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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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24 October 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 3-0 Newport

Langstaff and Crowley score on comfortable night

24 October 2023

Macaulay Langstaff added two goals to Dan Crowley's opener on a dominant night at Meadow Lane.

The pair had us 2-0 up at the break and Langstaff scored our third early in the second period to secure a hat-trick of assists for the sensational Jodi Jones.

With several injuries and suspensions to contend with, Luke Williams was forced to shuffle his pack – but not in goal, where Sam Slocombe made his 150th appearance for the club.

His back three were Connell Rawlinson, Aden Baldwin and Lewis Macari, the latter making his first ever start in the EFL after his match-winning performance off the bench at Gillingham.

Sam Austin partnered Matt Palmer in midfield, while Junior Morias was handed his first league start for the club alongside Crowley in a more advanced central role.

Jones and Tobi Adebayo continued on the flanks, with Langstaff occupying his usual striker’s berth.

After the first minute of the match saw Baldwin called upon to make an important block before Slocombe saved low down from league top scorer Will Evans, we settled into the match and created our first chance on seven minutes.

It came when Adebayo was released down the right-hand side. His cross was just too high for Langstaff, whose attempted header saw the ball fall for Jones inside the area. He could only scuff his effort into the turf but we managed to keep the move alive, working the ball back to Langstaff on the edge of the area. His left-footed shot was comfortably held by Nick Townsend.

Jones was the next to draw a simple save from Townsend, trying his luck from a difficult angle after a surging run down the left.

We were well in control at this point and created another opportunity for Langstaff on 20 minutes courtesy of lovely interplay between Morias and Jones, the former sending the latter into the area with a deft flick. Jones played the ball to Langstaff but a defender was able to get in front of his shot, sending the ball looping over.

A minute later we came agonisingly close to taking the lead as Crowley wriggled to the byline and, with his options marked in the middle, he sent a low shot across goal and just wide of the post.

Crowley wasn’t to be denied much longer, though, as lovely feet from Jones saw him cut into the area from the left and spot the clever movement of Crowley into a pocket of space. He demonstrated excellent composure to choose the perfect moment to place the ball into Townsend’s bottom corner.

A sombre moment followed as Josh Seberry was stretchered off after a lengthy stoppage - and it got worse for the visitors shortly after the restart as we doubled our lead.

Again Jones was instrumental, cutting back on to his right foot near the byline and standing a cross up for Langstaff. The forward had almost too much time to think about his free header, which was blocked by a defender, but he slid in to score on the rebound.

We came within inches of a third goal moments later as Jones rode two cynical challenges to complete an excellent run with a dangerous low cross, which the sliding Morias could only turn over the bar from close range.

And Morias had another big chance with virtually the last kick of the half as Adebayo’s half-cleared cross came to him just inside the area. He had time to take a touch but decided to hit it first time, sending the ball over.

We emerged for the second half unchanged and continued to dominate, Langstaff hitting the bar with a shot on the turn.

But our number nine had his second three minutes later thanks to another brilliant low cross from Jones, which Langstaff met perfectly with a close-range finish.

Morias made way for Nemane in the aftermath and we passed up a good opportunity to make it four shortly afterwards, Langstaff being denied a likely hat-trick after Adebayo overhit his pass following Crowley’s excellent through ball.

Newport had barely threatened all evening but did so twice in quick succession on 65 minutes, drawing a block from Baldwin before Evans sent an excellent chance over from eight yards.

Williams then made a triple substitution, sending Will Randall, Jim O’Brien and Ollie Tipton into the fray in place of Crowley, Palmer and Rawlinson. That meant O’Brien, like Slocombe, racked up his 150th appearance for the club – and for Randall and Tipton it was their first league appearance in black and white.

Omar Bogle will have felt he should have done better on 72 minutes, cutting on to his right foot in the area but failing to properly test Slocombe, but any danger of an unlikely comeback was so nearly quashed three minutes later when Matt Baker made a heroic intervention to divert Langstaff’s effort wide.

Newport’s defenders will then have been breathing a sigh of relief to see Jones substituted to a standing ovation. Youngster Madou Cisse replaced him down the left and went on to show plenty of promise as we continued to control the match.

Langstaff was still on the prowl for his third and had a penalty appeal waved away on 81 minutes when Newport failed to deal with a looping ball forward, allowing the number nine into the area. He went down under a combined challenge from goalkeeper and defender but the referee was unmoved.

And the Teessider’s final opportunity to notch his first ever EFL hat-trick would pass him by with two minutes remaining, his attempted lob sailing high over the bar.

It wasn’t to matter, though, as we saw out the rest of the match comfortably to claim an impressive win and clean sheet.

STARTING XI: Slocombe; Rawlinson (Tipton 66'), Baldwin, Macari; Jones (Cisse 75'), Adebayo; Austin, Palmer (O'Brien 67'), Crowley (Randall 67'), Morias (Nemane 57'); Langstaff

UNUSED SUBS: Stone, Mahovo

ATTENDANCE: 8,095 (198)

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