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Match Reports

Notts 1-0 Woking

Wootton seals deserved win

5 December 2020

Kyle Wootton scored late on to make amends for an earlier penalty miss and earn us a deserved victory over Woking.

It had threatened to be a frustrating afternoon for Wootton and the team, with the forward uncharacteristically squandering several opportunities only to bag the winner late on thanks to a brilliant assist from substitute Enzio Boldewijn.

Neal Ardley had made two changes to the side held to a 0-0 draw at Dagenham in midweek.

Richard Brindley, who missed the visit to East London with an ankle knock, came in for the bench-bound Adam Chicksen in a move which saw Dion Kelly-Evans switch to left back.

In attack, winger Tom Walker was handed his first start as Boldewijn took his place among the substitutes.

And, shortly after Max Kretzschmar had fired a seventh-minute effort over from 20 yards, Walker claimed our first shot of the day, receiving an excellent cross-field ball from Michael Doyle, cutting into the area and hitting the side-netting.

Wootton's first chance of the day came in the 23rd minute when Brindley burst to the byline and stood up an inviting cross which the forward lept to meet but failed to generate sufficient contact with his header.

A tougher chance was to follow as Wootton saw his shot on the turn deflected wide by a defender after Connell Rawlinson had nodded Doyle's free-kick into the danger zone.

And a frustrating first half was epitomised shortly before the break as Walker produced a delightful dummy which enabled him to race away down the right and send an excellent low cross into the middle. Elisha Sam arrived just too late to turn the ball home from close range.

Moments after receiving a booking himself, Ruben Rodrigues was hacked down by Ben Dempsey who joined him on a yellow.

And the half ended with a rare chance for the visitors as Dave Tarpey, who had earlier replaced the injured Kane Ferdinand, nodded the ball on to the roof of our net from a corner.

There were no changes at the break but we had a huge opportunity to alter the scoreline shortly after the restart when Jack Cook felled Wootton in the area to give the forward the chance to put us ahead from the spot. Visiting keeper Craig Ross got down to his right to push his penalty away, however.

Boldewijn replaced Sam on the hour as Ardley added fresh impetus in attack, but all eyes were on Wootton once more when Ben Turner nodded the ball down from Doyle's cross only for the forward to miss his kick with a great chance to score.

Wootton then mysteriously entered the book for an alleged foul when battling to flick on Sam Slocombe's goal kick on an afternoon which appeared to be conspiring against him.

And, after Boldewijn's ambitious overhead kick was comfortably saved and Charlie Cooper had blazed the ball over from the edge of the area - the visitors' best chance of the second half - it looked increasingly like we'd have to settle for a point once again.

But Boldewijn, who along with Rodrigues' earlier replacement Jim O'Brien was having an excellent impact off the bench, had other ideas as with 12 minutes to play he expertly controlled Doyle's forward pass, held off his defender and showed superb composure to roll the ball to his right for Wootton to apply a close-range finish.

Woking now needed to throw caution to the wind but found their attacking endeavour thwarted by Kelly-Evans, who produced a brave block to get in the way of Tarpey's shot as the clock ticked down.

But in the end the scoreline could have been weighted more in our favour after O'Brien saw an effort deflected narrowly wide and his ex-Bradford team-mate Jake Reeves sent a shot looping up off a defender and over the bar.

Four minutes were added on at the end of the match but our goal never looked in much danger as we recorded our third consecutive clean sheet, stretched our unbeaten run to five matches and rose to third place in the table.

Notts starting XI: Slocombe; Kelly-Evans, Turner, Rawlinson, Brindley; Sam (Boldewijn 60'), Reeves, Doyle, Walker (Knowles 80'); Rodrigues (O'Brien 68'), Wootton

Subs (unused): Pilling, Chicksen


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