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Match Reports

Notts 1-0 Swindon

Stead penalty wins it for Notts

12 September 2017

Notts County recorded a hat-trick of wins and clean sheets with a 1-0 victory over Swindon Town at Meadow Lane.

A first-half Jon Stead penalty was enough to give the Magpies all three points on a wet and windy autumn evening.

Kevin Nolan made five changes to the team that beat Morecambe 2-0 on Saturday.

In came Carl Dickinson, Matt Tootle, Rob Milsom, Lewis Alessandra and Jonathan Forte, replacing Dan Jones, Nicky Hunt, Elliott Hewitt, Jorge Grant and the injured Shola Ameobi.

The first big chance of the first half fell to the visitors when Matty Taylor picked out Luke Norris with a cross to the back post. Diving to meet the ball, Norris could only guide it wide.

Notts' response came from Alessandra, who drove the ball narrowly off-target from 20 yards shortly before Notts came within inches of taking the lead.

Ryan Yates was fouled just outside the 'D' and Dickinson took responsbility for the subsequent free-kick. He deftly guided the ball around the wall but, with the Swindon keeper stranded, it clipped the outside of the post and went behind.

Stead volleyed Tootle's cross wide and Swindon's Paul Mullin shot straight at Adam Collin as the sides sought the opening goal.

But it was Notts who claimed it when, after Stead had been hauled down in the area, the forward picked himself up to smash the resultant spotkick into the bottom-left corner.

1-0 was how it stayed going into the break and Notts reemerged unchanged, Alessandra seeing a shot blocked by Olly Lancashire shortly after the restart.

The sides continued to trade tentative blows until the 58th minute, when visiting keeper Lawrence Vigouroux made a stunning low save to divert Forte's header out for a corner.

Stead headed the ball over from Terry Hawkridge's cross, Alessandra saw a shot deflected over after neat play between Hawkridge and Stead and Taylor's 30-yard piledriver took a nick off a Notts man on its way out for a corner as both sides sought the game's next goal.

Alessandra had another opportunity on 76 minutes, controlling Stead's cut back brilliantly on a skiddy surface but seeing his hurried finish blocked by a defender.

Nolan's first substitution saw Grant replace Hawkridge down the right as the game entered its final quarter of an hour.

And the Magpies had Collin to thank for preserving their lead with seven minutes to go when he instinctively kept out Harry Smith's header from a corner.

Elliott Hewitt replaced Alessandra and Alan Smith came on for Stead shortly after four minutes of added time were indicated.

It was a nervy finale as Swindon piled forward, Kellan Gordon smashing the post after a free-kick fell at his feet in the area.

But Notts held firm to claim the victory their tremendous all-round display deserved.


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