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Notts County clinch second successive away point at Exeter City

Joe Jones

Notts County managed to secure a second successive away point by holding Exeter City to a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park.

The hosts dominated proceedings in the first 20 minutes, Tom Nichols firing wide from distance following Jack Barmby’s dispossession at the hands of David Wheeler.

In the 25th minute the Grecians took the lead in controversial circumstances when Izale McLeod was brought down in midfield by a clumsy challenge from Joel Grant, but despite the incident happening in front of referee Graham Salisbury, play was allowed to continue.

The ball was soon switched to Nichols, who curled a shot into the right corner of the net, giving Roy Carroll no chance.

Notts players were furious with the match official, but they responded well and found themselves back on terms by the break.

First Liam Noble’s close-range strike was blocked by Jordan Moore-Taylor and then Adam Campbell dinked a cross to the back post for McLeod to head an effort against the post.

The equaliser finally arrived when Jon Stead did superbly to nod the ball into the path of Noble, who controlled with his chest and volleyed past goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik.

It could have been worse for the Grecians before the break as McLeod turned Jordan Tillson too easily on the edge of the box and brought a good save out of the stopper.

Nicholls had the first chance of the second half as his shot from just inside the area was charged down, but after that the visitors started to look the more threatening.

First Alan Sheehan headed goalwards from a corner, forcing David Noble to clear the ball off the line, and then Olejnik had to produce another good stop to deny McLeod a chance to put the Magpies ahead.

The visitors then had appeals for a penalty turned down when a City player appeared to have handled the ball in the box, before Jon Stead was crowded out in the area just as he was about to fire at goal from the edge of the six-yard box.

Both sides stepped it up a gear in the latter stages of the game in a bid to find a winner, but neither side could find the breakthrough as Ricardo Moniz’s side made it three games unbeaten and remained 16th in the League Two table, with 19 points from 15 games.

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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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