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17:00 7th August 2015

Notts County started the season in the best fashion as goals from Curtis Thompson and Mawouna Amevour secured the three points for Ricardo Moniz’s men.

Notts County started the strongest, with two corners inside the first minutes. The second set piece was well worked between Kyle De Silva and Julian Jenner, the latter crossing deep to Mawouna Amevour to head back across for Jon Stead but the striker couldn’t force it in.

A robust challenge from Stanley Aborah saw him pick up County’s first yellow card after just four minutes, the referee unimpressed with the midfielder’s challenge.

Stevenage’s first attack came quarter of an hour in as Charlie Lee first crossed low into the box, before lofting a ball to the back post, which was scrambled over for a corner. From the corner the home side had a golden chance to take the lead. Roy Carroll appeared to be obstructed as he came to claim, but nothing was given and the ball fell to Dipo Akinyemi who fired wide from just yards out.

As the first period reached the half way mark, Julian Jenner and Gill Swerts combined down the right, the Belgian’s cross came back to Jenner but his shot was well blocked.

Roy Carroll had to be alert just after the half hour mark as the ball fell kindly to Brett Williams, the striker firing his effort straight at Carroll who blocked well before Civard Sprockel cleared for a corner.

It was from the corner that the away side counter attacked to take the lead. Sprockel headed the corner to Liam Noble on the left of the box, he drove forward before playing a sublime ball to Jon Stead. The striker raced down the right and crossed low to the back post to Curtis Thompson who slotted home.

Stead almost turned provider again minutes later, good strength from Thompson kept The Pies on the attack, his pass inside finding Stead who slid the ball behind the defence but Chris Day rushed off his line to beat Kyle De Silva to the ball.

Half Time Stevenage 0 Notts County 1

Moniz made one change at half time with Scot Bennett replacing Civard Sprockel at the back.

Notts started the half brightly, just as they had the first, great work from De Silva on the left released Noble in acres of space, the midfielder finding Jenner on the right of the box, but Day did well to parry his shot, the resulting corner was well cleared.

The Pies were almost undone by a quick free kick just three minutes into the second half, the ball making it’s way to Akinyemi but his shot was deflected wide.

Liam Noble, who was pulling the strings in the midfield for County, lofted a ball over the top of the home defence for De Silva two minutes later but Day did well to block the drive with his feet.

Just past the hour mark the increasingly influential Stead has a curling effort deflected inches wide of the post, however Jenner’s corner failed to trouble the home side who cleared, almost creating an opening for substitute Tom Hitchcock at the same time. Aborah misjudged the flight of the ball, but Carroll recovered the ball for the away side as Hitchcock looked to pounce.

Chris Day in the hosts’ goal was again on hand to deny County with 15 minutes remaining. Thierry Audel rose highest from a deep cross and nodded downwards towards goal but the ‘keeper did well to turn it around the post.

There was a scare for Notts down the other end soon after, captain Roy Carroll coming for a corner but failing to make contact as it was flicked past him, but wide of the far post.

Stevenage survived a big shout for a penalty with five minutes left of normal time, Liam Noble’s well hit free kick was charged down by the wall, with the County team and bench convinced it had hit a hand, but the referee was unmoved.

The three points were sealed with three minutes left on the clock. Jon Stead turned his marker and drove low towards goal, Day getting a strong hand to the shot but Amevour was on hand to finish the loose ball for a debut goal.

The goal was nothing more than County deserved and ensured the away side started the season with maximum points.

Both sides were reduced to ten men before the final whistle as Amevor and Hitchcock tangled on the sidelines and the referee showed a red card to both players, despite both manager protesting the players’ innocence.

The late drama couldn’t inspire the home team to grab a consolation though and Notts saw out the win to claim all three points.



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