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16:57 12th March 2011

Gow Penalty Gives Notts Three Points

Alan Gow's first goal in a Notts County shirt gave Paul Ince's team a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Following back-to-back losses, Notts were eager to pick up three points and extend the gap between themselves and the bottom four. The Magpies had played the Owls twice during 2010/11, losing both times, and were hoping to make it third time lucky by recording a first win on Wednesday territory since 1981.

Two changes were made from the midweek defeat at home to Peterborough United, with Ivan Sproule and Conor Clifford being handed starts. There was no place in the squad for Ricky Ravenhill and Craig Westcarr, but Youth Team duo Lewis Williamson and Haydn Hollis featured on the bench.

Neither set of supporters had much to sing about in the first 25 minutes, as the game got off to a scrappy start. The hosts came closest to breaking the deadlock from an early corner, which Stuart Nelson fisted over his own crossbar.

Wednesday were enjoying much of the possession but Notts kept their shape, limiting opportunities in the final third. Tommy Spurr threatened from a direct free kick, though his bending effort bounced harmlessly wide of the target.

Against the run of play, Notts were awarded a penalty, when Gow was sent tumbling to the ground by home defender Mark Beevers. The forward dusted himself off and fired the ball into the bottom corner - out of the reach of Owls stopper Nicky Weaver.

The goal lifted the Magpies, who suddenly looked more threatening in their offenses. Following a quick passing move, Kevin McDonald tested Weaver with a stern hit from the edge of the box and Njogu Demba-Nyren struck high and wide, after cutting inside from the wing.

Demba's next chance should have seen him double Notts' lead, when Graeme Lee directed Stephen Darby's diagonal cross towards him. The unmarked striker saw his header acrobatically palmed away by Weaver and then his rebound slide past the outside of the post.

The Gambian international came close again after the break, following some strong hold-up play and a neat one-two with Gow. But, Weaver rushed off his line quickly and blocked his low shot with his legs.

Moments later, Ivan Sproule stole the ball from Gow on the overlap, allowing him to burst into the box, behind the backline. The winger chipped delicately over Weaver, who had raced out of goal, and watched on despairingly as the ball trickled past the post.

Wednesday thought they'd levelled the scores from Gary Teale's corner towards the back post. Michael Morrison climbed high to nod the ball towards goal, only for Nelson to keep it out with a reaction parry.

At the other end, Notts had more chances to extend their lead, first through Neal Bishop, who curled wide and then Demba, who missed with an optimistic back-heel. But they were almost punished by Owls midfielder Tommy Miller on 78 minutes, when his long-range effort cleared the bar by inches.

Wednesday pushed men forward in an attempt to salvage something from the game and twice came close through Clinton Morrison and Teale, who both struck over. But, Notts held out through four minutes of added time to secure their third league away win of the campaign.

Attendance: 17,835 (1,293 Notts County supporters)

Magpie Player Man of the Match: Graeme Lee

    Data provided by Press Association


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