Notts County 1-1 Crewe Alexandra
Notts County drew 1-1 with Crewe Alexandra at Meadow Lane this afternoon.
After a quiet opening to the match, Notts' second-half dominance was rewarded when Jonathan Forte put his side ahead on 80 minutes.
But within seconds of the restart Crewe levelled through Alex Kiwomya to leave the Magpies frustrated on an afternoon which also saw Jon Stead substituted at half-time due to injury.
John Sheridan made three changes to the side that faced Morecambe in midweek.
In came Thierry Audel, Rob Milsom and Adam Campbell, replacing Haydn Hollis, Graham Burke and the suspended Carl Dickinson.
The absence of Dickinson and Michael O'Connor meant former Crewe man Matt Tootle was handed the captain's armband.
It was a quiet start to the first half, with an 8,000-strong crowd having to wait until the 19th minute for the first chance of note. It came when Campbell rolled the ball towards the near post for strike partner Jon Stead, whose shot was turned behind by his marker.
Shortly afterwards, Milsom's quick thinking released Campbell to the byline. His low cross was turned behind by a Crewe defender.
Chances were proving few and far between, Crewe's George Cooper firing over from distance on 34 minutes before the half ended with Stead turning the ball behind from Forte's cross.
Stead had received treatment minutes earlier following a clash with Billy Bingham, and he was replaced at half-time by Aaron Collins.
And the Wolves loanee nearly opened the scoring five minutes into the second half when he latched on to a bouncing ball in the area before seeing his shot blocked by a defender six yards out.
Collins was involved again moments later, playing in Rodman down the right. The former Tamworth man drilled the ball into the area and through a crowd of bodies. Forte was waiting at the back post but couldn't react quickly enough to capitalise as the ball ran away from him.
There was another chance for Notts shortly afterwards and Collins was involved once again, racing on to Campbell's ball over the top. Crewe keeper Ben Garatt was off his line quickly and got to the ball just in time to prevent a certain goal, pushing Collins wide and alleviating the danger.
Collins continued to press for the opening goal, lashing the ball a yard over from a tight angle on 66 minutes, before Sheridan replaced Alex Rodman with Genaro Snijders.
Notts' pressure was mounting but they were still struggling to create clear-cut chances, Campbell and Collins exchanging a neat one-two in the area before the ball ran away from the former as he prepared to shoot.
And they were nearly stung by the visitors when Harry Davis met a corner with a powerful header, drawing an excellent save from Adam Collin. The keeper managed to reclaim the ball before it crossed the line.
Notts responded immediately by winning a corner. Tootle's delivery was nodded down by Laing and, with his back to goal six yards out, Campbell could only hook the ball over the bar.
But the Magpies eventually had the lead on 80 minutes. Campbell picked out Forte with a deft cross and the forward took the ball inside his defender with his first touch before stroking it home off the inside of the post.
Notts' celebrations were short-lived, however, as within a minute Crewe equalised. Cooper poked the ball through for substitute Alex Kiwomya, who curled it low into the far corner from just inside the area.
Sheridan's final change was a forced one - Audel limping off in place of Elliott Hewitt with minutes of normal time to play.
Just as the fourth official signalled that there would be five minutes of added time, Snijders volleyed Collins' deep cross over from a tight angle.
And Notts carved out another good chance moments later when Collins drove into the box. The shot was on but instead he tried to lay it off for Snijders. His attempt was intercepted but the ball came to Campbell who, from eight yards, drilled it inches wide.
The Magpies kept up their pressure right to the death, Laing nodding the ball wide from a corner, but they were unable to find a winning goal.