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12 August 2023 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Report: Notts 3-2 Grimsby

Crowley nets stunning winner

12 August 2023

We twice came from behind to beat Grimsby in our first home match back in the EFL.

John Bostock's excellent volley had cancelled out Danny Rose's opener, only for Harry Clifton to put the Mariners back in front against the run of play at the end of the half.

But, after Jodi Jones' deflected cross landed in the net shortly after the restart, he did brilliantly to cross for Dan Crowley to head home the winner.

Luke Williams made one change to the side that suffered defeat on the opening day of the season at Sutton, with Crowley taking Jim O’Brien’s place alongside David McGoldrick behind Macaulay Langstaff.

Aidan Stone, dismissed early on last weekend, reclaimed his spot between the sticks after serving his suspension in the Carabao Cup match against Lincoln in midweek.

Ahead of him were the same back three but in a different formation, with Richard Brindley being flanked by Kyle Cameron to his left and Connell Rawlinson to his right.

Out wide, Jones and Aaron Nemane were given the nod to continue, as were central midfielders Bostock and Matt Palmer.

We claimed the game’s first chance as Jones’ volley from Nemane’s cross was blocked by a defender, sending the ball looping up into the middle. For a moment it looked like Langstaff would get to it, but Jake Eastwood was able to smother the ball.

But it was the visitors who would strike the first blow as Nemane’s backward pass caught Rawlinson cold, leaving Rose free to race into the area and beat Stone with a low finish.

We produced a positive response to the goal, delivering plenty of crosses into the box and seeing a McGoldrick free-kick sail over.

And our pressure told on 40 minutes as Grimsby failed to clear their lines after Langstaff had seen a golden headed opportunity saved following Jones’ cross. Nemane collected the loose ball and delivered an even better, dinked cross into the middle for Bostock who produced a sublime touch before volleying the ball emphatically home.

We were so nearly in front five minutes later as Bostock brilliantly released Jones down the left. His low cross into the area looked like it would be dealt with by the defender but his miscued clearance gave Langstaff a chance to score inside the six-yard box. The forward had to adjust his body quickly, though, and could only send the ball over.

We were well in the ascendancy but, after Palmer had seen a long-range effort pushed wide and Bostock’s deflected effort was saved by a scrambling Eastwood, it looked like we were going to have to settle for stalemate going into the break.

But we were dealt a blow deep inside stoppage time as Cameron couldn’t head a long ball over the top to safety, allowing a dinked pass over our back line to send Clifton through on goal. He produced an emphatic finish beyond Stone to give the visitors an unlikely lead.

We could easily have been back level moments after play resumed as the ball fell at McGoldrick’s feet inside the six-yard box. Agonisingly, he couldn’t get his shot away quickly enough and Eastwood was able to save.

It didn’t take long for us to restore parity after the interval, however – albeit in fortuitous fashion as Jones’ deflected cross looped high over Eastwood and into the net.

And we had a big chance to nudge ourselves in front shortly afterwards when Crowley took the ball into the area from a throw-in and looked certain to lay the ball on a plate for McGoldrick. His pass looked a little slow, though, and McGoldrick could only fire the ball over under pressure from the onrushing defenders.

The visitors then reminded us of their own threat when Rose sent a low shot narrowly wide of Stone’s far post, before Palmer had to make a big block after Clifton had ghosted into space down the left.

But we finally managed to nudge ourselves in front just after the hour – and Jones was heavily involved once again, nutmegging his man and producing a sublime cross for Crowley to head home in front of the Kop.

We could have made it four as full-time neared, Nemane getting into the area from the left before seeing a shot saved.

And, after Toby Mullarkey had skied an effort over from range, we saw the game out to claim our first win of the season.

STARTING XI: Stone; Cameron, Brindley, Rawlinson (Chicksen 82'); Jones (Adebayo 82'), Nemane; Bostock (O'Brien 70'), Palmer, Crowley (Scott 82'), McGoldrick (Austin 73'); Langstaff

UNUSED SUBS: Slocombe, Morias

YELLOWS: Palmer 8', Nemane 45+4', Stone 90', Adebayo 90+34

ATTENDANCE: 12,950 (2,818)

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