Clean Sheet Secures Notts a Point at Home
Notts claimed their first point at home under manager Jamie Fullarton with a clean sheet thanks to two late Scott Loach saves. The home side dominated the first half an hour, but couldn’t make their pressure count and Dagenham could have won it at the end but for two one handed saves from the goalkeeper.
Notts had the first effort of the game after three minutes, Adam Campbell exchanged passes with Ronan Murray on the edge of the Daggers box, the winger hitting an effort with the outside of his boot, the ball flying past Liam O’Brien, but also past the far post.
In the ninth minute Jon Stead almost opened the scoring. Jason Banton showed a quick turn of pace down the wing, he beat the full back and crossed low from the byline to the striker, Stead just unable to get a touch to turn it home before it was cleared.
A minute later and the home side felt they should have had a penalty. Banton broke quickly from the back lofting an inch perfect ball to Murray on the edge of the box. The striker played it back first time to Campbell who raced into the box before going down under a challenge from behind, the referee waving away the strong appeals.
County were dominating the early stages and in the 13th minute had a golden chance to take the lead. The lively Murray got to the byline in the left channel, pulling the ball back for Stead who side footed his effort from four yards, only to see O’Brien make an outstanding instinctive block, the ball deflecting away for a corner.
The four attacking players Jamie Fullarton had fielded were enjoying the early stages, Campbell striking an effort on the half volley after Wes Atkinson’s cross was only half cleared, the former Newcastle man drilling the effort over O’Brien’s bar.
Banton and Campbell continued to pester the Dagenham defence, this time Banton’s cross field ball to Campbell was well controlled, the wide man dribbling across the box before curling an effort with his left foot which had the crowd on their feet, only to see the ball curl agonisingly wide of the post.
Against the run of play the visitors thought they had taken the lead just after the half hour mark. Ashley Hemmings’ strike from 30 yards was spilled by Scott Loach, Christian Doidge tapping it into an empty net, only to see the linesman’s flag raised on the far side.
Jamie Fullarton made a change at half time, Liam Noble replacing Rob Milsom in the centre of midfield.
The second half started with both sides looking to take control of the game, with neither team able to test the opposition goalkeeper in the opening ten minutes.
Substitute Noble had the first effort of note, dancing into space on the edge of the box but his low curling effort was deflected away for a corner, the visitors clearing the resulting set piece with ease.
Izale McLeod replaced Banton with fifteen minutes to go, the striker almost making an immediate impact as he looked to get onto the end of Matt Richards’ header back to O’Brien, the keeper just beating the substitute to the ball.
As the game entered the last ten minutes Stead found an opening in the box after McLeod’s shot had deflected to him. However, the striker couldn’t get enough power behind his shot and O’Brien saved with ease.
Stead and Campbell linked up again well in the 83rd minute, Stead, who was captaining the side in Carroll’s absence, played a clever back heel to Campbell, whose effort was well blocked.
Scott Loach kept the scores at 0-0 in the 87th minute as the Daggers looked to grab an unlikely victory. The goalkeeper stretched well to get strong fingers to a header at the back post which had threatened to loop over him into the net.
The goalkeeper was on hand again with another outstanding one handed save as the game entered stoppage time. Matt Richards curled an effort with his left foot from 25 yards, the ball heading for the top corner until Loach’s telling touch diverted it onto the crossbar and Notts cleared.
The bar was the home side’s saviour again in the last minute of added time, Ashley Chambers striking a half volley from 30 yards which dipped over Loach but onto the crossbar, the ball bouncing out to a Dagenham player, but he couldn’t beat the keeper with a weak header.
Notts Team: Loach, Adams, Hollis, Murray (Burke 87’), Milsom (Noble 46’), Thompson, Hewitt, Campbell, Banton (McLeod 77;), Atkinson, Stead
Unused Subs: Carroll, Smith, Sharpe, Audel
Att: 3,147 (81 Away)