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Match Reports

Notts 2-0 Morecambe

Jones and Forte win the day

9 September 2017

Notts County made it six matches unbeaten with a convincing 2-0 victory against Morecambe at Meadow Lane.

Dan Jones opened the scoring with a superb free-kick - his first goal for the club - and substitute Jonathan Forte made the points safe deep into the second half.

Kevin Nolan named an unchanged side following last weekend's 1-0 win at Port Vale.

That meant defenders Shaun Brisley and Nicky Hunt had sufficiently recovered from knocks sustained at Vale Park to face the Shrimps.

Notts nearly had the dream start when Shola Ameobi met Dan Jones' inswinging corner with a header, guiding the ball inches wide.

It was a bright start from the home side, who saw Jorge Grant crowded out when well placed before Jon Stead came within inches of turning home Terry Hawkridge's cross.

Ameobi saw his long-range curling effort palmed away by Morecambe keeper Barry Roche, who was making his 500th EFL appearance, before Hawkridge saw a shot blocked by a defender.

Despite Notts' domincance, it could - and probably should - have been 1-0 to the visitors on 25 minutes when Steven Old found himself space to head the ball goalwards from a corner. The ball flew straight at Adam Collin.

And, a minute after that golden opportunity went begging, Notts made the Shrimps pay. Ameobi won a free-kick just outside the 'D' and Jones curled the ball precisely over the wall and into the top corner for his first Notts goal.

Stead almost made it two when he turned a defender and curled the ball inches wide, moments before a hobbling Ameobi made way for Jonathan Forte.

1-0 was how it stayed going into the interval and there were no further Notts changes at the break.

The first chance of the second half fell to Morecambe defender Old, whose header from the drilled cross of former Magpie Adam Campbell was hacked away by Jones.

Stead turned Forte's cross over the bar by way of response, before Elliott Hewitt entered the book for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The game was still delicately poised but Brisley nearly doubled Notts' lead when his header from a corner landed on the roof of the net with 66 minutes on the clock.

Another former Notts man, Garry Thompson, skewed an effort wide on the turn before Nolan made his second change, sending Milsom on in place of Hunt. Hewitt moved to right back.

Stead sent two curling efforts over the bar as Notts continued their hunt for the all-important next goal.

And there were strong appeals for a penalty with seven minutes to play when a bouncing ball appeared to hit a Morecambe hand in the area. The referee waved play on and Notts did just that, keeping up their pressure and seeing a Jones cross-cum-shot roll inches wide of the far post.

That wasn't to matter, however, as the Magpies added a deserved second goal shortly afterwards. Forte was the man of the moment, racing on to a through ball and sliding it into the far corner with a precise left-footed effort.

Grant had a chance to make it three with a free-kick from the edge of the area but could only curl the ball over. That proved to be the midfielder's final contribution as he made way for Lewis Alessandra shortly before five added minutes were indicated.

It had been a quiet day's work for Collin until that moment but the keeper had to make saves from Thompson and Elliot Osborne to secure his second successive clean sheet and another good win for the Magpies.

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