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Hartlepool 3-2 Notts

Joe Jones

Shaun Derry's first match in charge of Notts County sadly ended in defeat at the hands of Hartlepool United in the first round of the FA Cup. Even though Notts gave a great account of themselves towards the end of the game having pulled it back to 3-2 in the last ten minutes, the scoreline remained the same at the final whistle, knocking the Magpies out of the competition at the very first hurdle. Derry's debut side had three changes from the one that lost at Coventry last week, with Yoann Arquin replacing Danny Haynes, Curtis Thompson slotting in at right-back.

Jordan Holt's place in the team lost, and Jamal Campbell-Ryce in instead of Greg Tempest.

The first attack of the game came from the dangerous Luke James, who ran past Thompson on the wing and attempted a low cross, winning a corner as Dean Leacock forced it behind.

The first ten minutes saw another two chances, both by Jonathan Franks, first firing wide on the volley from outside the area after a free-kick and then a closer effort being blocked by Alan Sheehan.

On the quarter-hour mark, the League 2 side broke the deadlock, as a Simon Walton free-kick was headed home by Jack Baldwin.

Notts, however, responded in fine fashion, a Joss Labadie shot rebounding off Walton and Leacock to make it 1-1 just two minutes later.

Notts had a good spell thereafter, Leacock having two further attempts on goal, one wide and one saved, while Callum McGregor fired a low shot but was saved comfortably. In between, Baldwin fired a header towards Bart from a Hartlepool corner, but was saved.

On 41 minutes, Hartlepool then regained the lead, which they wouldn't relinquish. Andy Monkhouse's shot from the edge of the area was nicely parried by Bart, but the rebound was prodded in by James.

The first half over, there was plenty to mull over for Derry. The second half began with Hartlepool imposing themselves once again, James Poole having two attempts at 50 and 55 minutes, but the pendulum would swing Notts' way as the away side began pressing.

Even though we had mustered ten corner kicks by the 70th minute, we still weren't threatening the goal properly, and sadly, we'd come to rue those missed opportunities, because on 74 minutes, a scramble in the Notts goalmouth saw James once again smash the ball into the net for 3-1.

A deflated Notts did however manage to net a consolation, substitute Ronan Murray firing into the net from a good Sheehan cross, but despite the away side's continued pressing, they were unable to pull it back to 3-3, and so Notts are out of the FA Cup and will miss out on the chance to make it to the glamorous Third Round.

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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