Notts County development squad booked a place in the third round of the Barclay's Under-21 Premier League Cup this afternoon.
The Magpies worked hard and heroic defending was just as much to thank for the 2-1 victory over Coventry Under-21s as the goals. The finishes came either side of the break and ensured Notts progressed, after a trialist had given the Sky Blues the lead.
County could easily have delivered the first blow had it not been for the home goalkeeper, Lee Burge. The stopper produced an outstanding reaction save to deny Ronan Murray at close range, after the striker had connected with Elliot Hodge's near-post cross.
Coventry took the lead through a trialist, following work on the byline by Mathieu Manset. The powerful frontman provided a low cutback to the trialist, who struck powerfully beyond Fabian Spiess.
The hosts should have doubled their lead when the trialist provided a delightful diagonal delivery for Manset. However, the striker was unable to guide his header on target.
This miss proved costly, as shortly before the break Notts were level. From a left-wing Haworth cross, Adam Coombes forced Burge into a reaching parry that allowed Hodge to place home on the rebound from the tightest of angles.
Early into the second period, City thought they had restored their lead, when the trialist centred for Manset, whose finish appeared destined for the bottom corner. On his first game back from a lengthy knee injury, Haydn Hollis came to the rescue with a superb goal-line clearance.
The Magpies had the wind behind them and Spiess' kicks caused the Coventry rearguard countless problems. From one long punt forward, a slip at the back allowed Coombes in on goal and, despite being fouled, the forward stayed on his feet to rifle high into the net.
This was the winning goal and Coombes deserved it on the back of a strong second half showing. Only midfielder Ryan Quinn threatened to take the game into extra time but his late chance saw him place wide of the mark.
Notts now have a home tie with Wolves to look forward to in the next round. Look out for further information, reaction and match highlights here on the official site.
STARTING XI: Spiess, Bennett, Guy, Melvin, Hollis, Holt, Hodge, Dixon, Murray, Coombes, Haworth.
SUBS FROM: Pilkington, McGowan, Geldenhuys, Bange, Waite.
Photographs by Andy and Josh Stokes