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Match Reports

Crawley Town v Notts County

27 August 2016

Match Reports

Crawley Town v Notts County

27 August 2016

Crawley Town 1-3 Notts County

Notts came from behind to win away for the second successive game after beating Crawley 3-1 this afternoon.

The hosts took the lead early in the second half but an own goal followed by an excellent Adam Campbell finish turned the match on its head.

A late Jon Stead penalty, his fourth goal in as many matches, put the icing on the cake of an excellent away display.

After playing 45 minutes for the reserves in midweek, Rob Milsom was handed his first start since April's 2-2 draw at Northampton. Jonathan Forte, who picked up an injury at Hartlepool, was left out of the squad.

There was one other change as Alan Smith replaced Stanley Aborah in the starting line-up.

Campbell started the match alongside Stead up front in a 4-4-2 formation. Milsom played down the left with Rodman on the opposite flank. Matt Tootle continued at right back.

it was a quiet start to the match, but for a fourth-minute James Collins booking after he fouled Notts captain Michael O'Connor.

The sides' first chances came in a flurry of action on 22 minutes, Milsom misplacing a pass and Collins capitalising. The Crawley man twisted and turned on the edge of the box before forcing an excellent save from Adam Collin.

Notts broke away from the resultant corner, Campbell crossing for Stead. The in-form forward brought the ball under control and spotted the unmarked Rodman in the middle. His pass was intercepted but Notts kept the move alive, working the ball back to Stead in the area. This time he went for the shot, curling the ball just wide of the far post.

Milsom tried his luck four minutes later, slicing the ball over the top after an O'Connor cross found its way to him just outside the area.

Crawley's response came from Billy Clifford, who received the ball in space before taking it across the edge of the area. Louis Laing positioned himself well to block the shot.

Nice interplay between Smith and Milson presented Campbell with his first clear shot at goal on 29 minutes. The ex-Newcastle man rolled the ball towards the far corner but Crawley keeper Yusuf Mersin stretched far enough to hang on to it.

The home side were forced into a change shortly before the break, Mark Connolly replacing the injured Josh Yorwerth before the referee called time on an even first half.

There were no changes for either side at the break but the home side wasted no time in altering the scoreline.

Within a minute of the restart, Enzio Boldewijn shifted the ball on to his left foot on the edge of the area and fired it low through a crowd of bodies, beating Collin in the Notts goal.

But, in what is emerging as a recurring theme this season, Notts showed excellent character to bounce back quickly. They were unlucky in the first instance as Campbell saw a shot blocked before Milsom's effort on the follow-up was diverted wide. But, after the resultant corner was cleared back to O'Connor on the left, his excellent cross was turned home by a Crawley defender at the near post. The linesman flagged for offside but, after a consultation with the referee, the goal was given.

Notts almost turned the game completely on its head four minutes later when Stead held the ball up well in the area. He played it to Campbell, who in turn worked the ball to Rodman on his right. His low shot was blocked and Notts had a corner. Richard Duffy kept Dickinson's delivery alive and the ball dropped for Laing eight yards out. He could only guide it a yard wide of the post.

The home side then wasted a gilt-edged chance to retake the lead when Collins stroked it wide from inside the area.

And their frustrations were compounded two minutes later when Campbell completed Notts' turnaround. Milsom's perseverance in midfield allowed him to slip the ball to Rodman on his right. His shot was deflected inches wide of the far post. Campbell scampered to offer O'Connor a short option from the corner and, following a neat one-two, he curled the ball beautifully across the face of goal and into the far corner.

Dickinson was booked for a foul on Jimmy Smith shortly before Thierry Audel replaced Alan Smith. That move saw Tootle move into midfield with Audel slotting in at right back.

Sheridan followed up by sending forward Vadaine Oliver on for Milsom, with Campbell moving to left midfield. Within seconds of his arrival, Oliver was booked for a foul on Connolly.

Crawley increased their pressure as the game entered its final 15 minutes, winning a succession of corners but failing to test Collin.

Laing had an opportunity to increase Notts' lead with eight minutes to play after the ball fell at his feet in the area. He could only guide it straight at Mersin.

And there was no let-up from Notts as they worked another shooting opportunity moments later, laying the ball off for O'Connor 25 yards out. The skipper miscued his effort, however, firing it high and wide.

But Notts were eventually rewarded for their continued endeavour when Audel wriggled into the area and the off-balance Blackman handled the ball. Stead smashed the ball into the top corner from the spot to give his side some breathing space - his final action of the match as he was replaced by Genaro Snijders before play resumed.

Four minutes of added time were indicated, during which Campbell hit the post as Notts continued to press.

But 3-1 was how it stayed as Notts secured another impressive away victory.

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