Match report from the development squad's win over Doncaster Rovers...
An cool Adam Coombes finish and a Ronan Murray brace saw Notts County development squad book a place in the second round of the FA Premier League Under-21 Cup. Notts were impressive over 90 minutes and could have scored more in their 3-0 win over their Doncaster Rovers counterparts.
The Magpies deservedly went into the break a goal to the good, after a collection of first half opportunities. Malcolm Melvin found space for County's first opening, when he pulled away from his marker to head Coombes’ chipped centre wide of the left-hand post.
The energetic midfielder was presented with another chance, when Romello Nangle tricked his way into the box, only to be tripped. Play was waved on and Melvin’s low strike was deflected wide.
Greg Tempest came even closer with a stunning 25-yard hit that clipped the crossbar. The Northern Ireland Under-21 international was then involved in Notts' next attempt with a well-placed corner into the six-yard box, but centre-back Jordan Holt's header bounced narrowly wide of the left-hand post.
Following more great work by Nangle, Murray watched a low drive crash into the side netting, though he did not have to wait much longer to get onto the scoresheet. A superb 40-yard, defence-splitting pass by Melvin set the forward free and he made no mistake in placing inside the right-hand post.
Nangle continued to look a threat after the break and danced past four Rovers defenders before striking at the goalkeeper. Moments later, another penetrating forward run, this time by Coombes, led to County’s first penalty of the match.
Coombes was upended and opted to take on the spotkick himself. However, the crossbar kept out his finish from 12 yards.
The former Chelsea striker soon made amends with an excellent prodded finish from the corner of the six-yard box. This followed incisive work in the final third by both Melvin and Kyle Dixon.
The Notts defence was rarely troubled but Nathan Thomas in the home attack forced Fabian Spiess into a low save and, moments later, drilled wide. Harry Middleton and substitute Jacob Dawson also tested Spiess from range, though the German stopper made easy work of both efforts.
There were no surprises when Steve Hodge’s team added a third late on, after Murray was tripped inside the area. The former Ipswich forward dusted himself off and placed down the middle to diminish all hopes of a Doncaster revival and confirmed the Magpies’ second round fixture away at Coventry City.
Notts County Starting XI: Spiess, Thompson, Holt, Bennett, Guy, Melvin, Dixon, Tempest, Murray, Nangle, Coombes.
Subs From: Waite, Lavelle-Moore, Balmy, Hodge, Golding.