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15:57 20th February 2011

Gutsy Notts Out Of The Cup

Notts County were defeated 5-0 by Manchester City this afternoon in a gutsy display at Eastlands.

In an exciting first half, Notts produced a number of chances and even hit the post. But, City went in at the break a goal to the good thanks to Patrick Vieira's header.

Vieira added his second after the break with another header, before Carlos Tevez netted City's third. Edin Dzeko and Micah Richards rounded off the scoring with two late finishes.

Nobody gave the Magpies a chance in the initial clash but, following a hard-fought draw at Meadow Lane, over 4,500 fans made the trip to Eastlands with high hopes. Heading into the replay, Notts were up against it again, but they could draw inspiration from last year's triumph over Wigan Athletic and this season's scalp of Sunderland.

Both loan signings, Conor Clifford and Kevin McDonald, were ineligible, as they weren't signed ahead of the original fixture. Ricky Ravenhill returned alongside Neal Bishop in the centre of midfield and Karl Hawley took up a spot on the wing.

Notts started off brilliantly and almost went in front inside the opening 10 minutes. From an in-swinging Alan Gow corner, Krystian Pearce climbed high to direct the ball narrowly over the bar with his head.

When Lee Hughes was brought down on the edge of the box, Gow came even closer from the resulting free kick. Home stopper Joe Hart had to reach low towards the bottom corner to push the forward's bending effort around the post.

Hart thought Karl Hawley had beaten him moments later, as the former Preston forward came agonisingly close to netting his first goal of the season. Steadying himself on the corner of the box, Hawley swung the ball towards the far top corner, out of Hart's reach, only to be denied by the inside of the woodwork.

At the other end, Stuart Nelson remained alert and kept out Dzeko's thumping header with a fine, acrobatic stop. He also scurried across his goal line to parry Aleksandar Kolarov's awkward shot from range.

The whole team was working hard to keep out Roberto Mancini's millionaires but they were progressively getting on top. A superb interception from Mike Edwards, a last ditch tackle by Craig Westcarr and another top save by Nelson kept the hosts at bay.

However, on 36 minutes, Vieira put the Premier League outfit in front. David Silva's whipped corner was met by the head of the towering midfielder, who directed the ball past Nelson with the help of a slight deflection.

Momentarily rattled by the goal, Notts looked vulnerable but battled through a difficult five minutes. And, as the first half drew to a close, they could have levelled the tie, when Hughes almost broke free in the area and Hawley cleared the bar with another promising hit from distance.

Notts came out looking like an equaliser would be possible - if they could find the final ball. But, when City grabbed a second, the likelihood of Paul Ince's team getting anything from the game became slim.

From another corner, this time delivered by Kolarov, Vieira got his name on the scoresheet again. Nelson had no chance in keeping the Frenchman's header out, after he'd escaped his marker with a run towards the near post.

County didn't give up and continued to push players forward where possible. Hawley almost pulled one back with a quick turn and shot and Westcarr cleared the bar with a stern strike.

As time ticked away towards the 80-minute mark, Hart showed just why he's England's number one goalkeeper. Gow's volley had looked destined to find the top corner but Hart sprung across goal to flick the ball over with his fingertips.

Off the bench, Tevez made it 3-0 in a quick breakaway move. A defence splitting pass by Dzeko found the Argentine international, who rounded Nelson and slotted home.

Tevez then set up Dzeko for the fourth with a chipped cross from the by-line, which saw the £27million frontman nod past Nelson. Richards then scored City's fifth in added time with a volley from 10 yards.

Dzeko almost made it six but Nelson stood up to his shot to keep him out. Even so, Notts can head back to Meadow Lane proud of their display and go into Friday night's game against Charlton full of confidence.

Attendance: 27,276 (4,624 Notts County supporters)

Magpie Player Man of the Match: Karl Hawley

Kids For A Quid

    Data provided by Press Association


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