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Match Reports

Notts 1-2 Mansfield

Smith bags first Notts goal in Checkatrade tie

24 October 2017

Notts County were beaten 2-1 by Mansfield Town in the second match of their Checkatrade Trophy group stage.

Alan Smith bagged his first goal for the Magpies to cancel out Lee Angol's early strike.

But CJ Hamilton fired home a second-half winner to leave Notts' chances of progression resting on the outcome of their final group match, away to Lincoln City on Tuesday 7 November.

Kevin Nolan made 10 changes to the team that faced Carlisle United on Saturday, Shaun Brisley the only man to retain his place.

He was partnered by Haydn Hollis in central defence, while Nicky Hunt and the returning Dan Jones completed the back four. Branislav Pindroch was given the nod between the sticks.

Curtis Thompson and Rob Milsom were flanked by Liam Walker and Elliot Hodge, while Callum Saunders and Smith led the line.

The visitors had the dream start when, within a minute, Lee Angol stole possession and rolled a low effort beyond Pindroch from 25 yards to give the Stags the lead.

Thankfully for Notts, Pindroch was equal to Paul Digby's close-range effort four minutes later, the Slovakian denying the Mansfield man with a superb save.

Jones and Saunders both sent efforts off-target by way of response before former Magpie Jimmy Spencer crashed a shot off the bar and could only watch on as Brisley made a superb challenge to deny Angol a certain goal on the rebound.

But the next goal went Notts' way when Mansfield failed to clear Brisley's nod-down from a well-worked short corner and Smith smashed the ball home from close range on 34 minutes for his first Notts goal.

The Magpies nearly went into the break ahead when, in stoppage time, Hollis nodded the ball narrowly over from a corner.

The half ended in controversial style when Stags stopper Bobby Olejnik appeared to carry the ball outside his own penalty area but the referee was unmoved and the half ended with the score locked at 1-1.

Both sides traded tentative blows in the early exchanges of the second half, Notts coming close to taking the lead just before the hour when Walker curled an effort just wide of the post.

Nolan's first substitution followed, Carl Dickinson replacing Jones shortly before Milsom saw an effort deflected wide of the post.

The prospect of penalties was beginning to loom large but Mansfield had other ideas, retaking the lead with 18 minutes to play when Hamilton latched on to a loose ball inside the Notts penalty area before firing it into the top corner.

Smith went into the book for a foul on Rhys Bennett and Pindroch made an excellent fingertip save to prevent Mal Benning's free-kick creeping in at the far post as the clock ticked down.

Nolan's final changes saw Smith and Milsom replaced by Lewis Alessandra and Jorge Grant as the manager injected extra creative flair.

And Walker almost struck a late equaliser, only to see his low shot flash inches wide of the post.

Walker was involved again moments later, teeing up Hollis from a corner but seeing the defender's header go wide.

Five minutes were added on at the end of the match but the Magpies were unable to find an equaliser.


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