Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Match Report : 20/10/2015

20 October 2015

Goalless Draw Secures Point

Notts County picked up a point at Bristol Rovers, battling to a goalless draw at the Memorial Stadium for a valuable away point.

It was the hosts who came closest to breaking the deadlock when Billy Bodin hammered a shot against the crossbar from 10 yards in first-half stoppage time.

The Magpies couldn't find the spark in the final third to steal a win, but defended stoutly to register successive clean sheets for the first time this season.

Ricardo Moniz made just one change to the team which beat Yeovil Town 2-0 on Saturday with Curtis Thompson replacing Adam Campbell as Notts switched to a diamond formation in midfield. Stanley Aborah, the scorer of the opening goal at the weekend, was at the base whilst Liam Noble was at the tip, just behind the strike pairing of Jon Stead and Izale McLeod.

The home side started the brighter with captain Mark McChrystal volleying wide from a corner early on. That pressure was maintained with a series of corners which, thankfully, came to nothing.

Alan Sheehan had to be alert to divert Daniel Leadbitter's low cross from away from danger with the Pirates exploiting Notts' decision to start with no wingers by attacking down the flanks.

The first quarter of an hour felt like one-way traffic. Billy Bodin collected Lee Brown's cross and shaped to shoot, only to be denied by a last-ditch tackle from Thompson as he was about to pull the trigger.

Ellis Harrison picked up a loose ball in midfield and advanced towards goal before dragging a shot wide from 25 yards.

Notts finally registered a shot on the home goal when McLeod showed good pace to chase Thierry Audel's pass down the wing and cut the ball back for Noble, who saw his shot from the edge of the area take a deflection to go behind for a corner.

Full-back Brown was having joy down the left for Rovers and he tried to catch Roy Carroll out at his near post with a drive from the edge of the area but the Northern Ireland international got down quickly to smother the effort.

Audel brought Harrison down just outside the penalty area, giving Lee Mansell a chance for a crack at goal. The midfielder took the effort, drilling it through the wall and forcing Carroll into an awkward save.

Notts were given a big let-off in first half stoppage time when Audel's header when attempting to clear a corner fell to Bodin, who saw his first-time effort from 10 yards crash off the crossbar and back into play.

With the game goalless at the break, Moniz changed the formation to 4-3-3, bringing Campbell on for Thompson at the start of the second half.

McLeod tried his luck with a first-time volley from 25 yards which took a deflection and bobbled a couple of yards wide of Lee Nicholls' right-hand post.

There was almost a moment of controversy as Audel went down injured but referee Stephen Martin allowed play to continue with the home side breaking immediately. Matty Taylor cut inside Edwards onto his left foot before scuffing wide with Notts furious that Rovers did not put the ball out of play.

At the other end, the Pies came agonisingly close to an opener. Smart play slipped Smith in down the right, giving him the chance to square across the face of goal where McLeod slid in and missed the ball by inches with Stead's effort at the far post blocked by a defender.

The game was becoming more open and Hewitt did well to put his head in the way of a goalbound volley whilst a 40-yard scurry from the lively Campbell fizzled out for Notts.

Half-time substitute Jermaine Easter, who had a suspension for a red card overturned earlier in the day, twisted and turned to get a sight of goal and fired narrowly over the top for the Gas.

Jake Gosling curled a free-kick off-target as the game entered the final quarter of an hour without a goal.

Aborah's clearance from a Bristol corner almost set Noble in on goal but Stuart Sinclair denied the midfielder with a superb challenge to kill the move.

Both sides continued to cancel each other out in the closing stages with neither able to create a clear-cut scoring opportunity, instead settling for a share of the points.

Notts: Carroll; Hewitt, Edwards, Sheehan, Audel (Amevor, 71); Aborah, Smith, Thompson (Campbell, 45), Noble; Stead, McLeod.
Subs not used: Loach, Swerts, Jenner, Barmby, Burke.

Attendance: 6,743 (148 away)

Advertisement block