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Match Reports

Match Report : 30/01/2016

30 January 2016

Luton 0-2 Notts

Notts County won their second successive away game in League Two as they beat Luton Town 2-0 at Kenilworth Road.

The Magpies were set on their way to victory by a former player as Alan Sheehan, who was on loan with the club earlier in the season, turned Wes Atkinson's cross past his own goalkeeper to open the scoring.

The win was sealed by Jon Stead, who ended a dazzling solo run with an expert finish past Elliot Justham as Jamie Fullarton's team made it two wins and two clean sheets from two games away from Meadow Lane.

The manager made just one change from the side which was beaten 2-0 at home by AFC Wimbledon last weekend as Liam Noble came into the team for Rob Milsom, with Blair Adams dropping back to a more familiar role at left back.

The opening was cagey with neither side fashioning a clear-cut opportunity, though a defensive header from a Noble free-kick by Sheehan drifted narrowly wide of the post.

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu blazed his volley over the bar from the edge of the area after Notts failed to clear a corner before Elliott Hewitt was in the right place at the right time to block a goalbound effort from Paddy McCourt, a loanee at Meadow Lane last season, after the winger danced through a couple of challenges to get a sight of Roy Carroll's net.

Cameron McGeehan, a scorer in the game earlier in the season, looked to get on the scoresheet again but his effort was parried by Carroll at the near post. The attacker had another opportunity as Mpanzu teed him up 20 yards out but he rolled the shot well wide.

Notts' first real chance came when Jon Stead's pass had Izale McLeod one-on-one with Luton goalkeeper Elliot Justham; the striker took the effort early with his left foot but could only lift it over the bar.

Luton had the ball in the net on the half hour mark as Craig Mackail-Smith slotted past Carroll but a blatant handball in the build-up by McGeehan saw the goal chalked off the the former Norwich man yellow carded.

The home pressure continued with Mackail-Smith winning an aerial battle against Haydn Hollis, spinning away from the defender, advancing towards the area and cracking a shot towards the bottom corner which Carroll did well to hold.

Stead's fierce effort was palmed out by Justham but Noble couldn't tuck the rebound home. The striker then shot towards an open goal with McLeod unsuccessful in his attempts to divert it on target.

At the other end, Mpanzu raced in behind the Notts defence but smashed wide from 10 yards as the teams went into the break at a stalemate.

As with their last away game at Crawley a fortnight ago, the Magpies absorbed the pressure from the home side before striking near the hour. Atkinson scampered away down the right and put in a low cross which was turned into his own goal by Sheehan.

Hollis threw himself in front of a shot by Luton substitute Joe Pigott whilst McLeod volleyed straight at Justham for Fullarton's side.

Notts took a big step towards recording back-to-back away wins in the league for the first time since November 2014 as Stead picked up the ball and drove through the heart of the home defence before poking the ball through the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Pigott headed straight at Carroll and the goalkeeper held a 25-yard volley by McCourt as the Hatters looked for a route back into the game.

However, it was not to be for the hosts as Hollis preserved Notts' clean sheet in stoppage time, heading Pigott's shot off the line as the win moved County to within eight points of the play-off places with two games in hand.

Notts: Carroll; Atkinson, Hewitt, Hollis, Adams; Campbell, Bennett (Smith, 45), Thompson, Noble (Sharpe, 90); Stead (Murray, 76), McLeod. 
Subs not used: Loach, Audel, Aborah, Burke. 

Attendance: 8,147 (390 away)

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