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Match Reports

Notts County v Morecambe

28 December 2015

McLeod Brace Secures Point

Notts County rescued a point as they came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Morecambe on another dramatic afternoon at Meadow Lane.

Shaun Miller gave the Shrimps an early lead as he rounded Roy Carroll and slid into an empty net inside the opening ten minutes.

Miller then saw a penalty saved but Kevin Ellison converted the rebound to double the advantage at the midway point of the first half.

Izale McLeod halved the deficit in stoppage time, chesting the ball home from three yards out and equalised with a header from a corner shortly after the hour.

Notts had chances to win it but found Morecambe stopper Barry Roche in good form as he denied the Magpies an eighth home win of the season.

Ricardo Moniz made three changes to the side which was beaten by Carlisle United. Alan Sheehan's loan from Bradford City had come to an end, allowing Thierry Audel to come into the heart of the defence.

Meanwhile, Stanley Aborah and Elliott Hewitt had both recovered from recent injuries to return to the starting eleven, taking the places of Curtis Thompson and Gill Swerts.

As always with Notts, the game was an open contest from the outset. They could have been behind in less than five minutes as Shaun Beeley scampered down the Morecambe right and crossed for Miller but Carroll somehow saved the header with an outstretched hand.

From the corner, County survived another scare as Tom Barkhuizen's deflected cross found Ellison, who headed against the post from a couple of yards out.

The Magpies immediately countered and saw Jon Stead's goalbound effort from Hewitt's fizzed cross collected comfortably by Barry Roche in the Morecambe net.

The visitors took the lead after eight minutes as Miller latched onto a ball up the field from Jamie Devitt, rounded Carroll and slotted into an open goal.

Moniz's side were looking to force an equalising goal but the task of winning the game became considerably more difficult as Audel fouled Miller as the goalscorer advanced into the area with referee Rob Lewis pointing to the spot.

Miller took the kick himself but saw Carroll plunge to his right and keep the effort out. However, Ellison was racing in on the follow-up to slam Morecambe into a 2-0 lead.

At the other end, Notts were claiming a penalty of their own as Hewitt went down inside the area but the official showed no interest in the full-back's shout.

County could have pulled one back as McLeod showed great pace to run in behind the defence and find himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper but his dink was smothered by Roche.

Miller stepped inside and fired wide and Andy Fleming had a 25-yard effort caught by Carroll as the Shrimps looked to extend their lead before the break.

Notts grabbed themselves a lifeline in first-half stoppage time as Burke's shot-come-cross looked to be drifting wide but McLeod pounced at the back post to steer home with his chest and bring the Magpies back into the game.

At the start of the second half, Stead collected a pass from Burke and swivelled to get a snapshot in but found Roche equal to the effort, parrying it away from danger.

Notts were on top but could not get past the goalkeeper, who palmed away a fierce drive from Burke, who then put a wicked ball across the face of goal where Laurence Wilson turned it wide with Adam Campbell waiting behind him to score.

From the corner, Notts levelled as Audel's flicked header found McLeod unmarked at the back post to head in from two yards out off the underside of the bar for his ninth goal of the campaign - all of them at Meadow Lane.

Stead's powerful effort stung Roche's palms before Burke smashed wide twice inside a couple of minutes.

Miller's audacious chip from 25 yards sailed off-target and Beeley smashed across the face of goal with no visiting player there to turn it in for a late winner as both sides had to settle for a point apiece in the final game of 2015.

Notts: Carroll; Hewitt, Edwards, Audel, Milsom; Campbell, Aborah, Smith, Burke (Spencer, 82); Stead, McLeod.
Subs not used: Loach, Amevor, Atkinson, Thompson, Jenner, Murray.

Attendance: 4,956 (151 away)

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