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Match Reaction: Stevenage 1-1 Notts County, Saturday 11 November 2017

Joe Jones

Notts County have claimed a 1-1 draw in Saturday's League Two encounter at Stevenage.

The Magpies fell behind at Broadhall Way through Danny Newton's 38th-minute strike, but levelled through Elliott Hewitt in the second half.

Stevenage then found themselves repelling numerous attacks from the visitors and were lucky to hold out until the final whistle and ensure a share of the spoils.

Combined with Cheltenham Town's 97th-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Luton Town, the draw ensures Notts remain at the top of the table.

Here is the reaction from Notts manager Kevin Nolan, several players, and the Black and White Army following the game at Broadhall Way.

Kevin Nolan

"We could have won it and I don't think people would have been able to argue if we did. We dominated the second half.

"I was disappointed after the start we made. We were on top in the first 10-15 minutes but took our foot off the pedal a bit and let Stevenage into the game.

"They scored from a third phase from a free-kick which we gave away sloppily so we were disappointed to go in 1-0 down at half-time. We have to stop doing that.

"But we have to respect the point. I'm delighted with the squad. They are where they deserve to be."

Elliott Hewitt

"The first half wasn't good enough today. But in the second half I thought we dominated throughout.

"Maybe we deserved more, but you've got to respect the point away. It's a tough place to come, as we found out last year when we lost 3-0.

"Maybe last season we would have lost that game, starting the way we did, but all the lads stuck together.

"We've got a really good group here and got the draw."

Players on social media



The Notts fans

Nigel Nattrass: A hard-fought point, with Notts showing all the battling qualities and spirit that we’ve come to expect this season. Before the game I would’ve settled for a draw, and I suppose on the balance of things a draw was a fair result. But this was a game that Notts had the lions’ share of in terms of possession and territory, without really being able to open up the oppositions’ defence in the same way they’d done against Newport and Bristol Rovers. Chances for both sides were few and far between, but Notts had the bulk of the half-chances and with a little more incision in and around the box (perhaps with Shola Ameobi available) they may well have come home with all three points.

Stevenage are not by any means the most gifted of teams, but they are hard-working, well-organised, and play to their strengths. They are a physical side, although not exactly the dirty donkeys of a few years ago. But Notts are no shrinking violets of course, so stood up to the physical side and imposed their own game when they could. That meant the game was at times a bit niggly ( I lost count of the yellow cards but I think it was five for Stevenage and three for Notts).

I think for Terry Hawkridge and Ryan Yates this game was a touch too physical. Neither had much impact in the first half, although Hawkridge did shine a bit more after the break, playing a little further forward. In the first half he’d been playing a very rigid role, tucked in to the right of midfield, so wasn’t finding much space on the ball.

Elliot Hewitt's equaliser after about an hour came as a result of a misplaced square pass by a defender. Jorge Grant was fastest to react, collecting the loose ball and playing it inside for the onrushing Hewitt, who coolly picked his spot from just inside the box. The goal gave Notts a big lift and they went on to dominate the last 30 mins.

Grant, Stead, Brisley and Hewitt all went close to putting Notts in front, but couldn’t quite get their efforts on target under pressure from opponents.

We heard the Stevenage manager being interviewed on BBC Three Counties Radio on the way home, and he said he felt it was “a good point” for his team against a good side. No doubt Kevin Nolan is also satisfied with the performance of HIS team.

I am, too... but it's just a shame that we couldn’t turn all that possession into an extra goal. But hey ho....we’re still top of the league and we go again next weekend.

Liampie: Disappointed by the lack of performance in the first half but as Nolan says you got to respect the point. Stevenage it difficult to play for sure and they used their strikers well, I can't help but feel lucky considering their chances.

Chris: I'm also disappointed by the lack of application in the first half, and it did sound like we was considerably lucky at times not be stirring down at a defeat. Though I am delighted with the point which happened through hard work, its just one of those things which we can be thankful for because we still sit in a good position - previously this kind of result would have more concern but I guess we are writing our own luck at the minute. Stevenage clearly did their home work, so I just hope we learn to be quicker to assert our own presence over the opposition and take time to be more alert at the back (as it sounded quite poor at times). This month has some decent fixtures, it's just a shame this result wasn't better for that reason.

Upthepies: It's a good point when you think about the possible outcome. I do understand the frustration mentioned before me, we was poor in the first half but Nolan corrected this within the second half. It just goes to show that the old saying that its a game of two halves bares true. We also had a number of fantastic efforts within the second half, so either team could have won.

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The first half we were playing a long ball game that suited there big strong defence and lets face it Stead is not a target man and we were lucky to go in just 1 down .the 2nd half we ran them ragged by playing football but the ball just would not fall for us ,a draw was a fair result overall tho the ref missed a dead cert pen (for handball ) that may have made a difference ,we just have to put it down to one of those days of which there will be others before the season ends and look at it as 1 more point nearer saftey 

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