Notts County opened the pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw away at non-league Buxton in a match that saw Keith Curle field different sides either side of the break. It was a good workout for his squad and allowed the manager to run the rule over a number of trialists.
The Magpies had the better of the first half chances and grew in confidence as the players dusted off the cobwebs of the summer break. Enoch Showunmi, Alan Judge
and Yoann Arquin came closest for Notts but the match remained goalless at the break.
Last season's top scorer Jeff Hughes was the first to threaten, stinging the palms of home stopper Steve Collis inside the first 10 minutes. Buxton came close themselves in the early stages, as imposing centre-back Marc Roberts cleared the bar with a strong header from a corner.
Bartosz Bialkowski later had to make a reaching parry to prevent hosts' skipper Steve Istead from finding the bottom corner with a long-range hit. As Buxton maintained the danger, frontman Marc Reed touched over on the edge of the six-yard box.
Arquin, who looked looked lively throughout the opening 45, thought he had opened the scoring with a thunderous hit that rattled the crossbar. Showunmi also prodded agonisingly wide after being set free and Judge came close with a free-kick, which he curled inches high of the top-right corner.
Following wholesale changes at half time, Tyrell Waite created a chance for Julian Kelly with some fine work down the left, only his cross was poked wide by the defender at the back post. Buxton were able to move in front shortly after when they were awarded a penalty, which Roberts confidently converted, sending Liam Mitchell the wrong way.
Trialist striker Michael Phoenix had the ball in the back of the net for County when the Buxton rearguard failed to clear Gary Liddle's free-kick. However, the assistant referee ruled out the equalizer for offside.
Liddle felt that he should have been awarded a penalty after he was sent tumbling inside the area late on but Notts had to wait until added time for a chance from the spot. This came because of a deliberate handball and Alan Sheehan drove down the centre of the goal to make it 1-1.
First Half Team: Bialkowski, Regan, Williams, Labadie, Smith, Leacock, Arquin, Boucard, Showunmi, Judge, J Hughes.
Second Half Team: Mitchell, Kelly, Sheehan, Bishop, Bencherif, Jones, Waite, Liddle, Phoenix, Raymond, Fuentes.
The Notts County XI that faced Ilkeston FC at the New Manor Ground came away as 2-1 winners.