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Match Reports

REPORT: Notts County 2-0 Stevenage

24 February 2018

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Defeat in Nottingham...

Stevenage succumbed to two late goals at Meadow Lane as promotion hopefuls, Notts County eventually found a way to victory.

Despite a positive performance for much of the game, a failure to take chances and a late rally from the home side meant for a frustrating afternoon at the office.

Darren Sarll named an unchanged line-up from the side that beat Yeovil 4-1 last Saturday. Godden and Henry both still missing with injury whilst Chris Whelpdale and Dale Gorman both returned to the bench.

Ben Sheaf was also named as a substitute for the first time, after getting injured on his first day training with the club.

Within seconds of the game kicking off, Stevenage could have taken an early lead. Pressure high up the pitch lead to Luke Amos positioning himself for a shot on goal, smashed into the side netting from a tight angle.

Stevenage bossed the opening periods of the first half and had two penalty appeals turned down inside the first 10 minutes. That final shot was just lacking for Boro though as Goddard and Kennedy both had chances from the edge of the box, both safely stopped by Collin in goal.

Notts’ main route of attack came from the direct route, hoisting the ball into the box from deep and out wide. Stevenage dealt well with the threat, Stead and Allesandra both unable to really test King from their respective efforts on goal.

The home team’s best chance of the half came on 25 minutes, a brilliant whipped delivery from the left hand side into Hewitt, his header just over the crossbar.

Stevenage’s third penalty appeal inside 30 minutes came shortly after, Ben Kennedy seemingly bundled over just a few yards away from goal but once again, Kevin Johnson turned away the protests.

Despite struggling from the challenge and needing time to recover, the Notts fans weren’t in a very welcoming mood and jeered the youngster as he got back to his feet. Just before the half, Kennedy was substituted for Arsenal loanee, Ben Sheaf, a sign that clearly something was wrong.

Boro’s attacking threat subsided some as the half drew to a close, Darren Sarll’s men needing to remain focused as Notts continued to ask questions.

Straight out from the traps in the second half, an uncharacteristic error from Jack King almost gifted Notts the lead. Playing the ball into John Stead, the experienced striker couldn’t find a way past King’s namesake, in goal.

Chances were few and far between in the second half as the home crowd’s frustration continued to grow. Boro were playing a patient game, passing the ball nicely, without causing enough of a threat going forward.

Stevenage’s best chance of the half came on 76 minutes as Jonathan Smith volleyed straight at Collin from 18 yards.

Notts remained dangerous though and eventually made Stevenage pay. Just after Smith’s chance, two goals within a matter of minutes ended the contest. Jorge Grant and then Shola Amoebi both on target from close range, both goals coming from set-pieces.

A disappointing ending to a game that had plenty of promise throughout, two home games against Mansfield and Crewe next up for Stevenage. 

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