Match Sponsored By:
Notts County got back to winning ways in the league this afternoon with a 3-2 win over Scunthorpe United.
The Magpies went in front in the 39th minute, when Krystian Pearce found the corner with a superbly placed header. However, the Iron levelled just before the break, with Andy Barcham finding the top corner.
Bobby Grant put the visitors in front on 53, when he latched onto a cross to power a header out of Stuart Nelson's reach. Four minutes after the goal, Oli Norwood was shown a red card, leaving Scunthorpe with the task of defending their lead with 10 men.
Substitute Jeff Hughes pulled County level on 65 with an unstoppable volley on the edge of the six-yard box. And, with the momentum on their side, Notts went on to grab a winner through Julian Kelly, whose celebrations showed how much the three points meant to the squad.
Martin Allen had made two alterations from the 11 that started the previous weekend's match against Huddersfield Town. Mike Edwards returned to the heart of defence at the expense of Sam Sodje and Ishmel Demontagnac, after impressing off the bench at the Galpharm Stadium, was handed his first league start for the club in place of Jeff Hughes.
Notts dictated most of the play in the early stages and almost went in front in the sixth minute, when Edwards made space for himself down the left. With plenty of bodies already pushed forward for one of his trademark long throws, Edwards' arrowed cross picked out Pearce, whose volley was confidently gathered by Iron goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
Ben Burgess was the next to threaten for the Magpies, when he met Alan Judge's corner at the back post with a header that cleared the bar. As County continued to mount the pressure, Demontagnac and Karl Hawley also came close with glancing headers.
Notts' first scare came in the 26th minute, with Bobby Grant capitalising on a defensive slip that allowed him to thread in Barcham. The wideman managed to get a shot away, only it was blocked by Judge, who had tracked his opponent's run from midfield.
Moments later, County could easily have broken the deadlock again through Burgess. This time it was Demontagnac that found him, following some clever footwork on the right, though the frontman's header flew inches over.
Against his former club, it was Pearce that finally put the Magpies ahead from a well-rehearsed set-play down the right wing. Hawley had laid the ball into the path of Judge, whose lofted centre allowed Pearce to nod across goal, into the corner.
Ahead of the interval, Scunthorpe drew level, after Barcham was given too much space inside the box. The visitors' danger-man held off his marker and found the top-right corner, before celebrating in front of the travelling support.
Both Lee and Jeff Hughes were introduced for the second period, with Demontagnac and Hawley taken off. The latter almost made an immediate impact, when his flick found Sheehan down the left, but the full-back's cross-come-shot was directed narrowly off target.
Lifted by their goal, Scunthorpe looked rejuvenated at the beginning of the second 45. Barcham continued to be a menace and forced Stuart Nelson into a low save when he cut inside from the left wing.
Just a minute later, the Iron went 2-1 up. Mark Duffy had worked the channel, ahead of delivering a cross that Grant diverted powerfully into the top corner.
Holding onto the lead was made a little bit tougher for Scunthope when Norwood was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Jeff Hughes. This prompted a series of altercations between both sets of players, where Lee Hughes, Michael O'Connor and Grant were booked.
Burgess came close with another back-post header, moments before Notts were back on level terms. Judge was once again instrumental in the goal, firing a diagonal ball into the box, which led to Jeff Hughes volleying home from close range.
Judge came agonisingly close to adding a goal of his own within a minute of the equaliser, striking just over. Another of his hits was then deflected behind, with Johnstone seemingly beaten.
Sam Sodje's introduction up front in place of Burgess lifted the crowd, as their team pushed the 10 men of Scunthorpe deep into their own half. Though it wasn't Sodje that made the difference as the game drew to a close.
Latching onto a fantastic throughball by Gavin Mahon, Kelly raced clear of the away rearguard and, with a finish fitting of a forward, found the corner. The full-back raced away in jubilation, tearing off his jersey, before his teammates joined him in celebrating the 82nd minute winner.
Attendance: 6,120 (523 away supporters)
Man of the Match, sponsored by Chino Latino: Gavin Mahon