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Match Reports

Sunderland 2-0 Notts

Magpies bow out of Checkatrade Trophy

4 December 2018

Notts County bowed out of the Checkatrade Trophy at the round of 32 stage following a 2-0 defeat by Sunderland.

The hosts scored either side of the break, Dan Jones with an unfortunate own goal before substitute Benjamin Kimpioka netted from the spot.

Kristian Dennis went closest for the Magpies, seeing his first-half header superbly kept out by the home keeper.

But the visitors were unable to find the net as Neal Ardley's first match in charge ended in defeat to the League One high-flyers.

Notts lined up in a 4-3-3 formation with Dennis flanked by Will Patching and Nathan Thomas.

David Vaughan, Rob Milsom and Elliott Hewitt formed the midfield trio and the back four comprised of Jones, Shaun Brisley, Richard Duffy (C) and Terry Hawkridge.

The Magpies started the game brightly and nearly had the lead on five minutes when Rob Milsom's inswinging free-kick flashed just wide of the far post.

Fitzsimons made saves from Bali Mumba and Max Power as the hosts looked to assert their dominance.

And the Black Cats' growing influence told on 22 minutes when they took the lead in fortuitous fashion.

Duncan Watmore, making his first appearance since October 2017 following an ACL injury, saw his shot parried by Fitzsimons only for the ball to cannon off Jones and into the net.

Hewitt went into the book for a foul on Jack Bainbridge before Kristian Dennis' near-post header was comfortably held by Sunderland keeper Robbin Ruiter.

But the Dutch stopper had to produce a far better save to deny the same man moments later, diving low to his left to keep the forward's headed effort out.

Brisley climbed highest at the resultant corner but could only send the ball over under pressure.

Thomas guided an effort wide with the outside of his left foot, Fitzsimons made a strong one-handed save to deny Bryan Oviedo and Mumba fired over before the referee called time on a closely-contested first half.

There were no changes at the break and a quiet start to the second half was brought to life by Watmore, whose mazy run into the area resulted in him firing a low shot towards the bottom corner. Fitzsimons dived to his right to make a brilliant save.

Ardley's first substitutions came shortly after the hour mark as Dennis and Hawkridge made way for Jon Stead and Noor Husin. Hewitt moved to right back and Husin slotted in behind Stead.

But the changes did nothing to prevent the hosts doubling their lead, lively sub Benji Kimpioka linking up with Mumba before winning a penalty from Jones. Sinclair swept the ball home from the spot.

Duffy went into the book for a foul on Kimpioka before Andy Kellett replaced Patching in Ardley's final change.

Fitzsimons made another excellent save to deny Sinclair before hanging on to Oviedo's deflected effort as the clock ticked down towards full-time.

Notts should have had a consolation when the ball fell kindly for Kellett seven yards out but the former Wigan man could only blast it over.

And the final chance fell to Sunderland's Mumba, who was denied by a heroic Jones block deep into stoppage time.


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