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Kevin Nolan full of praise for Notts County and for Oxford City

Joe Jones

Kevin Nolan has paid tribute both to his Notts County players and FA Cup second-round opponents Oxford City after Saturday's encounter at Meadow Lane ended in a 3-2 win for the home side.

The Magpies led on 31 minutes when Oxford failed to clear Carl Dickinson's cross into the box, allowing Richard Duffy to hook home from close range, but Rob Sinclair then levelled for the visitors on 53 minutes.

Within two minutes, Notts were back in front, Stead scoring from the penalty spot after Freddie Grant had brought down Terry Hawkridge, but Matt Paterson fired home in from close range to leave the visitors on the verge of a replay.

However, with the last play of the game, Jonathan Forte's header from Hawkridge's cross was saved, and Notts top scorer Jorge Grant finished from close range at the far post.

"I'm very relieved and rightly so because weren't up to scratch today," Nolan told the official Notts site.

"Oxford City came with a great gameplan and stuck to it, which knocked us out of our stride a bit.

"But the resilience, togetherness and camaraderie the lads showed to score a last-minute winner again is absolutely fantastic and great testament to how far they have come in a short space of time.

"We weren't at our normal levels today but we found a way to win, which is always a great trait to have as a team.

"Oxford City were first-class and are very unlucky to be on the losing side. They played us really well and probably deserved more, but that's the drama of the FA Cup."

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