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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:00 12th December 2015
By  Notts Media Team

2-0 Down, 4-3 Up!

Liam Noble struck an injury-time winner as Notts County produced a superb comeback to beat Newport County AFC 4-3 at Meadow Lane.

The Magpies fell behind early on as Mark Byrne's 25-yard free-kick found the top corner and that lead was doubled when Alex Rodman smashed in from close range after 10 minutes.

Liam Noble brought County back into the game after a mistake by visiting goalkeeper Joe Day and Notts came close to levelling as Adam Campbell and then Noble both hit the woodwork.

However, Ricardo Moniz's team were level before half-time as Izale McLeod slid in to divert Campbell's cross at the back post.

It looked as though McLeod was going to be the hero of the day, heading past the goalkeeper from a superb cross by Jon Stead to put County 3-2 up with 20 minutes remaining.

But the visitors had other ideas and probably thought they had saved a point when Scott Boden squeezed a shot past Roy Carroll after Notts failed to clear a corner.

However, Noble stepped up in stoppage time to sweep a shot into the bottom corner to spark scenes of jubilation as Notts continued to entertain - and win - at home.

Moniz made three changes to the side which was beaten 3-1 at Cambridge United a fortnight ago. Civard Sprockel, Curtis Thompson and Jon Stead came into the team for Mike Edwards, Alan Smith and Genaro Snijders.

Day had nervously mis-kicked an early clearance but the nerves were banished as Newport took the lead with their first shot on goal.

A foul by Sprockel on Lenell John-Lewis gave Byrne a shooting chance from 25 yards with a free-kick and he took the effort with aplomb, curling into the top corner past the outstretched hand of Carroll.

The visitors wasted a chance to double their lead as central defender Janoi Donacien put a free header over the bar from a Byrne corner.

However, they scored again with their next attack. A neat interchange of passing created time and space for Rodman, who took a touch before lashing past Carroll into the roof of the net.

Sprockel came close to pulling a goal back but saw his goalbound shot blocked behind by Matt Partridge after the Exiles failed to clear their lines from Graham Burke's free-kick.

Burke then brought a sprawling save from Day with a 30-yard strike which skimmed off the wet surface. At the other end, Medy Elito could have increased the advantage, but put his effort a whisker wide of the post.

The game turned on that missed opportunity as Notts rallied and got themselves back into the contest with the conditions playing a part.

A short backpass by Andrew Hughes almost let Campbell in on goal but the striker slipped and the chance had seemingly gone. However, Day spilled the ball as he slid to collect it and it fell straight for Noble, who dribbled around the goalkeeper and poked the ball home.

Notts had turned the momentum in their favour and Burke thought he was going to equalise but his fierce drive from the edge of the penalty area was superbly tipped wide by Day.

Campbell then hit the post with a curling effort from 14 yards as Moniz's team laid siege to the visiting goal looking to haul themselves level before half-time.

They found the equalising goal when McLeod drew a foul from Partridge, who was booked, and Noble crashed the free-kick against woodwork. The ball came back into play and Campbell's deep cross was perfect for McLeod to slide in at the back post to convert.

Stead headed Thierry Audel's cross straight at Day as the home side continued to dominate but went into the break at 2-2.

The second half started in the same way that the first had ended - with Notts on the attack. Stead swept a shot across goal and wide of the far post and Thompson smashed off-target from 20 yards.

After 53 minutes, home fans got their first glimpse of Rob Milsom in competitive action as the former Rotherham man replaced Sprockel.

McLeod raced behind the defence and pulled the ball back for strike-partner Stead, who could only fire over the bar.

Elliott Hewitt was forced off with an injury shortly after the hour mark; Mawouna Amevor came on for the former Ipswich Town man to slot in at right back.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, Notts completed the turnaround and took the lead for the first time.

Stead had space on the right wing to whip in a cross and found McLeod on the six-yard box, who stooped to head past Day for his second goal of the afternoon and seventh of the season.

Visiting substitute Boden came close to making it 3-3, but a slight deflection from Audel turned the ball around the post.

From the corner the striker did get himself a goal, turning in from close range as Notts failed to get rid of a goalmouth scramble.

Campbell scampered away to get onto a pass from Burke but Day was quickly off his line to smother the shot.

Ronan Murray, on for Burke, almost won it as the game entered six minutes of stoppage time as he twisted and turned inside the area before side-footing agonisingly wide.

There was one final chance as Newport struggled to clear their lines. Murray was a nuisance and won the ball back and Stead squared for Noble who slotted into the bottom corner to send Meadow Lane berserk.

Notts: Carroll; Hewitt (Amevor, 63), Sprockel (Milsom, 53), Sheehan, Audel; Campbell, Noble, Thompson, Burke (Murray, 86); Stead, McLeod.
Subs not used: Loach, Smith, Jenner, Spencer.

Attendance: 4,105 (380 away)

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