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Match Reports

Notts 2-0 AFC Fylde

Victory against last season's play-off finalists

28 September 2019

Notts County recorded a 2-0 win over AFC Fylde in front of over 9,000 supporters at Meadow Lane on Saturday afternoon.

Wes Thomas gave the Magpies the advantage 19 minutes into the game and it stayed that way until the 80th, when Damien McCrory nodded home from a corner to make sure of the points.

The result saw Notts record back-to-back wins for the first time this season and extend their unbeaten run at home to five matches. 

Neal Ardley kept faith with the squad that recorded an impressive victory at Boreham Wood in midweek, which meant Sam Osborne - who scored his first senior goal on Tuesday night - retained his place on the wing as Sean Shields' wait to make his full debut continued.

After a tentative opening 10 minutes, Notts began to put ther foot on the gas and called visiting keeper Dan Lavercombe into action twice inside the first quarter of an hour.

First it was Osborne as he looked to find the target for the second game in succession. Richard Brindley's lofted pass was inadvertently headed into the winger's path and he tried his luck with a dipping right-footed strike of the bouncing ball, which was turned over the bar.

Notts sustained the pressure from the set piece and a Mitch Rose long throw was headed down to Thomas, who had a difficult angle to try and beat Lavercombe from - the Coasters' stopper blocked his shot and it went behind for a corner. 

He could do nothing to prevent the former Grimsby man opening the scoring on 19 minutes, though. Connell Rawlison played a pass forward from centre half and picked the striker out on the edge of the box. He beautifully brought the ball under his spell before turning his man and bursting past another to find the space to rifle into the roof of the net for his third Notts goal. 

Referee Peter Gibbons was forced off with an injury midway through the half after colliding with Fylde's Kyle Jameson and the visitors had their first sighter on 28 minutes when Danny Philliskirk tried his luck with a free-kick from 30 yards, which wasn't far over Sam Slocombe's crossbar.

Notts went straight down the other end and Osborne picked out Thomas with a whipped cross, which the striker controlled excellently but he lost his footing and the chance to double his tally passed him by.

Fylde began to look lively as the first half drew to a close but they were restricted to efforts from distance, with Rawlinson and his central defensive partner McCrory making good interventions to clear a pair of dangerous crosses. 

Seven minutes were added on for stoppages at the end of the opening period, during which a Regan Booty corner led to an airshot from McCrory, who was later strongly challenged by Danny Rowe on halfway - the Coasters striker went into the book.

The Fylde frontman registered the visitors' first shot on target deep into the additional time but Slocombe comfortably held his low 20-yarder before the sides returned to their dressing rooms.

Notts started the second half brightly and won a corner inside a minute, which McCrory climbed well to meet but he couldn't keep his header down.

The visitors came out intent on levelling proceedings quickly and had the ball in good positions throughout the opening exchanges following the restart but Slocombe wasn't called into meaningful action, with a deflected Ryan Croasdale shot not troubling him at all.

Rawlinson made an excellent sliding challenge on Rowe on 54 minutes shortly before Osborne forced another strong save out of Lavercombe after cutting in from the right flank and shooting from 20 yards. The Coasters keeper pushed the attempt over the bar. 

The winger was withdrawn on the hour, with Shields on in his place for his first appearance at Meadow Lane, playing in a free role off the front two with Booty going out to the left. 

The Coasters were in the ascendency, though, and were getting dangerous crosses into the Magpies' area with increasing regularity but were still yet to trouble Slocombe.

Ardley looked to seize back the initiative by throwing Kristian Dennis into the fray on 67 minutes, with Thomas making way, but the visitors has their best two chances moments later. 

Scott Duxbury's low cross was deflected into the path of Jordan Williams at the back post and Slocombe had to rush out of his goal and make himself big to deny the former Rochdale man one-on-one.

From the resultant corner, the ball broke kindly for Nick Haughton who fired a fierce effort towards goal and the Magpies keeper parried away.

The saves seemed to spark Notts back into life and Kyle Wootton and Enzio Boldewijn both had openings on the right side of the Fylde area in the minutes that followed - the former slipping as he shot before the Dutchman's effort was blocked behind for a corner.

That proved to be the winger's last action as he was replaced by Pierce Bird with 16 minutes to play, which signalled a change in shape for the Magpies, who went to a 3-5-2 in an attempt to see the game out.

And the substitute had an almost instant impact at the other end. Wootton had done well to win a corner which Booty whipped into the area where Bird flicked on at the near post. McCrory was perfectly positioned inside the six-yard box to clinically head home and register his first for the club to calm any nerves inside Meadow Lane. 

Another Booty set piece caused havoc with four minutes to play and Wootton attempted to scramble the ball home at the back post but was crowded out and Fylde cleared.

Dan Bradley, who had looked lively all afternoon for the Coasters, almost made it a nervy finale when he showed neat feet in the area before bending a shot just past Slocombe's far post.

Four minutes were added on at the end of the 90, during which Duxbury whipped a devilish low ball into the area but there was no one on the end of it for the visitors.

A late corner might have had Slocombe fearing he'd lose his third successive Meadow Lane clean sheet but Notts dealt with the delivery and left the field to a rapturous reception following the final whistle.


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