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Match Report: Notts County slip to meek Accrington Stanley defeat

Joe Jones

One step forward, two steps back. Much like the goalless draw against Mansfield Town was followed up by the 2-0 defeat at Grimsby Town, so was the impressive 2-1 win over Crawley Town followed up by an insipid 2-0 defeat at Accrington Stanley, a club whose name is usually followed up with "who are they" said in a Scouse accent.

Who are they? Oh, just a team that Notts haven't beaten in the league in seven years. A team whose recent record over Notts reads two draws and four wins. A team that the Magpies should be embarrassed to share a pitch with in a league fixture, never mind slip to defeat (the same goes for Morecambe, the very definition of lower-league minnows, yet their recent record over us is damning).

Today, Accrington mustered six shots on target. Notts managed just one. The first goal came from a set piece and a cross swung into the box by Sean McConville and nodded home by Harvey Rodgers, a straightforward passage of play that any self-respecting defence should be swatting away without too much difficulty.

And then came the second goal, which was downright laughable were it not conceded by the team we support - Jonny Edwards was up against two Notts defenders chasing a ball over the top, he beat one for pace, and in the process the tumbling player took out his teammate as if they were skittles - leaving Edwards all the time and space a footballer could ever wish for to charge towards goal.

Adam Collin did well to keep his initial shot out, but the incoming Noor Husin was on hand to rifle home on the rebound completely unmarked. I reckon I could have done a better job of defending that had I been playing with a hangover.

As it stands, Notts are 22nd in the table, one point above Leyton Orient and two above bottom side Newport County. But - and this is the crucial bit - the two sides in the relegation zone have a game in hand. If, at this moment in time, that one game in hand was a win, Notts would be bottom of the league. Of the entire English Football League.

Notts have 17 games left to save their season. Each game is a cup final now, because relegation for the Magpies would be disastrous and humiliating beyond belief. Kevin Nolan, Notts players, over to you.

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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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