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REPORT: Notts Youth 2-1 Rochdale Youth

17 November 2015

Notts County's youth side came from a goal down to beat Rochdale 2-1 in the second round of the FA Youth Cup at Meadow Lane.

Jack Stewart had given Rochdale the lead at the end of the first half with a powerful header but two goals in five minutes turned the game on its head and set up a home clash against Luton Town in the third round for the young Magpies.

Montel Gibson lobbed the visiting goalkeeper to equalise before Jack McMillan's corner was headed into his own net by a Rochdale defender to give Notts an eighth win in their last nine matches and put them into the third round for the first time since the 2010/11 season.

County started well and a powerful run in from the left flank by Yohan Rutty-Smith saw the winger draw a foul on the edge of the penalty area. Dominic Brownhill's free-kick deflected into the path of Rutty-Smith, who had a shot blocked wide by a defender.

Jordon Richards connected with the corner only to see a defender clear the goal-bound effort off the line before McMillan bamboozled a defender and his deflected cross off Kisimba Kisimba was well saved by Bradley Wade in the visiting goal as Notts looked to seize the initiative.

Rochdale saw off the initial onslaught and began to push forward. Stewart's low drive was turned around the upright by Joe Searson-Smithard whilst Brandon Smalley curled a free-kick over the bar from 25 yards for the visitors.

Tyler Berry smacked wide from distance and Searson-Smithard produced a wonderful save to deny Stewart from close-range after the Rochdale man twisted and turned to find space inside the penalty area.

Louis Coyne diverted a shot wide from Callum Schorah's stinging free-kick as the Dale continued to lay siege to the Notts goal.

In first half-stoppage time they made the breakthrough as the dangerman Stewart planted a header past Searson-Smithard six yards out from Smalley's inswinging free-kick.

Wade pulled off a strong one-handed stop at the start of the second period to palm a free-kick over the top as the young Magpies looked to restore parity.

Smalley forced Searson-Smithard into a fine save low down to his right with a 25-yard effort after skipping past a couple of challenges in midfield before Jack Lenehan became the first player to go into the referee's notebook for a cynical foul to stop a Notts counter-attack.

Matthew Gillam's shot was taken by the wind and almost fell into the back of the net but fortunately for County it drifted wide of the upright.

Richards bravely blocked a Berry effort from 20 yards out as the visitors seemed to be making the most of having the wind in their favour.

However, Notts responded superbly and equalised with their next attack.

Gibson hustled to force an error from Kisimba and lobbed the bouncing ball over Wade to find the back of the net and bring Dan Leivers' side level with 20 minutes remaining.

Rochdale immediately tried to retake the lead with captain Luther Wildin showing fantastic awareness to be in the right place at the right time to clear Berry's shot off the line.

McMillan's corner caused mayhem and a visiting defender could only head the ball past his own goalkeeper to complete a quick-fire turnaround for the young Magpies.

Coyne headed over six yards out from a corner as the game entered the final stages with just one goal the difference between the sides.

There was one final scare as Searson-Smithard parried a shot from Smalley straight to Jordan Prescott, who was then denied again by the goalkeeper. The loose ball looked as though it was going to be scrambled home by Prescott before Aghatise came in with a vital clearance from a couple of yards out to secure victory for Notts.

Notts: Searson-Smithard; Cobain (Blaney, 66), Richards, Aghatise, Payling; Clayon-Naute, Brownhill, Wildin, Rutty-Smith; McMillan, Gibson (Howes, 90).
Subs not used: Parkes, Payling, Gibbons.

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