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Match Reports

Notts 1-0 Halifax

Langstaff earns us deserved win

28 January 2023

Match Reports

Notts 1-0 Halifax

Langstaff earns us deserved win

28 January 2023

Macaulay Langstaff scored the winner on a record-equaling day against FC Halifax Town.

The striker pounced on a defensive error to score his 23rd goal of the season and ensure we went 19 matches unbeaten for the first time in 93 years.

In truth, the match was never in doubt as we dominated from start to finish.

Richard Brindley, who had a slight knock, and the almost-fit Tobi Adebayo-Rowling were Luke Williams’ only unavailable players as the head coach selected his first league XI since the draw with Boreham Wood on 10 January.

Sam Slocombe was guarded by a back three of Kyle Cameron, Aden Baldwin and Connell Rawlinson, with Adam Chicksen and Aaron Nemane at wing back.

Matt Palmer and Jim O’Brien shielded the defence, with Sam Austin and Ruben Rodrigues supporting lone striker Langstaff.

That meant Cedwyn Scott had to settle for a place on the bench alongside new arrival Jodi Jones, Geraldo Bajrami, John Bostock and Frank Vincent.

We made a quick start to the match and saw a very dubious offside decision go against us on eight minutes when Langstaff headed home Ruben Rodrigues’ excellent cross inside the six yard box – only to be greeted by the unwelcome sight of the linesman’s flag.

Two minutes later, Rodrigues led a blistering break which resulted in Chicksen’s cut-back being fortuitously turned behind by a defender.

We were having all the play and went close again when Chicksen’s first-time effort was pushed behind awkwardly by goalkeeper Sam Johnson, with Palmer sending a shot over the angle of post and crossbar following the resultant corner.

There was another sniff for Langstaff on 31 minutes when Cameron’s low cross saw the ball squirm into space, but the Teessider could only send his left-footed effort wide on the swivel.

Five minutes later, brilliant interplay between Nemane and Rodrigues released the latter into the area but, from a brilliant crossing position, the Portuguese could only hit the side-netting.

It was becoming a frustrating half but the tension was lifted seven minutes before the break when excellent pressing resulted in Jamie Stott miscuing his backpass to release Langstaff one-on-one with Johnson. The striker skirted past the keeper but a covering defender made the finish far from easy. Langstaff opted to compose himself before, after what felt like an age, finding the net with the perfect finish.

We had a golden opportunity to make it two shortly before the break when Chicksen and Austin linked up brilliantly again, the latter standing a left-footed cross up beautifully in the middle. O’Brien was first to it and could only head the ball over, with Langstaff waiting just behind him.

And the half ended with another barnstorming Chicksen run which resulted in Langstaff being denied again, this time by a defender who got across well to clear the wing back’s delivery.

There were no changes at the break but we nearly altered the scoreline in our favour within eight minutes of the restart, O’Brien seeing his shot brilliantly tipped over following more good work by Chicksen.

Six minutes later we were denied what looked like a stonewall penalty when Nemane pursued a ball into the area and appeared to be hauled back. The officials were unmoved.

Austin saw a shot blocked and a cross just evaded Langstaff as we continued our relentless pursuit of a second goal, with Williams turning to Scott and Jones off the bench for some fresh attacking impetus.

And we should really have had the game wrapped up with 12 minutes to play when Rodrigues pounced on a poor pass and, instead of squaring the ball to the unmarked Scott, took the shot on himself and saw it saved.

The Portuguese had another opportunity shortly afterwards, seeing a shot diverted over, as the next goal continued to elude us.

But in the end it wasn’t to matter as we saw out the game comfortably.

STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron, Baldwin, Rawlinson; Chicksen, Nemane; Palmer, O'Brien (Scott 71'), Austin (Jones 75'), Rodrigues; Langstaff

UNUSED SUBS: Bajrami, Bostock, Vincent

BOOKINGS: Nemane 88', Slocombe 90', Cameron 90'

ATTENDANCE: 7,548 (302)

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