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Leivers' thoughts on Donny defeat

10 October 2016

Notts County's head of academy coaching Dan Leivers says Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Doncaster was 'difficult to take in so many ways.'

The young Magpies went into the match high in confidence after beating Hartlepool 6-2.

But they were unable to build on that result, as Leivers explained.

He said: "This was a difficult loss to take in so many ways, especially after such a fantastic performance last week against Hartlepool.

"We started the game really well, kept the ball well and managed to break them down on a few occasions. Had it not been for three or four marginal offsides, we could have been ahead in the game by 20th minute.

It was on 23 minutes when the game changed when the referee adjudged George McCartney to have fouled a Doncaster forward in the area, awarding a penalty to the confusion of everyone else watching the game. The Doncaster forward slotted home off the post.

Leivers continued: "Again, for the next spell we dominated the ball and just couldn't create any clear-cut chances, until on 33 minutes Remaye Campbell got through one on one with the goalkeeper after a clever back heel from Sam Osborne.

"Before he could get his shot off he was brought down from behind by the Doncaster defender, but the referee didn't give the penalty.

"The lads' heads dropped and within three minutes of the penalty claim they were 2-0 down, switching off at a free-kick with our defensive shape and depth all over the place, allowing Doncaster to cut through us with two passes and cut the ball back for a tap in.

"Obviously at half-time there was a lot of disappointment and I felt it would benefit some of the players with less game time under their belts to come on and try and change the game.

"They again played with intensity and moved the ball quickly to try and break Doncaster down. But pushing for the goal to get back into the game saw us become vulnerable on the break and on 70 minutes we found ourselves 3-0 down as the Doncaster striker got the better of Harry Bugg and Jordon Richards to slot past Joe Searson-Smithard from an angle.

"After the third goal we made our final change, bringing on Peter Dearle at centre half for the biggest positive of the day. Peter had spent the last 11 months out of action after ACL surgery and this was his first taste of competitive football since the injury.

"It was shortly after this that Alex Howes finally got us on the scoresheet with a well taken goal from just inside the area.

"Doncaster rounded off their victory however with a final goal from a corner late in the half."

Notts: Searson-Smithard, Cobain (Dearle 70'), Dunn, Brownhill, Richards, McCartney (Bugg 46'), Clayton-Naute, Howes, Campbell (Ebanks 46'), Osborne, Gibbons (Towers 46').

Unused subs: Hall

The Under 18s are next in action at home to Grimsby on Saturday.

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