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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

16 February 2021 Venue The Walks Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Match Reports

King's Lynn 0-1 Notts

Reeves' worldie wins it

16 February 2021

An incredible second-half strike from Jake Reeves was enough to win a closely-contested away match at King's Lynn Town.

It was a real Goal of the Season contender from the midfielder, whose 30-yard strike dipped and swerved its way across goal and into the top corner.

We had league debutant Luke Pilling to thank for some excellent saves on an evening when the hosts had some good chances to score.

But we left with our clean sheet intact as we recorded a fourth straight league win.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Neal Ardley named an unchanged outfield team following our 10-man heroics against Dagenham & Redbridge.

The only change was a forced one between the sticks, with Sam Slocombe serving the first of a three-game suspension following his dismissal against the Daggers.

Michael Doyle, who deputised for Slocombe superbly in that match, lined up alongside Reeves in a much more familiar central midfield berth with Ruben Rodrigues and Enzio Boldewijn looking to supply Jimmy Knowles and Kyle Wootton from the wide positions.

In defence, Jordan Barnett’s impressive start in a Notts shirt meant he kept his place at left back, while Dion Kelly-Evans continued on the other side.

The ever-dependable Alex Lacey and Connell Rawlinson were our central defensive pair and we had a strong bench to choose from, too, with Ben Turner, Jim O’Brien, Inih Effiong, Elisha Sam and Calvin Miller waiting in the wings.

Rodrigues produced what Ardley called the ‘most complete performance’ of his Notts career to date against Dagenham and the Portuguese playmaker had a big chance to build on that display when Kelly-Evans picked him out with a good cross from the right eight minutes in. Rodrigues mistimed his header, though, sending the ball down into the sodden turf and into the grateful grasp of Archie Mair.

We were enjoying the vast majority of possession but it was from a set piece that we next went close, Barnett sending a 20-yard free-kick just wide.

Pilling was called into action for the first time shortly afterwards, getting down to deal with a Sonny Carey shot which had been partially blocked by Rawlinson.

And the big defender nearly had a big impact at the other end when he sent a looping header goalwards from Barnett’s corner and watched on as Wootton rose highest from a crowd of bodies near the goal line only to send the ball off-target.

For all our dominance, though, the hosts had the best chances of the half shortly before the interval.

Two openings presented themselves to Kairo Mitchell following rare defensive lapses, with the forward dragging a shot wide from inside the area before, minutes later, he saw Pilling tip his shot behind at the near post. There was a scare from the subsequent corner, too, when Lacey had to head an effort off the line to ensure the half ended goalless.

The few in attendance at the Walks didn’t have to wait too much longer for the opener, though, and it was served up in sensational style by Reeves within 10 minutes of the restart.

We could have made it 2-0 shortly after the hour when Knowles used his blistering pace to get past a defender and into the area, only to see his dangerous low cross go wide of the far post without a telling touch in the middle. That proved to be Knowles’ final action of note as he made way for Miller.

Boldewijn saw an effort blocked before King’s Lynn substitute Michael Gash twice went close to getting his side back on level terms, seeing a well-struck low effort brilliantly saved by Pilling before watching a cross-shot flash through a crowd of bodies and wide.

The hosts were applying plenty of pressure and Ardley’s response was to send on Turner and Effiong for Rodrigues and Boldewijn.

And we nearly doubled our lead shortly afterwards when Barnett delivered a dangerous free-kick into the area which somehow evaded everyone.

That proved to be only temporary relief from the pressure imparted on us by our hosts, who saw another substitute in Alex Kiwomya miss another good chance as he spooned a 12-yard effort over the bar in the final minute of normal time.

Five additional minutes were then indicated and, thankfully, they passed without further incident as we rose to third in the league table.

Notts starting XI: Pilling; Kelly-Evans, Lacey, Rawlinson, Brindley; Boldewijn (Effiong 83'), Doyle (c), Reeves, Rodrigues (Turner 83'); Knowles (Miller 69'), Wootton

Unused subs: O'Brien, Effiong, Sam

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