Notts County stormed back in the second half to draw their final pre-season friendly 2-2...
Notts County stormed back in the second half to draw their final pre-season friendly 2-2 against Nottingham Forest at Meadow Lane.
The visitors went into the break 2-0 up after scoring twice in quick succession from David McGoldrick neat finish and Lewis McGugan’s penalty.
But the Magpies rallied after the break with a superb free-kick from Alan Judge and substitue Yoann Arquin’s low drive to equalise.
The Magpies initially had started well and looked comfortable in possession, twice going close from deflected efforts from Alan Judge and Lee Hughes.
Moments later it was left-back Alan Sheehan who had space to look up and curl a shot over the back from outside the box.
But it was Nottingham Forest that took the lead on 10 minutes from former Magpie McGoldrick.
A delightful flick from Marcus Tudgay started the move that set up Robbie Findlay who raced into the box to draw Notts keeper Bartosz Bialkowski out and set up McGoldrick with a simple task of finding the net.
Things got bad for worse for the home side when former Forest player Hamza Bencherif brought down Findley for a penalty after he was adjudged of bringing the American down.
Midfielder McGugan stepped up and converted from the spot to double the lead.
Notts tried to respond quickly, but Jeff Hughes’ shot from long-range didn’t trouble Lee Camp.
Notts showed glimpses of their pre-season work after Bishop and Jeff Hughes combined to create space for Alan Judge to deliver a fantastic cross, but Lee Hughes couldn’t quite get his head to it.
And it was Sheehan who went closest for Notts in the final stages of the half with a low powerful shot that narrowly missed the far-post.
Again Forest looked dangerous, McGoldrick stinging the palms of Bialkowski with a vicious long-range effort that he did well to avert away from goal to keep the score down.
Notts made a number of half-time changes including the introduction of Francois Zoko who made his debut for the club after signing from Carlisle United last week.
Polish keeper Bialkowski was again in the thick of the action, denying McGoldrick again, this time from close range.
The best chance for the home side to get on the scoresheet came when Lee Hughes broke the offside trap on the far side and put the ball on the plate for birthday boy Neal Bishop to slot home, but his shot went over the bar.
Notts did find the back of the net shortly after though. Zoko earnt Notts a free-kick that gave Judge a chance to curl home a beautiful free-kick from 25-yards to reduce the arrears.
The half-time switches certainly made a huge impression and was Manny Smith’s header at the back post that was brilliantly saved by replacement goalkeeper Karl Darlow. Seconds later Notts did have their equaliser as substitute Arquin slotted brilliantly low into the corner.
The changes spurred Notts into life as again Zoko caused a whole heap of problems. He unleashed a shot that cannoned off Alan Judge.
It was another sub Fuentes who nearly scored the winner. Enoch Showunmi some how managed to keep the ball in play and help into the box and the French trialist volleyed just over the bar with five minutes to go.
And it was Showunmi who nearly became the hero as he ran through the Forest defence, only to be brought down deliberately as the final whistle was blown.
Notts: Bialkowski (Spiess), Regan (Boucaud), Bencherif (Smith), Williams, Sheehan, Mahon (Labadie), Bishop, Liddle (Arquin), J Hughes (Zoko - Fuentes), L Hughes (Showunmi), Judge (Kelly).