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21:45 2nd February 2010

Wigan Athletic 0-2 Notts County

Notts County's best cup run in 16 years continued this evening as they knocked Wigan Athletic out of the FA Cup and progressed into the fifth round. Stephen Hunt broke the deadlock with a fine header against the run of play after the break. Ben Davies' cross led to Gary Caldwell putting into his own net to make it 2-0 in a sterling showing. The Magpies went into the tie 59 places below their top-flight opponents but, as the previous encounter showed, anything can happen in the FA Cup. Several changes had been made from the Latics' outfit that travelled to Meadow Lane ten days ago, such talents as Jason Koumas and Paul Scharner now occupying berths in the starting line-up. Despite four consecutive wins on the road, this looked to be the sternest test of the season for Dave Kevan's team. Still, a win would set up another interesting Premiership encounter with Fulham at Craven Cottage and take Notts into the last 16 for the first time since the 1991-92 campaign. Wigan, enjoying their home comforts, looked much more threatening than in the first meeting and threatened early on, Koumas' presence made known inside the opening ten minutes. Without a moment's thought, he picked out Jason Scotland's perfectly timed run with a sharp, defence splitting through pass. Gathering tidily and racing into the box, the forward composed himself, only to be denied by Kasper Schmeichel, who stood well to block with an outstretched leg. This had been his second test of the game, following a tricky bouncing effort from the unpredictable Jordi Gomez, which the stopper had smothered to his left. Athletic were experiencing the majority of possession but Notts were harrying tirelessly to limit the number of opportunities. Their own chances, on the other hand, had been few and far between, mostly as a result of set-pieces. As the half progressed, however, County became more involved as their energetic closing down began to pay off. Neal Bishop chased down a long ball to prod into the path of Hughes, who fired firmly to force Vladimir Stojkovic into his first real stop of the evening - springing to his right. Davies had Notts' first real opportunity, though, when some strong hold-up play in the area by Craig Westcarr saw him played in on goal. Taking a touch, he struck towards the corner, only for Stojkovic to push around the post for a corner. The resulting delivery almost led to the opener, as Stojkovic failed to claim. As the ball spilled free, Bishop capitalised but his deflected shot whistled past the upright. After the interval, the home side came out of the traps early, almost netting within a minute of the restart. Emmerson Boyce floated a cross towards the back post that Scott Sinclair stretched to keep in play, directing into the goalmouth. Scotland was waiting and connected with his head, sending the ball towards the top-corner. Wigan fans were on their feet but, somehow, Schmeichel reached back to claw away with one of the season's best stops - across all levels. Quite contrastingly, moments later, Schmeichel was left stranded when he raced out to collect a loose ball and collided with John Thompson. Sinclair, who had been chasing the hopeful pass, found himself with time to shoot but could only place into the side-netting as Hunt and Johnnie Jackson tracked back to cover the goal line. Schmeichel was having a busy time of it and was called into action yet again by another Gomez punt. Again skidding off the greasy surface, the goalkeeper grazed low to flick, at full reach, around his left post. Two more strikes followed: a near miss by Scotland from close-range, followed by Scharner's hit that found itself in the back of the net. Once more the DW Stadium noise levels rose but the scores remained level, as the ball had crept bizarrely underneath the side-netting. Hughes ended his team's drought of efforts when Westcarr set him free into the channel. Cutting inside he bent powerfully towards the top corner, requiring Stojkovic to leap acrobatically in order to flip the ball away. This was only the beginning of the visitors' resurgence. Luke Rodgers and Karl Hawley were introduced to form a 4-4-2 formation as Notts looked to lay all their chips down and go for the victory. However, it wasn't one of the newly introduced forwards that broke the deadlock, it was the unlikely figure of Hunt. Davies fired another corner into a crowded area, ideal for the centre-back to thump, with his head, past the stationary Stojkovic. Quite unbelievably, Notts doubled the lead when Davies roamed down the right flank, skipping past Maynor Figueroa. His swinging centre evaded Hawley but his presence was enough to cause Gary Caldwell to shin into his own net. Pandemonium ensued behind the goal as, for the second time, their team were 2-0 up. Time still remained on the clock, however, and County were wary that lightning could strike twice. With Schmeichel in fine form, they could breathe a little easier. In superb fashion he denied both Gomez and Charles N'Zogbia drives, whereas Rodgers, at the other end, nearly added a third. The Magpies hadn't knocked a tier-one club out of the tournament since the unforgettable win over Manchester City in 1991. Tonight that run came to an abrupt end in a match that will live long in the memories. Attendance: TBA Man of the Match: Kasper Schmeichel Notts County: Kasper Schmeichel, John Thompson, Mike Edwards, Stephen Hunt, Johnnie Jackson, Jamie Clapham, Craig Westcarr (Rodgers 73), Neal Bishop, Ricky Ravenhill, Ben Davies (Hamshaw 90), Lee Hughes (Hawley 73). Substitutes: Russell Hoult, Graeme Lee, Matt Hamshaw, Ben Fairclough, Karl Hawley, Luke Rodgers, Ade Akinbiyi. Scorer(s): Hunt 75, Caldwell (OG) 78 Yellow Card(s): Ravenhill 36 Wigan Athletic: Vladimir Stojkovic, Gary Caldwell, Paul Scharner, Jason Scotland, Jason Koumas (N'Zogbia 61), Jordi Gomez, Scott Sinclair, Emmerson Boyce (Rodellega 86), Titus Bramble, Mohamed Diame (McCarthy 61), Maynor Figueroa. Substitutes: Mike Pollitt, Antonio Amaya, Hendry Thomas, Ben Watson, Charles N'Zogbia, Hugo Rodallega, James McCarthy. Scorer(s): None Yellow Card(s): None 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.