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Match Reports

Notts County v Hartlepool

31 August 2016

Notts County 2-1 Hartlepool

Notts got their Checkatrade Trophy group stage off to a winning start by beating Hartlepool 2-1 at Meadow Lane.

The Magpies took the lead through an excellent Genaro Snijders finish before Rhys Oates levelled for the visitors against the run of play.

Notts soon restored their lead, however, Graham Burke converting a penalty after Carl Dickinson was fouled.

There was late drama as Notts substitute Wes Atkinson and Pools defender Toto Nsiala were shown straight red cards following a scuffle between the two sides.

But it didn't affect the course of the game as Notts ran out 2-1 winners.

John Sheridan took the opportunity to give the likes of Scott Loach, Haydn Hollis and Jordan Richards game-time.

Adam Campbell continued up front, while Carl Dickinson was given the armband in the absence of Michael O'Connor. Mike Edwards was named among the substitutes, along with youngsters Atkinson and Luther Wildin.

Notts started the game strongly and had two chances within the opening three minutes, Pools keeper Adam Bartlett saving from Snijders before Burke curled the ball just over the bar from the edge of the area.

The home side were dominating and Bartlett was forced into action again on 17 minutes, diving to his right to push Aborah's fierce long-range shot wide with his fingertips.

And the keeper was beaten three minutes later when Campbell led a quick break and played an excellent pass to Snijders. One-on-one with his defender, Snijders twisted and turned before firing the ball low across goal and into the far corner.

The goal was the least Notts deserved, but they were pegged back shortly afterwards when Hartlepool struck with their first real chance of the match. Lewis Alessandra caused problems with a run through the heart of the Magpies' defence before Oates took charge in the area, taking the ball nicely in his stride and finishing well.

But Notts were deservedly ahead again on 35 minutes after Dickinson was felled by Hartlepool's Jordan Richards. Burke took the penalty expertly, firing the ball low and hard to Bartlett's left to put his side 2-1 up.

It could have been three shortly before the break when Campbell brilliantly escaped the attentions of Scott Harrison to scamper to the byline. Snijders was unmarked near the penalty spot but Campbell couldn't pick him out and Hartlepool cleared the danger.

Notts emerged for the second half unchanged and nearly extended their lead four minutes after the restart. Snijders played the ball to Alex Rodman in the area but Nsiala slid in to make an excellent block.

That was to be Rodman's last action as he was replaced by Elliott Hewitt on 55 minutes.

Aborah was the next Notts man to have a go as the home side continued to dominate. Dickinson was fouled by Nsiala in a dangerous shooting position and Aborah curled the ball over the wall from the resultant free-kick. Bartlett was able to make a comfortable save, however.

Sheridan's next change saw Rob Milsom replace Campbell on 64 minutes, before Atkinson came on for Aborah shortly afterwards.

Notts remained comfortable going into the final moments of the match and Snijders went close twice in quick succession, firing the ball over the bar before striking it straight at the keeper following excellent work from Dickinson down the left.

As four minutes of added time were indicated a scuffle ensued between the two sides after Snijders went down in an off-the-ball collision with Nsiala and Atkinson went in hard on Lewis Hawkins. Atkinson and Nsiala were both shown straight red cards.

But 2-1 was how it stayed as Notts made it three wins on the spin.

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