Skip to main content


15:52 21st August 2010

First Goal, First Points

A cool finish from Craig Westcarr secured Notts County's first points of the season this afternoon at Meadow Lane.

Ahead of kick-off an emotional minute's silence was held to pay respect to three people that had lost their lives over the past week or so: 16-year-old supporter Terri Sheppard, Southampton Chairman Markus Liebherr and Exeter City striker Adam Stansfield. A rapturous reception followed from all around the stadium as excitement for a game that the Magpies had to win built up.

The match opened in quite a scrappy fashion with both outfits struggling to put together any threatening attacks on a slick Meadow Lane surface. However, on the 14 minute mark, it looked like the visitors had gone in front.

Peter Gain was played into space on the left wing and whipped a low centre towards the back post. Danger man Paul Benson was lurking, as Stuart Nelson scurried across his goal to block, but Mike Edwards beat him to the ball and cleared behind for a corner.

Josh Scott also had an opportunity to put the away team in front. An incisive through pass sent him racing clear inside the box but Stuart Nelson raced out sharply to block the striker's grounded shot with his feet.

The Kop maintained their voice, accompanied by the rhythmic beat of the drummer, despite the lack of goalmouth action. If anyone was going to take the lead, though, it looked likely to be the Daggers at this point.

Benson played in Mark Arber with a delightful floated pass, which resulted in the defender dragging wide of Nelson's left post. A better chance for Scott followed when he made use of his pace to latch onto a long ball down the right, before cutting inside and firing powerfully against the inside of the post - only denied by a slight deflection.

Westcarr's pace looked to be Notts' largest offensive tool and his determination led to a strong call for handball, when he forced a hurried clearance. A quick throw looked to catch Roberts out of his goal and Davies' opportunistic punt appeared to be handled inside the area, but play was waved on, leading to John Spicer clearing the bar.

Abu Ogogo hit over from distance after Ricky Ravenhill blocked bravely from Benson's free-kick as the half time approached. This was just before a quick counter attack by Notts saw Davies strike over from 20 yards.

The Magpies came out for the second period with more enthusiasm about their play. And it was nearly rewarded early on when Ben Burgess controlled well and presented Davies with time to turn and shoot, but Roberts got down quickly to hold the effort.

Notts didn't have to wait much longer for the goal to come and on 54 minutes Westcarr put his team ahead with a sublime finish. Davies had held up play with some intricate dribbling, prior to meeting the winger's run with a delightful slide pass that enabled him to place powerfully into the bottom corner.

Spirits were evidently lifted, the belief was back and County almost doubled the lead in the minutes that followed. First John Thompson headed over from a Davies corner and Westcarr almost managed to beat Roberts for a second time when a long Nelson kick wasn't dealt with by the visiting backline.

Although Nelson was having the quieter time of the two stoppers, he had to keep on his toes. A free-kick from Danny Green skidded off the greasy surface towards the bottom corner, requiring Nelson to fist away towards the wing, low to his right.

At the other end, Spicer rounded off a run down the left flank with a strike into the side netting. As Dagenham searched for an equaliser, Gain fired narrowly off target and Benson opportunistically flicked just over a retreating Nelson's bar with a reaction header.

The match was by no means pretty but the important thing was to get some points on the board following two defeats. Notts now sit 16th in the table and fans might be a little more confident heading into the next npower League 1 fixture against Bournemouth next Saturday.

Attendance: 5,210 (171 Dagenham & Redbridge supporters)

Magpie Player Man of the Match: Craig Westcarr

    Data provided by Press Association


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