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Match Reports

Notts Win in Penultimate Pre-Season Game

26 July 2016

Notts claimed victory in the penultimate game of pre-season, defeating Walsall by three goals to two.....

Jon Stead had the first effort of the game, collecting Jonathan Forte's knockdown before driving a low shot towards goal which Neil Etheridge beat away for a corner.

The corner was only cleared as far as Alex Rodman on the right, who drew a foul from his marker as he looked to find space on the wing. Carl Dickinson took the set piece out wide, Walsall heading behind for another corner, which was subsequently collected by Neil Etheridge in the visitor's goal.

Notts had started well, but were almost undone by Simeon Jackson in the sixth minute. Jackson raced onto a ball over the top and attempted to lift the ball over the advancing Adam Collin, but he couldn't convert the chance, the ball landing on the roof of the net.

Forte was winning every aerial battle, and he won a free kick on the edge of the area in the eighth minute, the striker having been pushed after winning the header. However, Stanley Aborah could only fire the resulting set piece over the crossbar.

The chances the home side were creating were to soon tell though, as they netted twice in a matter of minutes to take a commanding lead.

The first came from another Dickinson free kick on the right, Haydn Hollis escaping his marker at the back post to side foot past Etheridge.

Just a minute later and Notts had doubled their lead.

Jonathan Forte capitalising on a mistake from the defender, racing clear before finishing confidently past the Walsall keeper and into the bottom corner.

Stead and Forte almost linked up again in the 34th minute, this time Stead looked to turn provider as he beat James O'Connor at the byline, before crossing low towards the striker's feet but Etheridge did well to get two hands to the ball and Walsall cleared.

Jackson should have halved the deficit for the away side just before half time. The forward collected a pass in his stride, advancing on goal before striking hard to Adam Collin's right but the keeper made a sharp reaction save to maintain the hosts' lead.

Notts made three changes in quick succession early in the second half, with Jordan Richards, Izale McLeod and Graham Burke replacing Elliott Hewitt, Jonathan Forte and Stanley Aborah.

In the 66th minute Stead netted the third of the evening, a goal his performance had deserved. The striker latched onto a through ball from Graham Burke before calmly lofting the ball over Etheridge and into the net.

John Sheridan reacted by replacing the impressive Stead with Adam Campbell.

In the 70th minute, after Hollis had done well to block a Walsall shot for a corner, the home side made five more changes.

Genaro Snijders, Rhys Sharpe, Wes Atkinson, Scott Loach and Alan Smith all came on to replace, Alex Rodman, Carl Dickinson, Richard Duffy, Adam Collin and Matt Tootle.

A minute later and Walsall pulled a goal back. Half time substitute Amadou Bakayoko leaped highest in the area to get a flick onto a deep cross and send the ball into the corner of Loach's net.

Campbell broke the offside trap on the right wing in the 78th, he crossed low for Snijders but the defender slid in at the near post, getting just enough on the ball to divert it wide of the post.

Notts County's lead was cut to just one goal in the 85th minute. Rico Henry crossed from the left and Bakayoko reacted first to score his second of the night from just six yards out.

That was to be it for the goalscoring on the night with the referee calling full time on the game shortly afterwards, Notts completing a 3-2 victory over League One Walsall.

Att: 952 (135 away)