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14:00 20th March 2010

Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Notts County

Following the late upset on Monday against Bournemouth, Notts County made amends with a determined victory over Crewe Alexandra. The only goal of the game came from a second half Mike Edwards header. This followed Ben Davies' missed spot-kick before the break. Notts dominated the second period for the majority and fully deserved the points. The only dampener on the win was Luke Rodgers' red card, following an altercation with Ashley Westwood. Steve Cotterill was forced to shuffle his pack, with a number of injury worries and Lee Hughes starting a two match ban. Although Neal Bishop and Stephen Hunt managed to survive late fitness tests, Rodgers was left on the bench after missing a number of training sessions with flu. Craig Westcarr and the returning Karl Hawley spearheaded the attack and Jamie Clapham came occupied the left flank. With a number of injury concerns in the build-up to the game, this certainly looked to be an encouraging line-up as the Magpies looked to retain their place in the top three. Notts could have taken a giant step towards that inside the opening five minutes after some tidy approach play down the right. Hawley eventually laid off John Thompson's cross to Clapham, who, with the outside of his boot, fired wide from 25 yards. Moments later Clapham was caught in possession inside his own half and Crewe might have taken the lead themselves. Twisting and turning with the ball at his feet, Shaun Miller shot wildly, forcing Kasper Schmeichel to fist away. An unmarked Hunt glanced a Ben Davies corner well wide before Bishop found himself with a fantastic opportunity. Westcarr had dummied, allowing a quick interchange between Hawley and Bishop, though the midfielder was charged down by Steve Phillips in the Alex goal. Schmeichel was also given a scare when Chris Stokes smashed a volley towards the bottom corner from the edge of the box. His powerful effort looked to provide little threat but Luke Murphy narrowly avoided connecting with the strike at the back post. Notts were then awarded a penalty when Davies was tripped inside the area. Stepping up to take it himself and striking sternly towards the bottom corner, he was superbly denied by a low, reaching stop. A breathtaking piece of skill by the home danger man, Shaun Miller, resulted in calls for another penalty as half time approached. Clayton Donaldson, collecting an incisive pass, was sent tumbling to the ground but Mr Sheldrake waved away the calls. The Magpies started brightly after the interval and Westcarr had the ball in the net within two minutes of the restart. Rounding the goalkeeper, he slotted home from a tight angle but the finish was disallowed for a handball in the approach. Edwards' header wasn't disallowed, though, and he put his team ahead on 51 minutes. Clapham had sent an in-swinging free-kick towards the far post, allowing Edwards to head downwards past Phillips. Either side of the goal, Westcarr had two more promising attempts. Just before he scooped just wide of the bottom corner and then, afterwards, he volleyed ferociously into the crowd. Ricky Ravenhill came closest to doubling the lead, though, as Notts continued to dominate. An unconvincing clearance rolled ideally into the path of the tough tackling midfielder for him to slam inches past the top-left corner. Notts were defending much sturdily this half but substitute Steven Schumacher popped up from a corner to threaten. Climbing well, he headed towards goal but Hunt was present to flick over his own crossbar. Matt Tootle was next to put in a teasing centre and found Miller on the edge of the six-yard box. Schmeichel gave him no time to settle and flung himself bravely at the striker's feet to block. Luke Rodgers could have finished the game off for County late on when Facey laid the ball perfectly into his path. However, from close range, the forward scuffed into the arms of Phillips. There was still time for controversy after four minutes of added time was displayed by the fourth official. Westwood appeared to kick out at Rodgers, which led to the front-man retaliating and, as a result, both players were given their marching orders. Notts did hold out for all three points this time, though Daniel O'Donnell came close with a header in the dying stages. With Bournemouth dropping points against Grimsby, County have now climbed to second in the table. Attendance: 5,003 (985 Notts County supporters) Man of the Match: Neal Bishop Notts County: Kasper Schmeichel, John Thompson, Mike Edwards, Graeme Lee, Stephen Hunt, Ben Davies, Neal Bishop, Ricky Ravenhill, Jamie Clapham (Rodgers 71), Karl Hawley (Facey 79) , Craig Westcarr. Substitutes: Russell Hoult, Matt Hamshaw, Ade Akinbiyi, Ben Fairclough, Sean Canham, Delroy Facey, Luke Rodgers. Scorer(s): Edwards 51 Yellow Card(s): Ravenhill 12, Hunt 38, Thompson 66, Lee 85 Red Card(s): Rodgers 90 Crewe Alexandra: Steve Phillips, John Brayford, Daniel O'Donnell, Clayton Donaldson, Joel Grant, Mathew Mitchel-King, Shaun Miller, James Bailey (Schumacher 56), Luke Murphy, Ashley Westwood, Chris Stokes (Tootle 68). Substitutes: Adam Legzdins, Steven Schumacher, Danny Shelley, Chris Clements, Matt Tootle, Harry Worley, Danny Gardner. Scorer(s): None Yellow Card(s): None Red Card(s): Westwood 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.