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04 November 2023 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Reports

Report: Notts 3-2 Crawley

Victory in exciting cup tie

4 November 2023

Goals from Dan Crowley, David McGoldrick and Macaulay Langstaff saw us emerge victorious from an exciting Emirates FA Cup first-round tie.

We had gone behind to an early Danilo Orsi goal but turned the game on its head through Crowley and McGoldrick either side of the break.

Orsi pegged the game back to 2-2 but Langstaff came off the bench to win it.

With Matt Palmer joining our lengthy injury list after being ruled out for the season, Luke Williams’ squad was stretched to the limit coming into the game.

Nevertheless, it was a strong starting line-up with Aidan Stone returning between the sticks and being guarded by a back three of Connell Rawlinson, Aden Baldwin and Lewis Macari.

In midfield, Sam Austin partnered Jim O’Brien behind the more attack-minded central duo of Aaron Nemane and Crowley.

And up front, McGoldrick was the man looking to get on the end of Jodi Jones and Tobi Adebayo’s delivery from out wide.

We were only able to name five of a possible nine substitutes as youngsters Charlie Gill and Madou Cisse were once again called upon to bolster the bench alongside Sam Slocombe, Ollie Tipton and Langstaff.

On a soaking-wet afternoon, we were treading water inside three minutes as the visitors took the lead through Orsi, who turned the ball home after hitting the post with his initial shot.

Crawley then twice went close to doubling their lead, Liam Kelly firing wide and Nick Tsaroulla nodding the ball off-target as our sluggish start continued.

We began to settle into the game, though, and were back on terms on 12 minutes when McGoldrick did well to nudge Adebayo’s cross into the middle from the byline, allowing Crowley a simple close-range finish.

The sides then traded blows as Stone pushed a Laurence Maguire shot wide before Adebayo’s cross-shot skidded just past the far post.

But we were then relieved to emerge unscathed from three opportunities in quick succession for Klaidi Lolos, who dragged one shot wide and saw a tame effort easily saved before a well-struck effort was soundly blocked by Stone.

We responded with a McGoldrick effort which deflected wide as we began to reclaim some control of the game.

And we could have been ahead when Adebayo produced an excellent first-time cross for Crowley as half-time neared. With the surface so slippy and a defender close by, though, he couldn’t get his effort on target.

The final notable incident of the first half saw O’Brien send a speculative effort well over the bar - but we were able to continue our threat after the break, Luca Ashby-Hammond pushing McGoldrick’s shot away before, seconds later, making a spectacular save to keep Crowley’s curling effort out.

Lolos wasn’t to be silenced, though, and must have surely thought he was going to finally break his deadlock when he raced through on goal minutes later. Baldwin showed incredible recovery pace to make an important initial challenge, however, before blocking the follow-up effort.

Our first change followed as Adebayo made way for Tipton, the Wolves loanee slotting into midfield, Austin into a more advanced role and Nemane out wide.

And not long afterwards we were in the lead as Crowley claimed an assist to add to his goal. It came in the shape of a perfectly-weighted through ball for McGoldrick, who showed tremendous feet and composure to finish at the perfect moment.

We looked well in control of the game at this point but couldn’t hold on to our lead for long as Kellan Gordon’s cross beat Stone low down and was turned home by Orsi for his second.

And, after O’Brien had made way for Langstaff in a move which saw McGoldrick drop deeper, we were perhaps fortunate not to go behind as Gordon could only fire the ball over with an excellent shooting opportunity inside the area.

The game’s topsy-turvy nature showed no sign of changing and, sure enough, we struck the next blow as McGoldrick turned provider this time, ghosting into space on the edge of the area and producing the perfect low cross for Langstaff to slide in and score.

Orsi, on a hat-trick, fired a long-range effort narrowly wide as the Sussex side threatened to draw us in again with the clock ticking down.

We finished the game with both Cisse and Gill on the pitch as they replaced Crowley and Nemane with five minutes to go.

And we had Stone to thank for a big save with two minutes of normal time remaining, as he kept Travis Johnson's header out.

But, inside the sixth of seven added minutes, we claimed the game's last big chance as Langstaff won the ball back deep in Crawley territory before drawing another stunning save from Ashby-Hammond, who pushed his shot on to the post to ensure his side didn't fall further behind.

STARTING XI: Stone; Rawlinson, Baldwin, Macari; Jones, Adebayo (Tipton 53'); O'Brien (Langstaff 69'), Austin, Crowley (Cisse 85'), Nemane (Gill 85'); McGoldrick

UNUSED SUBS: Slocombe

BOOKINGS: O'Brien 57'. Nemane 61', Baldwin 70', Tipton 90+6'

ATTENDANCE: 3,952 (271)

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