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Match Reports

Notts County v Morecambe

11 October 2016

Notts County 1-2 Morecambe

Notts County were beaten 2-1 by Morecambe in a rearranged match at Meadow Lane.

Goals either side of the break from Tom Barkhuizen, the second a penalty, were enough to settle a fixture which had originally been abandoned amid a torrential thunderstorm.

Substitute Vadaine Oliver scored an excellent header deep into second-half stoppage time but it wasn't enough to prevent defeat.

John Sheridan made two changes to the side that suffered derby disappointment at Mansfield.

Jordan Richards was handed his first ever league start, replacing Stanley Aborah, while Graham Burke came in for Rob Milsom.

Notts could have been ahead within the first 30 seconds but, after spilling Jonathan Forte's cross, Morecambe keeper Barry Roche managed to recover the ball in time to prevent Jon Stead from tapping home from six yards.

Morecambe's response came in the shape of two shots that went high over the bar - the first from Lee Molyneux, the second from Barkhuizen, before Notts saw shots from Richards and Forte blocked in quick succession.

Stead then twice tried his luck, sending the ball wide with a speculative long-range effort before seeing his header from Rodman's cross easily saved.

Notts were looking the more likely side to break the deadlock but Morecambe had other ideas, taking the lead on 16 minutes when Barkhuizen volleyed the ball home at the back post from a corner.

The Magpies' response was strong, Forte holding the ball up brilliantly before Dickinson's first-time cross was met by Stead. The forward headed jut wide.

Stead continued the charge for an equaliser on 20 minutes, knocking his marker off balance to progress into the area but seeing his low shot blocked by Ryan Edwards.

Shortly afterwards, Burke sent a shot wide from range, before more excellent Stead footwork presented another shooting opportunity. This time he sent the ball straight at the keeper.

The Shrimps nearly dealt Notts another sucker punch when they intercepted Richards' pass and worked the ball to Ellison on the edge of the area. The experienced midfielder curled it inches wide of the far post.

Carl Dickinson was the first name in referee Ollie Yates' notebook after lunging in on Barkhuizen. Five minutes later, he curled the ball wide from range after it came to him in space.

It was Morecambe who finished the half in the ascendancy, with Cole Stockton emerging as a big threat for the Shrimps.

The forward twice got the better of Laing in the space of three minutes, firstly seeing his good strike tipped over by Collin before snatching at his shot when through one-on-one, sending the ball wide of the near post.

And Stockton wasn't finished there - Duffy had to slide in to halt him in the area moments before Collin was called upon to deny him with two excellent saves. The first saw the keeper get down well to his left to tip the ball wide and the second came from the resultant corner - the keeper doing brilliantly to tip Stockton's header over.

The second half began with two shots from Burke - both of which went over - as the unchanged Notts continued their pursuit of an equaliser.

But their hopes of getting back into the game were dealt a blow on 55 minutes when the referee awarded Morecambe a penalty on 55 minutes. Mr Yates spotted something as the two sets of players challenged for an aerial ball at a corner, pointing to the spot and allowing Barkhuizen to drill the ball to Collin's right.

Sheridan made a triple change shortly afterwards, sending on Thierry Audel, Aaron Collins and Vadaine Oliver for Haydn Hollis, Burke and Stead.

The changes saw Notts switch to a 4-4-2, Audel going to right back, Forte moving to the left wing, Matt Tootle to central midfield and Collins partnering Oliver up front.

But the hosts were struggling to trouble the Shrimps, their next chance coming as late at the 77th minute. Oliver held the ball up well but could only fire it wide after allowing it to bounce in Morecambe's area.

Forte was the next man to have a go, latching on to Dickinson's ball into the channel, putting a defender on the floor with a drop of the shoulder and progressing into the area. Despite having options to his right Forte opted to shoot, sending the ball over the angle of bar and crossbar.

Notts were now building momentum and, after Roche had made an excellent save to deny Collins from the edge of the area, Morecambe's defence reacted quickly to block Forte's shot on the follow-up.

And there was more heroic defending from the visitors moments later when Collins shifted the ball on to his left foot eight yards out and looked certain to score - only for the Shrimps to somehow get bodies in the way of the Wolves loanee's shot.

Collins was proving himself to be a threat and, after drawing a booking from Edwards 30 yards out, he sent the ball a yard wide from the resultant free-kick.

Notts continued to press and four additional minutes gave them hope of a miraculous escape.

Deep into added time Oliver halved the deficit with a superb header from just inside the Morecambe area.

But the Magpies were unable to complete the comeback before the referee called time on a frustrating evening for the hosts.

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