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21:45 14th December 2010

First Half Finishes Secure Cup Win

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A runaway first half saw Notts County secure a place in the third round of the FA Cup in a 3-1 win over AFC Bournemouth.

In Notts' finest 45 under Paul Ince's management so far, a 3-0 lead was established before the interval. Krystian Pearce rose to head home his first goal since rejoining the club and Lee Hughes netted his fourth in as many appearances.

In first half added time, Tom Ince helped to create a comical third with some inventive trickery. Notts were just 45 minutes away from a place in the third round and a trip to Premier League Sunderland.

Notts remained organised after the break and frustrated the visitors, who were restricted to long shots. Still, substitute Stephen Fletcher was able to drag one back with eight minutes to spare but it wasn't enough.

Spirits were high in the Magpies camp heading into this fixture, following two wins on the bounce. But, on this night it was about the FA Cup, with the winner progressing to face Sunderland in the third round.

Both of the weekend goal-scorers, Lee Hughes and Tom Ince, were handed a start. Pearce, who replaced the injured Liam Chilvers continued in the centre of defence alongside Mike Edwards.

Another change was enforced within the first two minutes when Neal Bishop and Ricky Ravenhill collided. Bishop appeared to be fine, managing to get back to his feet after treatment from the visiting Physio, but Ravenhill had to be stretchered off with what appeared to be a neck injury.

Shortly after Michael Woods appeared in the central midfielder's place, Notts almost took the lead from a free kick on the right flank. Lifted into the six-yard box, Pearce managed to get his head to it but was unable to direct it on target.

Bournemouth were looking more threatening than both of the last two teams to visit Meadow Lane and were playing the ball around neatly in patches. As a result of this, Cummings dragged wide from distance and Lyle Taylor felt that he should have had a penalty, as Edwards appeared to drag him over.

Notts were certainly creating the better of the chances and somehow failed to break the deadlock from Woods' diagonal ball into the box. A small game of head tennis preceded Hughes' scuffed shot across the face of goal, which was missed by Davies but not Craig Westcarr, whose hit was kept out by the legs of John Stuart in the Cherries' goal.

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A goal finally came on 18 minutes after Bishop managed to get a volleyed cross in at the second attempt. Pearce was on the end of it again, though this time he found the net, with Stewart unable to keep the defender's header out.

Rhoys Wiggins came close with a strike from distance, narrowly evading the top-left corner. Anton Robinson also volleyed over and Liam Feeney stung the palms of Rob Burch, but the visitors' search for an equaliser continued.

However, they would have to search for two when Hughes doubled his team's lead with a little help from Bishop. The midfielder's presence was enough for the ball to find its way to Hughes, who turned sharply and placed the ball into the bottom corner.

During five minutes of added time, following a fantastic leaping parry by Stewart to keep out Hughes, Ince created Notts' third, as a host of step-overs led to full-back Stephen Purches collapsing to the turf. This allowed the winger space to fire in a low centre, which ended up being turned into his own net by Cummings.

Visiting boss Eddie Howe made two changes at the break, evidently unimpressed with his side's defensive showing. Defenders Purches and Cummings were withdrawn, allowing Adam Smith and Lee Bradbury to take to the field.

The Cherries, as expected, demonstrated greater attacking intentions from the restart. And, their biggest threat, Warren Feeney, came close twice, firing over and wide within a matter of three minutes.

These were rare attempts at goal for the visitors due to Notts' organised arrangement. Only Feeney's floated cross caused any problems for Burch, where he reached to tip away and then gather bravely at the feet of the lurking Bradbury.

Hughes almost glanced home Westcarr's whipped cross for his second and Notts' fourth of the night, ahead of being subbed to a standing ovation. Lee Miller took his place in attack with 21 minutes remaining.

Substitute target-man Fletcher gave the visitors a glimmer of hope with six minutes to spare. His downward header from Wiggins' floated delivery looped into the top corner, giving Burch no chance.

With men behind the ball and Burch's excellent tipping save to deny Bradbury in injury time, Notts were able secure the win. In a return to npower League 1 action, they will now hope to make it three victories in a row away at Brighton on Friday night.

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Attendance: 2,881 (268 Bournemouth supporters)
Carlsberg Man of the Match: Neal Bishop

    Data provided by Press Association


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