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Match Reports

Swindon 3-1 Notts

Magpies relegated following Robins defeat

4 May 2019

Notts County were relegated from Sky Bet League Two after suffering a 3-1 defeat at Swindon Town.

At one stage in the afternoon the Magpies were out of the bottom two, with Kane Hemmings' penalty early in the second half seeing Notts climb above Macclesfield, who were losing 1-0 to Cambridge.

But Kaiyne Woolery brought Swindon level before Theo Robinson's brace made Macclesfield's result irrelevant as Notts' finished the season in 23rd place.

Neal Ardley was forced to make one change as Matt Tootle, missing through illness, made way for David Vaughan. The Welshman joined Michael Doyle and Jim O'Brien in a three-man central midfield, while Mitch Rose reverted to the right side of defence.

Swindon claimed the first shot on an edgy afternoon as Kyle Bennett showed neat skill to beat O'Brien on the touchline before supplying Robinson, who fired the ball high and wide of the near post.

Notts' response came from Vaughan as he sent a low, speculative effort wide with 15 minutes on the clock.

But the Magpies were dealt a blow on 25 minutes when Shaun Brisley, who had been hobbling for a while, was forced off. Enzio Boldewijn replaced him as Ardley switched to a 4-3-3, with Hemmings down the left.

The sides exchanged half-chances as Pierce Bird slid in to block Robinson's shot before Boldewijn failed to connect with Rob Milsom's cross in the area.

And Notts' rearguard were in action again on 38 minutes as Sam Stubbs threw himself in the way of Woolery's effort before Ali Koiki went down under pressure from Rose, only for the referee to wave Town's penalty claims away.

Michael Doughty wrote his name into the referee's notebook for a cynical lunge on O'Brien as half-time approached.

And Notts went into the break level after Swindon's final effort of the half saw Ryan Schofield dig Kyle Knoyle's heavily deflected effort out from under his own crossbar to push the ball over.

The sides remerged for the second half unchanged and the hosts had a chance to take the lead when they embarked on a quick counter-attack shortly after the restart. It resulted in Keshi Anderson seeing two shots blocked before Bennett curled the ball over the bar on the rebound.

Notts were well in the game, though, and had a golden opportunity to take a 52nd minute lead when Tom Broadbent bundled Mackail-Smith over in the penalty area, leaving referee Stephen Martin with no choice but to point to the spot.

Hemmings took responsibility, firing the ball into the top-right corner in front of more than 2,000 jubilant Notts fans.

It was a goal which, at the time, put the Magpies above Macclesfield, who were losing 1-0 to Cambridge.

And Notts nearly heaped even more pressure on the Silkmen when O'Brien's corner found its way to the back post, where Stubbs could only turn the ball wide on the stretch.

But news soon emerged from Moss Rose that Sol Campbell's side had equalised against Cambridge, moments before Boldewijn burst into the area and fired wide of the near post.

And a real rollercoaster period concluded with Woolery showing incredible pace to get into the Notts area before rolling the ball beyond Schofield and into the net, sending Notts deeper into trouble.

Vaughan made way for Jon Stead as Ardley increased his forward options with 20 minutes to play.

And his strike partner, Mackail-Smith, came agonisingly close to restoring Notts' lead when he flicked O'Brien's deflected effort goalwards. Unfortunately it was straight at the goalkeeper, allowing Swindon to counter-attack and eventually take the lead.

Robinson claimed the goal, picking up a loose ball on the edge of the area and finishing superbly beyond Schofield to leave Notts needing a miracle.

The same man added gloss to the scoreline in the first minute of added time, sending the ball into the roof of the net with a close-range finish.

And, with a chorus of 'I had a Wheelbarrow' ringing out around the County Ground, the referee called time on the match shortly afterwards.

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