Notts County 1 Barnsley 1
COMPETITION | Sky Bet League One
SCORERS | Bajner (90) | Winnall (9)
ATTENDANCE | 4,287 (674 away)
REFEREE | Graham Salisbury (Lancashire)
Balint Bajner’s last gasp equaliser earned Notts a point at home to Barnsley, as they drew 1-1 at Meadow Lane.
The close range strike earned the Magpies a point, and makes it five games unbeaten..
Barnsley took the lead early in the first half, Sam Winnall volleyed home from distance giving Roy Carroll no chance in the Notts goal.
The post was rattled three times as both sides came close to scoring. Gary Jones hit the post for the Magpies from close range after getting onto a Jimmy Spencer pass, whilst Winnall nearly doubled his and Barnsley goals by hitting the post, after Carroll got a hand to his effort.
Hourihane too hit the crossbar with a deflected effort in the second half.
Notts continued to press late on and were rewarded deep into injury time, Balint Bajner latching onto Will Hayhurst’s cross before firing past Adam Davies in front of the Kop to earn the home side a point.
Ricardo Moniz made two changes to the side for his first game in front of the Meadow Lane crowd, following a 1-1 draw in his first match away at Yeovil on Saturday. Having been substituted at half time in the draw at Huish Park, Haydn Hollis started the game from the bench, Graham Burke started the game in his place after coming off the bench in the game at the weekend and impressing Moniz with his attacking intent.
Jordan Williams dropped back into centre-back for the game, like he did at Yeovil. Also in the starting line-up was Blair Adams having been used as a half-time substitute at the weekend, Sean Newton was missing from the side through injury.
Barnsley got the game underway and earned themselves a corner with in 30 seconds of the match. The set-piece was whipped in for the back post, where Peter Ramage was ready and waiting. He had a free header, but couldn’t keep it down as it sailed over Roy Carroll’s goal.
Three minutes in and the Magpies were going right back at Barnsley. Good work and skill from Jimmy Spencer earned him the space to have a go at goal. He poked the ball towards the target, it was blocked, but only as far as Gary Jones, who struck it from distance, it took a deflection however, and went just wide. A brilliant ball from Blair Adams on the left also played through Garry Thompson and Jimmy Spencer, but neither could get on the end of the ball, with the goalmouth looming.
Despite the Magpies looking the better side early on, Barnsley took the lead through an excellent individual strike. Sam Winnall played a one-two with Josh Scowen on the right, before unleashing a speculative volley into the far corner of the net, giving Carroll no chance.
Roy Carroll was called into action after 15 minutes. Jabo Ibehre was played in though on goal, just Carroll between him and the goal. Jordan Williams did his best to put the striker off, and Carroll closed him down, ensuring the forward rushed his shot, which the Notts number one blocked well.
Down the other end, Notts were inches away from levelling the game. A cross field pass from Paddy McCourt landed on the head of Garry Thompson. Jimmy Spencer picked up the loose ball in the box, laid it off for Gary Jones who was lurking in the box. The midfielder bent it for the far corner, but it came off the inside of the post and Barnsley cleared.
Good work from Mustapha Dumbuya and Paddy McCourt down the right opened up Barnsley and nearly resulted in the equaliser. McCourt sent Dumbuya away, the right back put an excellent cross into the box and Jimmy Spencer once again was inches away from getting on the end of it, but couldn’t finish off the chance.
There was very little for Roy Carroll to do as the game went into the final ten minutes of the first half. Spencer was fouled on the edge of the box, Graham Burke stepped up, he went for goal himself, but Adam Davies collected with ease.
Roy Carroll was called into action, however, with five minutes remaining before the break and made an excellent save to keep the score to 1-0. Sam Winnall found space inside the Magpies’ area, he placed the ball through Hayden Mullins’ legs and to the far corner.
However Roy Carroll did brilliantly to tip the shot onto the post with some great reactions. The ball rolled across the goal line before it was cleared.
Notts had a number of chances themselves minutes before half time. Paddy McCourt got across the by line and put an excellent cross into the box, Spencer and Thompson were both waiting and once again extremely close to bundling the ball into the net. Blair Adams down the left set up Thompson in the box, his shot lacked power however as Davies collected with ease.
There was one last chance for the Magpies before half time. McCourt floated the ball into the box from a deep position. Spencer controlled with his chest and went for the spectacular with an overhead kick, but it flew wide.
HT: Notts County 0 – 1 Barnsley
Little came in the way of chances during the opening stages of the second half. Notts did try to continue the way they ended the first half, a quick interchange between Garry Thompson and Jimmy Spencer created the space for Burke out on the wing. He went for goal, but Barnsley blocked the chance.
Garry Thompson too was unlucky to not get on the scoresheet. Alan Smith skipped past the defender and made himself space in the box. He played it across goal for Thompson, who hit it first time but again it was blocked.
It was fast becoming an end to end game. Conor Hourihane found himself down the other end, and he tried his luck from the edge of the box, it took a massive deflection, looped over the head of Carroll, and onto the crossbar, before going behind.
The introduction of Curtis Thompson after his recent injury certainly lifted the Meadow Lane crowd as they searched for the equaliser. 25 minutes left and Notts had a chance 22 yards from goal. Handball was given after Peter Ramage handled the flick on from Alan Smith. McCourt stood over it, but could keep his effort down as he aimed for the top corner.
McCourt had another chance moments later. Gary Jones played a ball across the box and it landed for the Brighton loanee. He skipped past two defenders and had the goal in sight, but again he couldn’t keep his shot down. He did everything right until the finish.
Notts continued to threaten the Barnsley goalmouth as they searched for that equaliser. Balint Bajner was brought on to add extra threat up front. The Hungarian striker got on the end of a Gary Jones cross, but couldn’t guide his header on target.
It was all Notts, Garry Thompson showed fantastic determination to get on the end of a loose ball. He burst past Mason Holgate who brought him down just outside the area.
McCourt played it short for Gary Jones, who couldn’t keep his shot down. Garry Thompson too had a chance of his own, he got on the end of a Bajner flick on and tried an overhead kick off his own, but it went wide of goal.
The Magpies were finally rewarded for all their pressure with an equaliser deep into added time. Substitute Will Hayhurst whipped in a low cross for the forward line waiting inside the box. It fell to Balint Bajner in the area, his first touch was fantastic, his second was even better as he fired past Davies and into the back of the net. Brilliant from the Hungarian striker who showed his emotions in front of the Kop. No Bajner No Party!
The Notts fans and players alike were in great spirit as they looked for a winner.
However, Barnsley could have snatched the three points. Ibehre was in on goal. He was brought down by Curtis Thompson, but the visitors couldn’t capitalise on the freekick as the full time whistle was blown.
FT: Notts County 1 – 1 Barnsley
MAGPIE PLAYER MAN OF THE MATCH | Gary Jones
The midfielder once again showed fantastic determination and drive to get the home side up the pitch. Constantly running at defenders and spreading the ball about the pitch, Jones was excellent in retaining the Notts possession, as well as winning it.
He was unlucky not to be on the score sheet too, hitting the post in the first half with a close range effort. Another excellent performance for the experienced midfielder.
Notts County: Carroll, Dumbuya, Adams, Smith, Mullins ©, Spencer (Bajner, 78), G Thompson, Jones (Hayhurst, 90), McCourt, Burke (C Thompson, 61), Williams
Substitutes: Pilkington, Hollis, Hayhurst, Wroe, C Thompson, Bajner, Edwards
Barnsley: Davies, John, Nyatanga, Cranie, Scowen, Hourihane (Berry, 75), Winnall, Ramage, Smith (Holgate, 79), Ibehre (Oates, 90), Pearson
Substitutes: Dibble, Berry, Oates, Stewart, Holgate, Bailey, Lalkovic
Look out for full reaction and post-match highlights on Magpie Player
NEXT UP: Crawley Town v Notts County | Sky Bet League 1 | Saturday 18 April 2015 (3pm Kick-Off) (BUY TICKETS)
Photos by JMS Photography