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15:53 14th August 2010

Magpies Stunned By Latics

The Magpies suffered their second 3-0 loss in as many league games this afternoon in a tough 90 minutes at Boundary Park.

Manager Craig Short was evidently impressed by performance against Plymouth Argyle in midweek, making just one change to the starting line-up. Reverting back to a 4-4-2 formation, he opted to bring in Lee Hughes against his former club, ahead of Carling Cup match winner John Spicer.

It turned out to be a very lively opening, with both sides creating very good scoring opportunities. A diagonal, floated centre from the right by Ritchie Jones led to the powerful Oumare Tounkara heading inches over.

The first goalkeeper to be tested, though, was Dean Brill. A Ben Davies free-kick from the left flank was feinted by Hughes and Brill, diving to his right was forced to compromise by saving with his legs.

Brill was called into action again around a minute later, after Hughes chased well to cut a loose ball back from the touchline. This left Davies with plenty of space to fire low at goal but the home stopper reacted sharply to prevent the stern strike from creeping inside his near post.

Neat link-up play from the right by Jones and Djeny Bembo-Leta resulted in Stuart Nelson's palms being stung on the 20 minute mark. Mike Edwards then headed over the bar at the other end from a curling Davies cross.

Despite having the better of the chances, it was Oldham that broke the deadlock, Dean Furman rounding off a breathtaking, one-touch passing move. And the extended series of quick exchanges was finished in superb style, too, with midfielder finding the top-right corner with an unstoppable, thumping effort from 30 yards out.

Lewis Allessandra almost doubled the deficit with a strike across the face of goal from the left moments later. This followed Hughes' chance to level when Brill spilled Davies' goal-bound delivery.

The early stages of the second period saw neither side seriously threaten, despite Notts throwing more men forward. Ben Burgess struck from distance into the arms of Brill and Alessandra headed harmlessly wide during the opening 10 minutes.

Kevin Smith, a player that impressed as a substitute against Plymouth, was introduced as Notts continued to search for an equaliser. However, it was the hosts that struck next - totally out of the blue.

The atmosphere had dipped a little during a quiet spell in the game but the roof was soon raised when Tounkara netted Oldham's second. Notts had failed to deal with a long ball down the right and the striker wasted no time in capitalising with his first touch, smashing crisply into the far corner.
Jake Jervis and Jon Spicer were brought on to add some more energy to the County attack with 20 minutes left on the clock. The former almost found himself in a goal scoring position, following some great work down the right by Hughes, but Smith's cut-back was just out of his reach.

Any hopes of rescuing anything from the game were dashed when the Latics tucked away a third. A breakaway move down the right saw Tounkara deliver a low cross to the feet of Kieran Lee, who finished from close-range off the under-side of the bar.

The 3-0 scoreline was arguably harsh on the Magpies' performance. Had a number of chances in the first 45 been converted, it could have been a entirely different outcome.

Man of the Match: Neal Bishop

Attendance: 5,037 (695 Notts County supporters)

For statistics, see the 'Match Information' bar to the right of the report.

    Data provided by Press Association


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