a fourth, Lee almost managing to squeeze the ball past a hoard of defenders. At the same time, Accrington may have grabbed a consolation through Grant, who forced Schmeichel to acrobatically tip over his bar with another goal-bound set-piece. Still, Cotterill made it nine goals scored and zero conceded in his first three games at the helm. He will be hoping to continue that kind of form at home to Chesterfield on Tuesday night, where his team could move into the top-three, should they overcome their promotion rivals and Bury lose to Darlington. Attendance: 2,123 Man of the Match: Graeme Lee Notts County: Kasper Schmeichel, John Thompson, Mike Edwards, Graeme Lee, Jamie Clapham, Craig Westcarr (Hamshaw 79), Ricky Ravenhill (Facey 84), Neal Bishop, Ben Davies, Lee Hughes (Akinbiyi 90), Luke Rodgers. Substitutes: Russell Hoult, Haydn Hollis, Matthew Hamshaw, Sean Canham, Ben Fairclogh, Ade Akinbiyi, Delroy Facey. Scorer(s): Davies 29, Hughes 48, Rodgers 55 Yellow Card(s): Thompson 15, Lee 35, Bishop 83 Accrington Stanley: Ian Dunbavin, Darran Kempson, Andrew Proctor, John Miles, Luke Joyce (Turner 65), Robert Grant, Phil Edwards, James Ryan (Mullin 87), Dean Winnard, Michael Symes, Tom Lees. Substitutes: Dean Bouzanis, Chris Turner, Sean McConville, John Mullin, Peter Murphy, Billy Kee. Scorer(s): None Yellow Card(s): Edwards 28, Proctor 82, Symes 83 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.