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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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23 September 2023 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Report: Notts 4-3 Forest Green

Three points on dramatic day

23 September 2023

Goals from Dan Crowley, Macaulay Langstaff, John Bostock and David McGoldrick were enough to earn us victory on a dramatic afternoon at Meadow Lane.

Crowley and Langstaff sent us into the break ahead following a good first-half showing, only for Troy Deeney to punish our slow start to the second with two goals to equalise.

We restored our two-goal cushion almost immediately through Bostock and McGoldrick - but it still wasn't plain sailing from there as Deeney scored his hat-trick from the penalty spot to set up a nervy finale.

Following last week’s excellent win at Salford, our only changes for this match came in the wing back areas.

Jodi Jones, who had to settle for a place on the bench in Greater Manchester having only recently returned from his international exploits with Malta, stepped in for Aaron Nemane as he served his one-match suspension following his dismissal against the Ammies.

Sam Austin had been given the nod to fill the gap left by Jones down the left at Salford and he switched to the right for this one, with Tobi Adebayo fit enough to make the bench.

Our Friday-night matchwinners Crowley and McGoldrick continued behind Langstaff, while goalkeeper Aidan Stone, along with defenders Kyle Cameron, Richard Brindley and Aden Baldwin, were targeting a second successive clean sheet.

Langstaff had two sighters in the game’s early exchanges, receiving lovely through balls from Palmer and McGoldrick but being forced wide on both occasions and seeing his first effort blocked, and the second flash well wide of the far post.

The visitors had their first real sight of goal on 15 minutes when Brindley was forced into a crucial intervention after Cameron had been dispossessed deep inside his own territory, clearing Rovers’ low cross to safety.

And, three minutes later, we were ahead when Crowley ghosted into the area unmarked to reach Jones’ excellent cross, heading the ball against the inside of the post and into the net.

We continued to enjoy steady control of the game after the breakthrough and had a second goal on 37 minutes. The supply came from the same area of the pitch but from McGoldrick this time, with Langstaff turning another sensational delivery home on the volley with his outstretched foot.

It was so nearly three as half-time loomed, Jones’ excellent free-kick being pushed wide by Luke Daniels at the base of his post, but in the end we had to settle for a two-goal lead heading into the break.

It was looking set to be another comfortable afternoon at Meadow Lane – but an uncharacteristically sluggish start to the second half handed the visitors a way back into the game as a sloppily-conceded corner allowed McAllister to supply Deeney in the area. He was able to fend off Brindley, turn and finish low beyond Stone to halve the deficit.

Williams responded immediately, sending Adebayo on for Austin – and it proved an inspired decision as, three minutes later, the substitute was heavily involved as we retook the lead with our first bright moment of the second half. Crowley was the architect, picking the perfect moment to release Adebayo to the byline, with Bostock first to the loose ball after the wing back’s low cut-back was parried into the middle of the area. On his weaker right foot, he made no mistake with the finish.

And incredibly, three minutes later, our two-goal lead was restored as Langstaff did well to release Jones down the left on the break. Jones carried the ball gracefully into Rovers territory before playing the perfect ball for McGoldrick, who took a touch before applying a superb finish.

Bostock and Baldwin made way for Jim O’Brien and Connell Rawlinson shortly afterwards – but the latter was involved in a moment which jeopardised our advantage when he was adjudged to have fouled an opponent in our penalty area.

Deeney seized the opportunity to halve the deficit once again, smashing his penalty straight down the middle to give his side hope once again.

We rallied well, Langstaff sending an attempted lob wide before McGoldrick fired wide and forced a good save from the visiting goalkeeper.

There was to be one more threatening moment from Deeney, who looped a header off the crossbar in the first of six added minutes.

But in the end there was no way back for the visitors as we stretched our unbeaten run to eight matches and climbed back to the top of the table.

STARTING XI: Stone; Cameron, Brindley, Baldwin (Rawlinson 70'); Jones (Chicksen 90+5’), Austin (Adebayo 62’); Bostock (O'Brien 70'), Palmer, McGoldrick, Crowley; Langstaff

UNUSED SUBS: Slocombe, Randall, Morias

BOOKINGS: Cameron 43', McGoldrick 89’, Adebayo 90+6

ATTENDANCE: 10,648 (236)

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