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02 September 2023 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Report: Notts 3-1 Accrington

Langstaff and Crowley send us top

2 September 2023

Macaulay Langstaff produced two sensational second-half finishes to secure us victory over Accrington Stanley.

Dan Crowley had given us the lead early in the first half with a well-taken header, only to see us pegged back with another headed effort from Josh Andrews.

But Langstaff proved to be the difference in a closely-contested match as, after seeing a couple of big chances pass him by, he scored two excellent goals to fire us to the top of the fledgling Sky Bet League Two table.

Luke Williams stuck with the same squad that beat Tranmere last weekend, with the exception of the injured Cedwyn Scott who was replaced on the bench by Junior Morias.

Scott’s former Gateshead team-mate Langstaff spearheaded our attack as usual, with David McGoldrick and Crowley supporting him from midfield.

Jodi Jones and Aaron Nemane supplied ammunition from the wings, with dependable duo Matt Palmer and John Bostock shielding a back three of Kyle Cameron, Richard Brindley and last weekend’s goalscoring hero Connell Rawlinson.

Aidan Stone continued in goal but had a nervy moment inside three minutes as he fumbled a cross, recovering just in time to prevent Shaun Whalley from capitalising inside the six-yard box.

But that was soon forgotten as, on seven minutes, we had the lead when Jones’ excellent cross from the left was met with an equally good header from Crowley in front of the Family Stand.

Our visitors saw a couple of half-chances pass them by before McGoldrick ghosted past a defender and shot straight at Toby Savin with 24 minutes on the clock.

But we had nothing to show for our bright start to the match shortly afterwards as Accrington won a free-kick down the left, which Whalley whipped in for Andrews to send a looping header into the net.

We weren’t enjoying the same control of the game as in the early part of the half and had to wait until the 40th minute for our next effort of note, Palmer rolling a short free-kick to Bostock whose low, curling shot was blocked.

Five minutes were added on at the end of the half and, in the second, an uncharacteristic mistake from Palmer allowed Andrews to bulldoze his way clear through on Stone. The keeper stood firm to make an excellent save with his feet, ensuring we went into the break level.

We emerged for the second half unchanged and came out of the traps quickly, Jones crossing into the side-netting when he should have done much better, moments before a defender got a crucial touch on Langstaff’s shot to divert the ball over following Crowley’s incisive pass.

And Langstaff was denied again shortly afterwards, nipping in ahead of a defender to control McGoldrick’s low cross but seeing his finish brilliantly turned wide by Savin.

It looked like it wasn’t going to be our number nine’s day until the match reached the 64th minute, when he did brilliantly to work the ball on to his left foot inside the area before dinking the perfect finish into the top corner in front of the Kop.

There were nervy moments immediately after the restart as Whalley saw a shot blocked before nearly turning the ball home after Stone got his hand to a looping header across goal. Thankfully, there was just too much pace on the ball to carry it behind.

Williams made two changes shortly after, Rawlinson and McGoldrick making way for Aden Baldwin and Adam Chicksen.

But neither could do anything to prevent a sloppy moment from Stone shortly afterwards, however, as his hospital ball into Palmer saw Ben Woods win possession on the edge of our area. Stone atoned for the error with a brilliant save, before seeing a glancing header over from the subsequent corner.

Two more changes followed as Tobi Adebayo and Sam Austin came on for Nemane and McGoldrick  with 10 minutes to play.

And any fears of a close finish were put to bed in the 90th minute as Langstaff, who had been limping after taking a few sore knocks, found the strength to take Palmer’s excellent pass in his stride before producing a sumptuous lob to wrap up the points.

STARTING XI: Stone; Cameron, Brindley, Rawlinson (Baldwin 68'); Jones, Nemane (Adebayo 80'); Bostock, Palmer, McGoldrick (Chicksen 71'), Crowley (Austin 80'); Langstaff

UNUSED SUBS: Slocombe, O'Brien, Morias

BOOKINGS: Jones 22', Nemane 61', Adebayo 90+5', Brindley 90+5'

ATTENDANCE: 9,846 (244 away)

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