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21:42 12th April 2011

Bowditch Double

Notts County were beaten 2-1 by Yeovil Town at Huish Park this evening and slipped to 22nd in the table.

Despite opening brightly, it was the Magpies that conceded first, with Dean Bowditch's 31st minute volley giving the Glovers a half time lead. Lee Hughes came close to levelling the scores moments before the break but was denied by a fine save.

On 51 minutes, John Spicer made it 1-1 with his third goal of the campaign but Bowditch restored Yeovil's lead with his second of the game six minutes later. Although County pushed forward for long periods, they were unable to find an equaliser.

It was hoped that Martin Allen's first game in charge of the Magpies would end a run of seven consecutive losses and lift them out of the relegation zone. But, having only taken over a day earlier, fans were wondering whether he could turn around the team's fortunes at such short notice.

After consulting his newly appointed Assistant Manager, Carl Muggleton, and a number of senior players, five changes were made to the side that lost at Dagenham, with Mike Edwards, who had completed a two-match ban, Liam Chilvers, John Thompson, Ben Burgess and Njogu Demba-Nyren all returning to the starting 11. Following his red card at the weekend, Graeme Lee was suspended, Febian Brandy was sidelined through injury, and Craig Westcarr, Dave Martin and Sam Sodje all dropped to the bench.

At the spearhead of a three-man attack, Hughes, once again named as captain, was working hard and had the ball in the back of the net inside the first minute. He had charged down home goalkeeper Stephen Henderson's kick but the goal was ruled out for handball.

Notts started brightly and were stringing together some confident passing moves in the Yeovil half, causing the home fans to become agitated. Bishop twice came close from these, first firing wide after a clever turn and then over from 25 yards.

Thompson was handed a defensive midfield role and was proving to be highly effective, winning plenty of headers. From one of his knockdowns, Bishop found Hughes with a hooked pass over the backline but the 13-goal striker was unable to lift the ball over Henderson.

The hosts' first threatening strike at goal almost saw them go ahead, as Oliver Johnson wriggled free in the County area. However, Stuart Nelson stuck out a strong arm to keep out his powerful low strike.

The Glovers' top-scorer Bowditch hammered over moments later, though it wasn't long before he found his way onto the scoresheet. On 31 minutes, Notts failed to clear a diagonal cross and the striker connected with a sliding volley, directing the ball low past Nelson.

Notts were unlucky not to draw level just before the interval, after Hughes broke the offside trap to get on the end of Bishop's looped pass. He looked to place the ball underneath the outrushing Henderson, only for the stopper to get a slightest of touches to keep his side one up.

One change was made at the break, with Demba being withdrawn and Dave Martin introduced in his place. This saw Notts revert from a 4-3-3 formation to 4-4-2, utilising Martin and Spicer on the wings.

Six minutes into the second period, Notts pulled level from Stephen Darby's diagonal free kick. Burgess nodded in the direction of Spicer, who volleyed into the far corner with a delightful side-footed finish.

Bowditch's second goal of the match on 57 minutes had Notts on the back foot again. The striker prodded into the corner after being picked out by Andrew Welsh's incisive pass.

Westcarr was brought on for Burgess with the hope of grabbing another leveller. The chances of doing so appeared to increase as the game continued, with Notts pushing Yeovil increasingly back into their own half.

Allen's last substitution saw Sam Sodje replace Darby and Notts went to three at the back for the remaining 10 minutes and an additional four for added time. But, despite all of their efforts, Notts were unable to salvage a point and were defeated for the eighth consecutive match.

Attendance: 3,533 (171 Notts County supporters)

Magpie Player Man of the Match: John Thompson

    Data provided by Press Association


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