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Match Reports

Match Report : 09/08/2016

9 August 2016

Scunthorpe 2-0 Notts County

Notts County suffered a cruel defeat to League One side Scunthorpe United in the EFL Cup.

Kevin Van Veen scored twice in extra time to deny Notts in a match which, for long periods, looked like it would swing in their favour.

John Sheridan made three changes to the starting line up that faced Yeovil at Huish Park.

Alan Smith, Graham Burke and Vadaine Oliver came into the side. Elliott Hewitt and Stanley Aborah were named among the substitutes, while Jonathan Forte wasn't named in the squad to face his former team.

There was also a change in shape for the Magpies, Sheridan opting for 4-4-2 instead of the 3-5-2 he employed at the weekend.

Scunthorpe started the game strongly, winning a succession of corners before seeing Luke Williams fire the ball over with a shot from range.

Notts’ response came on ten minutes when John Stead produced a lovely dinked ball to the back post for Alex Rodman. The winger struck the ball sweetly first-time, sending it skidding off the slippery surface and forcing United keeper Luke Daniels to tip it round the post. From the resultant corner, the ball fell to Oliver with his back to goal in the area but he could only direct it over the bar with his overhead kick.

The two sides exchanged glancing blows shortly afterwards, Scunthorpe’s Conor Townsend firing the ball over before Notts’ Smith went close with a dipping volley from 25 yards. 

Sheridan’s men were growing into the game and, after Stead and Oliver combined well to force a corner on 18 minutes, Haydn Hollis saw his powerful header saved by Daniels. 

Scunthorpe then reminded the visitors of their own threat twice in quick succession, Van Veen narrowly off-target with a rasping strike from range before Kyle Wootton’s header from a corner dipped over the bar.

It was proving to be a very open affair. On 31 minutes, Matt Tootle cut the ball inside for Rodman but, slipping, he could only fire it wide. Two minutes later, Williams wriggled free at the other end but his shot from a narrow angle was saved by Adam Collin.

While both sides had enjoyed plenty of efforts at goal, Notts claimed the best chance of the half on 36 minutes when Burke’s cross came out to Rodman at the back post. He fizzed his shot low across goal and Oliver was inches away from tapping the ball into the empty net.

Notts kept up their pressure as half-time loomed, Thierry Audel hanging the ball up for Stead in the middle. The forward had a lot to do in order to beat the keeper and he could only head wide as the first half ended goalless.

There were no changes for either side at the break but the dangerous Williams set about altering the scoreline within two minutes of the restart. His driving run through the heart of Notts' midfield culminated in a shot straight at Collin.

But Notts were in no mood to let their League One opponents take the upper hand. Rodman showed excellent footwork to get away from a number of defenders before being fouled on the edge of the box. Burke fired the ball into the wall from the resultant free-kick.

It had been a reasonably quiet evening for Collin until the 59th minute, when he had to make an excellent save from Williams after he fired the ball across goal towards the top corner. The keeper acrobatically palmed it behind and claimed the resultant corner coolly.

Notts responded immediately by twice going close to opening the scoring. The ball bounced nicely for Rodman to run on to it before fizzing it just over on the half-volley. Moments later, Burke's through ball sent Tootle into the area but Daniels was out quickly to smother the danger.

Sheridan made his first change on 67 minutes, sending Adam Campbell on for Stead in a straight swap up front.

Van Veen, who had earlier directed a low shot straight at Collin, was left frustrated again shortly after play resumed when he fired the ball over the angle of post and crossbar after latching on to a low cross from the right.

Two minutes later, Campbell had his first sight of goal when the ball dropped to him on the edge of the area. He struck it low but Daniels was able to get down to make the save at his post. Scunthorpe launched a counter attack and, after Holmes saw his shot well saved by Collin, Josh Morris fired the ball over on the follow-up.

The Notts defence had to be alert again moments later and Richard Duffy led by example, sliding in to deny Van Veen a certain goal after the United forward controlled the ball eight yards out.

Sheridan freshened things up on 77 minutes by sending Wes Atkinson on for Smith, and it was Atkinson's midfield partner Tootle who nearly won the match for the Magpies on 82 minutes. Amid a torrential rainstorm, Campbell helped the ball to him on the edge of the area but, despite having time and space on his side, Tootle could only blaze it over.

Extra time was now looking the most likely outcome but Burke had other ideas. He drove at the Scunthorpe defence but saw his shot deflect out for a corner, which was dealt with by the home side.

Neither side were able to break the deadlock and thus commenced a period of 30 minutes' extra time, the third of which saw Collin make a strong one-handed save to deny Van Veen from range.

It was Daniels' turn to help his team moments later when Burke received a good lay-off from Oliver 20 yards out. The former Aston Villa man struck the ball low but Daniels made the save.

Van Veen had been pivotal to much of the Iron's attacking play and, with the first half of extra time nearing its conclusion, he finally got his goal. It came in scrappy circumstances after both sides had battled for possession in the Notts box following a Scunthorpe free-kick. It eventually fell kindly for Van Veen, who had the simple task of guiding it home from three yards.

Notts still managed to carve out a chance to equalise before the changeover, Genaro Snijders, on for Oliver, playing a lovely reverse pass to Campbell in the area only for the former Newcastle man to roll the ball wide of the post.

Campbell was heavily involved again after the break, firing the ball over with a snapshot after it was half-cleared to him on the edge of the box.

But the match was wrapped up as the game's conclusion neared, Van Veen using a team-mate to his right as a decoy, cutting inside his defender and rolling the ball into the corner to secure Scunthorpe's passage into the second round.

Attendance: 2,158

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