Notts County completed their Finnish pre-season tour with a 100 per cent record. Following wins over Kemi Kings and Tervarit Dream team, the Magpies delivered another encouraging performance to beat local top-flight outfit JJK Jyväskylä 2-0.
Notts started well and could have been in front on two occasions within the opening 15 minutes. Francois Zoko provided an excellent cross for Enoch Showunmi to head over and Joss Labadie watched his powerfully driven free-kick kept out by an acrobatic save.
Showunmi threatened again shortly after, when Andy Haworth burst into space and picked out the striker’s run. However, the goalkeeper was equal to the former Tranmere Rovers man’s well-hit shot.
County eventually moved in front in the 39th minute from the penalty spot, after Zoko was tripped inside the area. The Ivorian took on the responsibility himself and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way with a placed finish.
Magpies’ stopper Bartosz Bialkowski was called into action for the first time within 20 seconds of the second half kicking off. A long-range effort by former Lincoln City player Robert Taylor had to be guided behind by the Pole at full reach.
Showunmi got his goal in the 55th minute, following a powerful defensive header by Alan Sheehan, which caught out the home rearguard. The powerful frontman raced clear to cleverly lift over goalkeeper Ville Vilkala and watched the ball dip perfectly under the crossbar – a superb goal.
Substitutions from both sides disrupted the play but Notts maintained most of the possession. One of the new introductions was next to threaten, when Mustapha Dumbuya worked the channel to provide a low cutback that Romello Nangle fired over with his first touch.
There could easily have been a third for the Magpies in the dying stages. A trialist striker tested Viljala with a stern attempt and Nangle was also denied an excellent back-post diving header.
JJK provided a stronger test for Notts but they came through with another dominant performance. Chris Kiwomya’s men face arguably their toughest fixture of the pre-season schedule on Tuesday with a home clash against Galatasary.
Look out for JJK match highlights and post-match reaction on Magpie Player from Thursday. Check back to this page for the match gallery soon.
Starting 11: Bialkowski, Dumbuya, Leacock, Liddle, Sheehan, Labadie, Trialist, Haworth, Campbell-Ryce, Zoko, Showunmi.
Subs From: Pilkington, Pearce, Smith, Thompson, Nangle, Waite, Trialist, Trialist, Tempest, Hollis.