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Match Reports

Match Report : 23/02/2016

23 February 2016

Notts Lose Out in Five Goal Game

Notts County lost out on the road for only the second time under Jamie Fullarton as his side couldn't come back from three goals down to claim a point, despite a goal each from Ronan Murray and Adam Campbell.
Murray's first goal since November 2014 looked to start an unlikely comeback for the away side, but it proved to be too big of a task, the home side seeing out five minutes added time for a narrow 3-2 victory. 

Piero Mingoia sent in the first cross of the night, receiving the ball from Brad Halliday before whipping in a swinging cross which found no one.

It was Mingoia who forced the first corner of the game, picking up a mis-hit goal kick from Roy Carroll, before driving forward and getting a shot away which Haydn Hollis blocked and deflected over. The corner was wasted from the home side, who played it short and lost possession.

Liam Noble had the away side’s first shot in the seventh minute, firing wide of Ross Etheridge’s left hand post from 25 yards.

The best move of the opening minutes fell to Notts. Elliott Hewitt and Jason Banton linked up well on the right, the full back carrying the ball forward 40 yards before finding Noble on the left of the penalty area. The midfielder took a touch before laying it back to Blair Adams, but the left back could only find the stand behind Etheridge’s goal with his effort.

In the 14th minute the hosts took the lead. Alan Smith’s loose pass in the middle of the park was intercepted by Billy Kee who took a touch forward before unleashing a drive past Carroll and into the bottom left hand corner.

Notts immediately went on the offensive and Banton, who had been lively in the opening exchanges, easily beat his marker, crossing in low to Izale McLeod, Etheridge doing well to gather the ball at the second attempt.

Stanley could have doubled their lead in the 19th minute, Billy Kee breaking into the area and poking the ball past the onrushing Carroll, only to see the ball roll inches wide of the post.

It was 2-0 just two minutes later. Gary MacKenzie got a block on the first effort, but it was only cleared as far as Mingoia on the right of the box, his cross was met by Rommy Boco 12 yards out who headed low into the right corner to double the hosts’ advantage.

County almost had a lifeline five minutes before half time. Etheridge wanted too much time on the ball after a pass back to him, Banton robbing the goalkeeper who managed to get a slight touch on the ball before recovering to claim at Stead’s feet.

The last minute of the half saw Notts come close again, Noble finding McLeod just inside the area with a low pass, the striker turning quickly and curling an effort just past Etheridge’s right and post with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

Jamie Fullarton made two changes at the break Adam Campbell and Ronan Murray came onto the field replacing Liam Noble and Izale McLeod.

Notts started the second half the better team, Campbell playing in Blair Adams on the left of the box, the left backs ball across the face of goal had too much on it for Jon Stead, who couldn’t reach it at the back post.

Down the other end and Accrington added to their lead in the 52nd minute. Etheridge’s free kick from inside the Stanley half was flicked on to Boco who lifted the ball over Carroll before tapping it over the line for his second of the night, and the home side’s third.

Notts County tried to get themselves a foothold in the game Jon Stead winning a free kick in the right channel. Blair Adams took the set piece, whipping a low ball in with his left foot, the ball just evading everyone and drifting narrowly wide of the far post.

There was hope for County with 18 minutes left on the clock, Curtis Thompson won the ball in the middle, releasing Ronan Murray who calmly slotted the ball past Etheridge and into the corner for his first goal since opening the scoring against Accrington at the Wham Stadium in November 2014.

Stead was unlucky not to reduce the deficit to one shortly afterwards as a rejuvenated Notts looked to get themselves back into the game. The striker stretched a the back post but couldn’t get a telling touch on a low cross from the left.

The hosts still looked dangerous, although it was becoming more of a counter attacking effort. Sean McConville breaking to get in behind Hewitt on the left wing, his low cross found Matt Crooks but he could only fire straight at Carroll.

in the 82nd minute Notts made it 3-2. MacKenzie’s long ball from the back was knocked down to Adam Campbell 20 yards out, despite being off balance, the frontman hit a low shot past Etheridge and into the left corner.

Fullarton made his third and final change of the night straight after the goal, with Graham Burke, who was ready to come on before Campbell’s goal, replacing Jason Banton on the right hand side.

Goalscorer Murray and Campbell linked up well in the 89th minute, Murray’s reverse pass had just too much on it though and Etheridge claimed just ahead of Campbell.

The away side’s resurgence had concerned the hosts, with the home crowd become increasingly agitated, a chorus of groans going around the ground as the fourth official indicated there would be five minutes added time.

Jamie Fullarton’s side continued to press, sending Gary MacKenzie up as a makeshift striker for the added time, however, the comeback wasn’t to be and Accrington survived a late penalty shout for handball to seal the three points.

Team: Carroll, Adams, Smith, Hollis, Thompson, Noble (Campbell 46’), Hewitt, MacKenzie, Banton (Burke 83’), Stead, McLeod (Murray 46’)

Unused Subs: Pilkington, Milsom, Atkinson, Audel 

Att: 1,25 (127 Away)

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