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Match Reports

PREVIEW: Accrington (H)

22 August 2015

REPORT: Notts 1 Accrington 1

Graham Burke's goal wasn't enough for Notts County to seal their first home win of the season at Meadow Lane against Accrington Stanley as Matt Crooks' 89th-minute strike earned the visitors a point.

The Pies had taken the lead when the attacker met Liam Noble's cross with a powerful header to seemingly end an afternoon of frustration for County, who had missed a number of chances throughout the game before the 76th-minute opener.

A late red card for Liam Noble's challenge on Josh Windass gave Stanley hope and Crooks crashed in from six yards with little over a minute remaining on the clock to ensure a share of the spoils.

Notts boss Ricardo Moniz shuffled his pack following Tuesday's 3-1 defeat at Oxford United and made three changes to his starting line-up.

Mawouna Amevor returned from suspension to replace Scot Bennett at the heart of the defence for a first appearance at Meadow Lane whilst Elliott Hewitt was given a full debut, taking Blair Adams' spot at left back. The final change saw Genaro Snijders come into the team at the expense of Julian Jenner.

Moniz's men started well and had the first chance of the game within 90 seconds. Noble's pass found Adam Campbell in space on the left wing and the striker cut inside the full-back before playing a reverse pass into the path of strike partner Jon Stead, who saw his effort blocked by Tom Davies.

At the other end, Notts failed to deal with a low cross and Seamus Conneely's shot looped wide after taking a deflection.

Burke tried his luck from distance, firing wide of Jason Mooney's near post and County came even closer to an opener minutes later. Hewitt's cross was mishit by Stead, but came to Noble on the edge of the area; the midfielder twisted and turned, eventually picking out Campbell, who curled inches over from 10 yards.

The Magpies were creating chances at an impressive rate, but taking none. Stead's low ball across the face of goal reached Campbell, but the former Newcastle striker missed his kick with the goal at his mercy. Burke saw a 20-yard shot deflected over by Davies as the pressure continued.

Stanley were still a threat and could have taken the lead when Piero Mingoia's cross reached Terry Gornell, but the stirker's header was weak and easy for Roy Carroll to collect.

Notts had been dominating proceedings and came within inches of taking the lead as Stead laid the ball off for Burke, whose floated effort hit the crossbar with Snijders blasting the rebound off-target.

There was danger when Matt Crooks won the ball 40 yards out and exchanged passes with Gornell before advancing past a challenge into the penalty area, but the midfielder had no support and his cross was turned away for a corner which was dealt with by the home defence.

A foul by Stanley Aborah gave Windass, son of former Hull striker Dean, a sight of goal with a 25-yard free-kick but his shot was straight at Carroll.

Aborah went into the book shortly after the half-hour mark for a scissor-tackle on Crooks whilst Davies' late challenge on Aborah saw him join the Ghanaian in the book.

Burke headed a Snijders cross high and wide and the Dutch winger had an effort blocked wide by Adam Buxton as the Pies sought the opening goal their dominance deserved before the break.

There were two claims for a penalty as Stead was twice hauled to the floor by Davies but referee Lee Swabey was uninterested and waved the frontman to his feet on both occasions.

For all of their superiority in the first half, Notts almost fell behind on the stroke of half-time as Mingoia scampered away down the right, his low drive forcing Carroll into an excellent save with his legs.

In the last action of the half, Noble curled towards the top corner only to see 6 foot 9 inch goalkeeper Mooney tip the ball over the bar as the sides went into the break at a stalemate.

The second period began in the same manner the first ended - with Notts on the attack. Burke latched onto a poor defensive header by Buxton, hitting a first-time shot from 25 yards which fizzed past the post.

Another chance came and went as Hewitt's up-and-under found Campbell at the back post but the striker didn't get solid contact on the ball, the shot hitting Mooney's leg before being hacked to safety.

A quick break materialised with Snijders, Stead and Noble attacking a two-man Accrington defence. Noble slipped in Snijders, who opted to shoot for the near post but Mooney struck out a telescopic leg to deny the winger the opening goal.

Burke saw yet another shot deflected wide as the Stanley rearguard held firm in the face of incessant County pressure whilst Mingoia's speculative 35-yard volley at the other end was high, wide and not at all handsome.

Burke drove a cross into the fabled corridor of uncertainty which looked destined for Stead to steer home but Mooney palmed the ball away from the striker at the last moment. Meanwhile, Stead was eventually given a foul after being floored by Davies; Noble's 25-yard free-kick whistled around the wall and narrowly past the upright.

The deadlock was finally broken with little over a quarter of an hour remaining. Noble swung in an inch-perfect cross which was begging to be buried and the unmarked Burke provided the required finish with a bullet header into the bottom corner.

Accrington were almost gifted an immediate route back into the game as Carroll's clearance fell for Crooks on the halfway line. The midfielder shot towards the unguarded net but Amevor spared the goalkeeper's blushes, heading clear to preserve the narrow advantage.

The Pies were looking comfortable but the complexion of the game changed when Noble saw red for a foul on Josh Windass 10 yards outside the Stanley penalty area.

The 10 men were unable to hold on for the win as Crooks pounced from Sean McConville's corner to smash past Carroll from a couple of yards out for the equaliser as the game approached stoppage time.

John Coleman's side could have won it as Mingoia's long-range effort was palmed away by Carroll but both sides had to settle for a point apiece.

Notts: Carroll; Hewitt, Amevor, Audel, Swerts; Burke (Sharpe 81), Noble, Aborah, Snijders; Campbell (Jenner 71), Stead.

Subs not used: Loach, Hollis, Edwards, Valencic, Sarpong.

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