Notts County performed in front of the home faithful for the first time this pre-season in a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Championship Derby County on a rainy afternoon at Meadow Lane.
The Rams narrowly missed out on a place in the Premier League last term and provided arguably the Magpies’ toughest challenge as part of the preparations for the 2014.15 campaign.
The workout proved to be massively worthwhile for Notts and plenty of positives were taken out of the game by the management team.
County opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a spectacular goal from trialist Elliott Whitehouse.
The midfielder won possession on the edge of the Derby box, before beating a man and rifling home via the under-side of the crossbar.
The lead lasted 10 minutes, as the Rams levelled following a sharp passing move in the final third.
Chris Martin was played into the area by Johnny Russell and the striker made no mistake with a cool finish in the bottom corner.
Six minutes into the second half, Derby gained the lead from the penalty spot after Simon Dawkins was seen to be tripped inside the box.
Martin’s resulting penalty left Fabian Spiess with no chance, as he drove the ball ferociously inside the right-hand post.
Martin completed his hat-trick in the 76th minute with a powerful drive that was made possible by a Jeff Hendrick cutback.
Regardless of the scoreline, Notts performed well for the majority of the game and progress is certainly being made in the build-up to the opening day trip to Deepdale.
The Magpies did suffer a blow during the 90, as Kyle Dixon limped off injured in the opening stages, though the seriousness of the knock is still to be determined.
Full Time Score: Notts County 1-3 Derby County
Notts County Starting 11: Spiess, Dixon, Adams, Smith, Mullins, Hollis, Ismail, Noble, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.
Subs From: Andrews, McKenzie, Murray, Wroe, Waite, Trialist, Balmy, Keane, Tempest, McGowan.
Derby County Starting 11: Roos, Christie, Forsyth, Bryson, Buxton, Keogh, Dawkins, Hendrick, Martin, Hughes, Russell.
Subs From: Naylor, Etheridge, Ward, O’Brien, Hanson, Eustace, Sammon, Freeman, Toure.
Look out for post-match reaction and highlights on Magpie Player.