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Match Reports

Exeter City v Notts County

24 October 2015

A Noble Point Away From Home

Liam Noble's goal gave Notts County a point with a 1-1 draw against Exeter City at St James Park.

The Magpies had fallen behind when Tom Nichols curled in following a quick counter-attack by the hosts but Noble hammered in from six yards for his sixth of the season after collecting Jon Stead's knockdown.

Ricardo Moniz made two changes from the goalless draw at Bristol Rovers as Thierry Audel and Curtis Thompson made way for Jack Barmby and Adam Campbell.

The home side started brightly and saw Chrstian Ribeiro rise highest to meet a cross from Danny Butterfield, but his goalbound header ruled out for a foul on Mike Edwards.

Noble had Notts' first effort on goal with a shot that flew over the bar from 25 yards out whilst Stead repeated the trick when he swivelled to pounce on a loose ball.

Nichols fired a warning shot to the Magpies with an arcing effort from the edge of area which skimmed past Roy Carroll's right-hand post after Alan Sheehan had been robbed of possession.

Sheehan's arrowed delivery from a cleared corner found the head of Edwards but his effort was caught by home goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik.

The opening goal of the game arrived when Nichols had enough time and space just outside the penalty area to curl across Carroll and into the far corner with Notts' protestations that Izale McLeod had been fouled before the home side broke falling upon deaf ears.

Going behind sparked the Magpies into life with Noble seeing two efforts blocked by Butterfield in a matter of seconds after McLeod's pass gave the former Carlisle man a sight of goal.

Alex Nicholls cut inside Elliott Hewitt and skewed a shot off-target for the hosts a minute before County came within inches of equalising as Campbell scampered after a loose ball and floated a cross to the back post where McLeod crashed a header off the post from six yards out.

However, Moniz's men were not to be denied for long and the leveller arrived on the half hour mark. Sheehan's long ball was nodded into the path of Noble by Stead and the midfielder had plenty of time to smash past Olejnik in front of the 299 travelling supporters.

Notts were well in command and saw McLeod screw a shot wide after Stead showed his experience with some superb hold-up play. The former Huddersfield striker then curled over himself via a deflection with Sheehan heading into the gloves of Olejnik from the resulting corner.

The half ended with County probing for a second goal and McLeod almost found it, forcing Olejnik into a smart save at his near post as the sides went into the break level.

Nicholls found space on the left at the start of the second half but his shot cannoned off Edwards, back onto the attacker and out for a goal kick.

Sheehan saw his attempt in a goalmouth scramble cleared off the line by David Noble and the pressure continued with Liam Noble bursting forward from midfield before slipping the ball into McLeod, who curled into the midriff of the goalkeeper from close range.

The Magpies were looking a threat from set-pieces and Sheehan again got on the end of Noble's delivery, heading towards goal but a lack of power made it easy for Olejnik to collect.

Substitute Clinton Morrison whipped in a cross which was perfect for goalscorer Nichols, but his header was straight at Carroll.

At the other end, Sheehan flighted a free-kick to the back post where Campbell cushioned his volley into the side-netting from a tight angle.

Jamie McAllister drilled a free-kick low from 25 yards with Carroll completing a routine save low down to his left.

Moniz sent Graham Burke on for Campbell with a quarter of an hour remaining as Notts searched for a goal to give them a first away win in the league since the opening day at Stevenage.

Barmby showed great skill to sashay past a defender and give Burke the chance to fizz in a cross; somehow Olejnik stopped the ball from creeping between his legs and into the back of the net from McLeod's touch.

Carroll made himself big to deny substitute Arron Davies and Noble flashed a shot past the post with both sides going for all three points in the final stages.

However, there was to be no breakthrough as Notts recorded their second successive draw on the road to extend their unbeaten run to three games.

Notts: Carroll; Hewitt, Edwards, Sheehan, Barmby; Aborah, Smith, Noble; Campbell (Burke, 75), Stead, McLeod (Spencer, 89).
Subs not used: Loach, Sprockel, Swerts, Thompson, Jenner.

Attendance: 3,429 (299 away)

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