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14 February 2023 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Match Reports

Notts 4-1 Barnet

Langstaff scores twice in rampant second half

14 February 2023

We came back from 1-0 down to end Barnet's three-and-a-half month unbeaten run with a rampant display after the break.

Having conceded a cheap early goal and failed to restore parity before the interval, we turned on the style in the second half with goals from Cedwyn Scott, Adam Chicksen and two from Macaulay Langstaff.

Luke Williams made three changes to the side that emerged victorious from a ferocious clash at Chesterfield three days earlier.

Ruben Rodrigues returned to the starting XI after serving a one-match suspension at the Technique Stadium, slotting into midfield alongside John Bostock as Jim O’Brien and Jodi Jones had to settle for a place on the bench.

The other change came at right wing back, where Tobi Adebayo-Rowling replaced Aaron Nemane – who was rested entirely.

We made a promising start to the match, making some good openings, but gifted our visitors a goal out of the blue on 7 minutes. Kyle Cameron took a free-kick short to Matt Palmer, who in turn played the ball back to Aden Baldwin. His heavy touch presented the ball to Smith and, with Slocombe positioned away from his goal, the striker had the easy task of scoring into an empty net from 20 yards.

An immediate response almost followed as Adam Chicksen nudged Scott clear on goal, only for Laurie Walker to get off his line quickly enough to clear the ball in the nick of time.

And we were cursing Walker again moments later when Rodrigues cut in from the right, skirted the edge of the area and saw a left-footed shot brilliantly saved.

We could, and perhaps should, have been 2-0 down on 23 minutes, though, when in-form front man Nicke Kabamba flicked a low cross over the bar from six yards.

Rodrigues issued our retort 10 minutes later, seeing a well-stuck effort pushed away before, moments later, he curled a 25-yard effort inches wide.

We continued to press for a first-half equaliser and Walker was equal to Scott’s improvised half-volley after Bostock and Cameron had combined to play us into the area.

And the pair linked up again to release Cameron to the byline on the stroke of half-time but there was no-one in the middle to turn home his low cross.

Adebayo-Rowling had suffered a knock early in the match and made way for Jones at half-time in a straight swap at wing back.

But, despite Rodrigues clipping the post with a shot and Palmer being denied by a massive last ditch challenge, the early part of the second half saw our quest for a goal remain unsuccessful.

Shortly before the hour, however, our frustrations were over as we capitalised on the referee allowing play to continue with a Bees man down injured, applying a wave of pressure which saw big handball appeals being waved away from a Bostock shot before Connell Rawlinson’s effort was blocked by one in a wall of defenders.

It looked like the visitors would withstand the pressure and clear the ball but we managed to keep it alive, with it eventually bouncing for Scott to lash it home inside the area.

We kept up our pressure and drew two excellent saves from Walker, who tipped Bostock’s piledriver over before producing keeping Scott’s low shot out.

But the keeper could do nothing to stop us taking the lead with 14 minutes to play when Sam Austin, on for Scott, headed the ball across goal for Chicksen to nod home his 10th of the season from a yard out.

And it was game over five minutes later when Austin controlled Chicksen’s cross and claimed his second assist by laying the ball off for Langstaff, who produced an emphatic finish from 12 yards.

Frank Vincent replaced Chicksen in our final change and the makeshift wing-back made a huge contribution to our fourth goal, crossing for Jones whose curling effort brushed off Langstaff and ended up in the net.

Austin nearly capped a wonderful substitute’s appearance with a goal deep into stoppage time but could only head Vincent’s cross wide from a couple of yards out.

But it wasn’t to matter as we went on to comfortably claim out fifth straight win and extend our lead at the top to five points.

STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron, Baldwin, Rawlinson; Chicksen (Vincent 84'), Adebayo-Rowling (Jones 46'); Palmer, Bostock, Rodrigues; Scott (Austin 75'), Langstaff

SUBS: Bajrami, O'Brien

ATTENDANCE: 6,891 (181)

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