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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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28 November 2023 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Report: Notts 3-1 Crawley

McGoldrick, O'Brien and Morias win the night

28 November 2023

We came back from a goal down to secure a dominant victory over Crawley Town at Meadow Lane.

Former Magpie Adam Campbell had given the Red Devils a 10th-minute lead but David McGoldrick's leveller was the platform for Jim O'Brien and Junior Morias to win the game with their first league goals of the season.

Luke Williams made three changes to the side that slipped to defeat at AFC Wimbledon.

Two of those came in defence as Aden Baldwin, back from suspension, joined Lewis Macari in replacing bench-bound pair Connell Rawlinson and Richard Brindley.

The other change saw Sam Austin replace John Bostock in central midfield.

We made a controlled start to the match but were left stunned on 10 minutes when, with their first promising moment of the match, Crawley took the lead when Campbell found the top corner with a 25-yard strike.

Our response came eight minutes later as Dan Crowley fizzed a pass into McGoldrick, only for his first touch to let him down and the ball to run through to Luca Ashby-Hammond.

A couple of nervy moments followed as Macari made an important block to deny Nick Tsaroulla and Sam Slocombe was caught in possession outside his area.

The visitors failed to capitalise on either chance, though, and they were left to rue the fact as we played the ball into the channel for McGoldrick to lob Ashby-Hammond with an excellent left-footed effort from a tricky angle 30 yards out.

Hearts were in mouths again four minutes later when a shot from range escaped Slocombe’s clutches and rolled narrowly wide, before Langstaff sent a spinning shot straight at Ashby-Hammond and a diving header from Nemane’s cross just past the post moments later.

Big chances passed both sides by as half-time neared, Tsaroulla failing to connect properly with a cross under pressure from Nemane before Baldwin couldn’t turn home Jones’ teasing free-kick on the stretch.

We applied plenty of pressure heading into the break, Jones seeing two efforts blocked inside the area before Langstaff’s penalty appeals were waved away as a sprawling defender’s hand appeared to get in the way of his shot.

But the final dangerous moment of the half came at the other end as Macari had to atone for his own indecisive header by making an important last-ditch challenge to deny Tsaroulla a clear shot at goal.

We were forced into a half-time change as the injured Slocombe made way for Aidan Stone – and the keeper was called upon within two minutes as he held on to Tsaroulla’s shot at the second attempt.

Shortly afterwards, we came agonisingly close to taking the lead as Jones raced on to McGoldrick’s through ball and did well to pick out Crowley, who controlled the ball and fired a shot towards the top corner. With Ashby-Hammond in no man’s land, Will Wright appeared from nowhere to block on the line.

And Jones and Crowley combined again moments later with a similar outcome as the former did well to keep the ball in on the byline to supply the latter, his shot this time being blocked by Ben Gladwin.

Frustrations continued as Lawrence Maguire was booked for a rugby tackle on Nemane – an infringement that didn’t prevent the winger from racing into the area, only to be pulled back as the referee blew for the foul.

But we soon shook off our annoyance as Crowley’s delivery picked out the unmarked O’Brien, whose bullet header left Ashby-Hammond with no chance and sparked impassioned celebrations in front of the Kop.

Williams made two changes in the aftermath as Bostock and Morias replaced Austin and McGoldrick, who appeared to be struggling with an arm injury.

And the changes had a perfect impact as Crowley pounced on a mistake in Crawley’s build-up phase to slip Morias into the area and notch his second assist of the match as the forward finished calmly.

Two more changes followed as Adam Chicksen replaced O’Brien in central midfield before Will Randall came on for Nemane down the right.

And Randall will be wondering how he didn’t claim an immediate assist as Morias, perhaps having been impeded by a defender, was unable to turn his drilled low cross into the net inside the six-yard box.

Crawley forced a good save from Stone after a breakdown deep inside our own territory as the clock ticked down, and inside seven added minutes Tsaroulla kissed the crossbar with a cross-shot.

But there was to be no comeback from the Sussex outfit as we ended November with a win.

STARTING XI: Slocombe (Stone 46'); Cameron, Baldwin, Macari; Jones, Nemane (Randall 78'); Austin (Bostock 62'), O'Brien (Chicksen 73'), McGoldrick (Morias 62'), Crowley; Langstaff

SUBS: Rawlinson, Brindley

BOOKINGS: Macari 58'

ATTENDANCE: 7,716 (136)

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