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Match Reports

Notts 0-0 Solihull Moors

Stalemate at the Lane

3 September 2019

Notts County played out a goalless draw with Solihull Moors on Tuesday night.

Neither team was able to break the deadlock during an industrious encounter at Meadow Lane, where chances were at a premium as the Magpies went three games unbeaten at home. 

Neal Ardley made two changes to the side beaten at Yeovil on Saturday as Mitch Rose returned after sitting out the trip to Somerset, while Kyle Wootton was handed his full debut. Regan Booty and Kristian Dennis dropped to the bench.

That meant a back four of Dion Kelly-Evans, Sam Graham, Ben Turner and Damien McCrory continued to protect Sam Slocombe, while Jim O'Brien, Michael Doyle and Enzio Boldewijn completed a midfield quartet and Wes Thomas was again given the nod in attack.

The visitors quickly showed their threat, with Jamey Osborne's low cross finding Nathan Blissett inside two minutes and a pair of Notts defenders had to be sharp to close the striker down and divert his shot behind.

After a couple of dangerous set pieces came to nothing at either end, it was Kelly-Evans who next had a sighter but his effort was well blocked by Alex Nicholls on the edge of the Solihull area. 

On eight minutes, Callum Howe spurned a good opening for the Moors after being picked out by Blissett, who looked to have fouled O'Brien in the build-up, but the defender fired wide from the penalty spot.

Notts were patiently probing and looking to work openings, but it was the visitors who were managing to create shooting opportunities and Osborne was looking dangerous, with Turner twice making good blocks on the edge of the area and Slocombe making a comfortable save to keep the attacking midfielder out.

Shortly before the half-hour mark, Boldewijn switched flanks as the Magpies looked for that extra bit of creativity and the change very nearly paid off instantly.

Solihull piled men forward for a long throw, but Notts broke quickly with Rose releasing the Dutchman down the left wing. He drove into the penalty area and cut inside his man to bend an effort towards the bottom corner, which Ryan Boot did excellently to push away with a one-handed save.

Turner headed straight at the Moors keeper before Kyle Storer sent an effort sailing over Slocombe's crossbar as both sides looked to gain an advantage before the break.

And full debutant Wootton had the opportunity to open his account on 38 minutes when O'Brien and Thomas worked a neat one-two before the Scot picked him out on the edge of the box. The striker spun his man excellently but couldn't get hold of his shot and it rolled wide of the target. 

Shortly before one minute of added time was indicated, in which Rose picked up a booking for a pull in the middle of the park, Darren Carter's deep cross found Howe at the back post but the defender headed over with the last chance of the first half. 

Both sides returned for the second period unchanged but the deadlock went as close as it had to being broken within four minutes of the resumption. 

A sloppy pass from Turner allowed Osborne to drive towards the Magpies' penalty area and Boldewijn picked up a booking for a nudge in the midfielder's back just outside the box. The Moors man picked himself up to strike and sent the free-kick over the wall to rattle Slocombe's crossbar as Meadow Lane breathed a sigh of relief. 

There were no chances of note at either end in the 15 minutes that followed but, just before Dennis replaced Boldewijn, Matt Stenson should have done better when Jamie Reckord's cross picked him out, but the Solihull substitute miscued his header and it went a long way wide.

Blissett shot straight at Slocombe after benefitting from a lucky ricochet on 67 minutes, shortly before Notts thought they were about to be awarded a penalty when the whistle blew after Turner went down following the delivery of a corner - referee Daniel Middleton pointed the other way, however.

The Magpies were lining up in a 4-3-3 formation following the change but Dennis' first key involvement came in his own penalty area, winning an important defensive header to stop Tyrone Williams connecting with Carter's dangerous free-kick.

Reckord was lucky not to receive his marching orders for a late challenge on Kelly-Evans in the 81st minute, before two chances in quick succession fell to Dennis as the minutes ticked away.

The first came as the forward got in down the left flank before cutting into the area and attempting to beat Boot from a tight angle, but the keeper turned behind with his foot. From the resultant corner Dennis shot on the turn, only to see his effort blocked by substitute Mitch Hancox.

O'Brien and Alex Gudger were booked following a coming together in the middle of the park, just before three minutes of added time were indicated.

And Notts had a fantastic chance to nick the points at the death when Kelly-Evans crossed for his opposite full back but McCrory headed over from eight yards in the last action of the evening. 


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