Goals from Stephen McLaughlin and Ronan Murray helped the Magpies to a 2-1 win over Scunthorpe United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The win at Glanford Park sees Notts go eight unbeaten in all competitions.
The home side did take the lead through Paddy Madden following a slip from Blair Adams, but a great strike from Stephen McLaughlin and a lovely chip from Ronan Murray claimed victory for the visitors.
Magpies’ manager Shaun Derry made six changes to the side that claimed three points on Saturday after defeating Gillingham 1-0 at Meadow Lane. Drissa Traore was amongst those six, as he made his first start for the club following his move to Notts on deadline day.
Also in the line-up were C Thompson, Ismail, Murray, Smith and Spiess; replacing Carroll, G Thompson, Dumbuya, Cassidy, Jones and Noble. Carroll and Dumbuya being away on international duty, whilst Noble was suspended following his fifth yellow card of the season in the Gillingham win.
Shaun Harrad got the game underway after scoring the winner at the weekend against GIllingham. Neither side managed to take hold of the opening stages of the first half, and it took five minutes to get to into a meaningful position and threaten the goal.
McLaughlin had a freekick which he whipped in, but Notts County couldn’t get a head on it. The ball was then put back across goal, with Hollis running in and nearly getting a touch on it, before the Iron got it clear.
Minutes later and the home side had an opportunity of their own. Terry Hawkridge picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and found himself in acres of space. He continued to run with ball and took a shot at goal after encouragement from the home support. However the winger’s shot was weak and easily collected by Spiess in goal.
Despite the slow start to the game, the Iron took the lead through their top goal scorer Paddy Madden. A slip from Blair Adams on the edge of the area allowed the Republic of Ireland striker to pounce on the mistake, before finishing cool past goalkeeper Fabian Spiess to give Scunthorpe the lead.
Notts didn’t sit back however and pressed straight back at Scunthorpe. Zeli Ismail was enjoying all sorts of space down the right against Iron left-back Marcus Williams, outrunning his opponent at every opportunity. It was good work from Ismail that indirectly led to the Magpies equaliser on 23 minutes. Ismail won the away side a corner, and following a series of set-pieces, on-loan winger Stephen McLaughlin got his first goal for the club. The ball was whipped into the area and deflected off several players before finding its way to McLaughlin, who riffled it into the top corner.
Following the slow opening 15 minutes, the game had certainly livened up, turning into an end to end affair. Centre-back Miguel Llera was next to give Spiess something to think about, connecting well with a freekick 25 yards out, but it was just wide of the keeper’s goal.
Drissa Troare had a quiet start to his first Notts County start, but certainly made both sets of supporters stand up and take notice with 13 minutes until half-time. He picked up the ball inside the Notts half and picked a pinpoint pass over the Iron defence and straight into the path of Ronan Murray, whose first touch was excellent before delicately chipping the ball over Bobby Olejnik in the Scunthorpe goal to give the Magpies the lead and go 2-1 up at Glanford Park.
Iron captain Neal Bishop was looking to get a goal against his former club and nearly did so five minutes before half time. He found himself with space inside the Magpies half and worked the ball onto his left foot, before placing the ball beyond Spiess, but also beyond the far post as the Magpies kept the lead going into the final minutes of the first half.
Notts were looking good on the counter attack, with Murray, Harrad and Ismail looking threatening as they ran at the Iron defence. Murray having the last attempt of the half, but his strike from the right of the box went wide of Olejnik’s goal, giving the Austrian not worries.
HT: SCUNTHORPE 1 - 2 NOTTS COUNTY
The start to the second half was as slow as the first, again neither side taking hold of the early stages. Madden, who opened the scoring for the home side, had the first opportunity after the break. His long distance strike flying high and wide of the Notts goal.
Minutes later and the Iron could have equalised. A long punt from Olejnik bounced over everyone with McSheffrey getting onto the ball. McAllister was waiting alone, but the pressure of Adams made the former Coventry midfielder place the ball into the hands of Spiess rather than his fellow midfielder.
The Iron certainly turned on the pressure from there on, having several chances through Madden and Fallon from corners, but Spiess made good saves and a clearance off the line saved the Magpies from conceding and allowing the home side to level the game.
Notts were looking to extend their lead however. A good spell of passing between Harrad, Ismail and Murray allowed Murray to run at the Iron defence and have a shot at goal. He did have options in McLaughlin and Harrad, but he opted to shoot and won a corner for the Magpies following a deflection.
The Iron supporters thought they had equalised through Madden after 63 minutes. A ball towards to back post was headed by the striker over the Spiess, but the Magpies were saved by the offside flag.
Another bit of skill from Traore nearly helped the away side extend their lead. Traore skipped past an Iron defender before playing in substitute and former Scunthorpe player Garry Thompson, but his shot was well saved by Olejnik as the ball went out for a corner.
Both sides started to have chances with 20 minutes left to play, Ismail having a strike from the edge of the area just going over the bar following a great ball across from Garry Thompson and Murray hitting over from a half volley; whilst at the other end, Fallon twice could have put the Iron level, but good work from Spiess ensured Notts kept their lead.
The game started to get a little heated, with both Madden and Garry Thompson receiving yellow cards, but there was certainly little in the way of chances during the later stages of the game. The away side looked to have a go with ten minutes remaining, making three attacking changes bringing on Adelakun, Myrie-Williams and Kee, and again the Iron fans thought they had a scored. A long ball into the box looked to be claimed by Spiess before he was bundled over by Boyce and the ball was put in the back of the net, but again the Iron cheers were cut short after a freekick was given.
That deemed to be the last significant spell of the game as Notts County held out for a well-earned victory thanks to some solid defending from all of the Notts side. The County support were fantastic throughout and a roar from the 170 was well heard on the final whistle.
The win sees the Magpies go through to the next round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and a performance Derry will pleased with as the side go eight unbeaten in all competitions.
FT: SCUNTHORPE 1 - 2 NOTTS COUNTY