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16:59 11th December 2010

Super Subs Steal The Show

Match Sponsored By:
Hudson Roofing

Super Subs Tom Ince and Lee Hughes lifted Notts County out of the relegation zone in an exciting 2-0 win over Milton Keynes Dons.

The game could have been won in the first 45, as Notts carved out numerous openings. Visiting goalkeeper David Martin stood in the way, producing several top saves.

Hughes and Ince's arrival late in the game ultimately made the difference. Both found the net with superb finishes to give Notts a late win.

For the first time in more than two weeks, the Magpies took to the field of play, thanks to the groundstaff, who battled the winter conditions to get the game on. It had been a frustratingly long wait for Notts, as they looked to record back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

Paul Ince opted to start with the same side that defeated Swindon back in November. This meant that the winning goal-scorer on that night, Lee Hughes, took up a spot on the bench.

The opening 15 minutes saw Notts create the better of the chances, with Ben Davies creating the first. His bending delivery from the right flank almost found Craig Westcarr, who was also evaded by Alan Judge's low centre from the by-line.

Westcarr created the next chance himself, with some fine work down the left channel. His floated cross was slightly too high for Lee Miller but this allowed Alan Judge to get a shot away, only to have it blocked by Mathias Doumbe.

Fleet-footed wideman Lewis Guy appeared to be MK Dons' danger man, though Jon Harley was managing to keep him quiet with some excellently timed challenges. However, in a rare breakaway he almost created an opener but Stephen Darby reacted quickly to cut out the pass.

Neal Bishop should have put Notts in the lead when he received the ball totally unmarked inside the area, following some great link up play by Alan Judge and Westcarr. But, Bishop, having collected a cross from Westcarr, miscued well wide and proceeded to slump to his knees, head in hands.

The Dons could have been down to 10 men on 32 minutes, as Aaron Wilbraham elbowed Mike Edwards during an aerial challenge. Mr Phillips, the referee, decided that it warranted a yellow card, rather than red.

Shortly after recovering from the knock, Edwards' forward pass, helped along by a clever Westcarr dummy, sent Davies through on goal. Martin narrowed the angle and the winger was unable to find a way past him.

Miller was presented with next chance for Notts, thanks to a weighted chip by Ricky Ravenhill. Again, Martin was out quickly and he managed to get a hand to the forward's placed effort.

Ahead of the interval, Notts continued to threaten, this time through Judge. The wideman opened up his body on the corner of the box and forced Martin to stretch fully in order to tip away the curled shot.

Inside three minutes of the restart, Notts nearly paid for missed chances when Stephen Darby, chased closely by Guy and substitute Jabo Ibehre, didn't quite reach Rob Burch with his headed back pass. Guy capitalised but Burch rushed out sharply to block his shot.

County continued to trouble the Dons and came close on two separate occasions from range. Westcarr had Martin panicking with a wild punt that drifted wide and Ravenhill, following some tidy linkup play by Miller, had his strong hit deflected off target by Mark Carrington.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, Hughes was introduced at the expense of Miller, prompting a rousing reception from the Kop. And, he almost made an immediate impact when he chased Westcarr's headed flick-on but Martin was quickest to the ball.

Wilbraham picked up his second caution of the game on 75 minutes for another elbow on Edwards. He was subsequently given his marching orders and faced a long walk across the pitch and down the tunnel.

Notts were immediately lifted and pushed more men forward. Judge, prior to being subbed for Ince, fired over twice, as his team became more dominant.

Ince's arrival was a key moment in the fixture, because he was the one to finally break the deadlock - in spectacular style. A headed clearance fell to the winger on the edge of the box and didn't hesitate in lashing it, first time, into the bottom corner.

Four minutes of added time remained but it was made a little less nervy when Hughes doubled the lead with his third goal in as many games. In a direct counter attack, Hughes wrong-footed his marker and swung the ball into the bottom corner, in off the post.

Notts can now make it three wins on the bounce on Tuesday night in the FA Cup against Bournemouth. They could be without defender Liam Chilvers, though, who was omitted with a knee injury.

Attendance: 5,172 (322 MK Dons supporters)
Hudson Roofing Man of the Match: Mike Edwards

    Data provided by Press Association


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