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Match Reports

Report: Crawley 0-1 Notts

Grant wins it for Notts

16 September 2017

Match Reports

Report: Crawley 0-1 Notts

Grant wins it for Notts

16 September 2017

Notts County made it four successive wins and clean sheets with a 1-0 victory at Crawley Town.

Jorge Grant's second-half finish - his fifth goal of the season - was enough to send the Magpies home from West Sussex with all three points as they stayed second in the Sky Bet League Two table.

Kevin Nolan made two changes to the side that beat Swindon Town in midweek.

Dan Jones replaced Carl Dickinson at left back, while Lewis Alessandra was given the nod down the left, coming in for Terry Hawkridge.

The first shot of the game went to the visitors, Jon Stead curling the ball straight at Crawley keeper Glenn Morris with two minutes on the clock.

Shaun Brisley deflected Enzio Boldewijn's effort wide and Alessandra nodded the ball past the post after latching on to Jon Stead's cross as both sides searched for the opening goal.

Jimmy Smith was off-target with a header of his own before Boldewijn fired over and wide with two shots in the space of four minutes.

Crawley were marginally in the ascendancy and saw further unsuccessful efforts from Dannie Bulman and Smith before Grant's sliced clearance dropped into the grateful grasp of Adam Collin following Boldewijn's dangerous low cross.

But it was Notts who claimed the best chance of the half, shortly after one minute of added time was indicated. Dan Jones whipped a dangerous free-kick into the middle and the ball fell for Alessandra, who saw his goalbound volley deflected back to him in space 10 yards out. The former Hartlepool man could only fire it wide, leaving the scores level at the break.

Nolan was forced to make his first change on 53 minutes when Brisley limped off and was replaced by Elliott Hewitt at centre back.

That disruption didn't affect Notts, however, as they took the lead two minutes later.

Jones looped the ball into the channel and Forte capitalised on Josh Yorwerth's slip to race into the area. The forward fired the ball low across goal and Grant was on hand to tap the ball home, despite the desperate efforts of Morris in the home goal.

Notts, now with a lead to defend, continued to keep the home side quiet and nearly had a second with 12 minutes to play when Tootle's low, drilled effort was well held by Morris.

Nolan's second change came with five minutes to play when Hawkridge replaced Alessandra.

The home side's mounting frustration was compounded when Forte delayed the taking of a free-kick as injury time loomed, entering the referee's notebook for his troubles.

Three added minutes were indicated when the clock hit 90 and Notts had a big chance to kill the game off when they broke from a Crawley corner. With the home keeper caught in no man's land, Hawkridge played the ball to Forte who had the chance to shoot towards an empty net from 40 yards. The forward instead decided to take on his man and the ball got caught under his feet, allowing the hosts to alleviate the danger.

That was to be Forte's final action of note as he made way for Alan Smith in the dying embers of stoppage time.

And Notts saw out the remaining seconds to secure another solid victory.

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