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Match Report: Exeter City the latest team to enjoy fruitful afternoon against pathetic Notts County


With the exception of Colchester United, every team that Notts County have played so far in League Two have plundered at least three goals, and today's game against Exeter City saw the largest total shipped by a Magpies side very quickly establishing a reputation for itself as a punching bag in a 5-1 defeat at St James' Park.

No doubts about it, this Notts side is a farce. From a full-back one missed penalty away from a hat-trick to manager Harry Kewell sent to the stands in his first league game for his new club, a team that had already suffered plenty of humiliations this season has plumbed new depths, and the way things are going now, relegation is a certainty unless a coach whose appointment has been met in the same manner as that of Jamie Fullarton can somehow work enough magic to turn this shower into something resembling a professional football team.

In all fairness, County had started well enough in Devon, with Nathan Thomas going close and Kristian Dennis being denied by Christy Pym from range, but as has been the case oh so many times this season, the defence was sliced apart like butter as the Grecians quickly established a two-goal lead, Pierce Sweeney heading home from a corner - another set piece concession - and Thomas caught out in possession to allow Hiram Boateng to set up Jayden Stockley for an easy drive.

There was a sliver of hope with half time on the horizon as Enzio Boldewijn cut inside and curled home a great effort from outside the box, a goal which frankly came out of nowhere but which definitely set up a good springboard for Kewell's boys to mount a second-half comeback.

Did this happen? Did it [redacted].

Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain handled the ball in the box while challenging for it, an act so foolish that his own teammates wondered what he was doing, and Sweeney fired an effort into the bottom right-hand corner, despite Ross Fitzsimons diving the right way.

Not long after, Boldewijn was found guilty of the same mistake and Sweeney, a right-back, was then in with a chance of securing a hat-trick, but to save County's already-plentiful blushes, he hammered wide.

Not that Notts have had any trouble embarrassing themselves this season, not even any need for other teams to do it. The defence practically gave Nicky Law free rein to make his way into the final third before the Exeter man crossed for Stockley to slam past Fitzsimons from six yards out.

Just for good measure, Kewell's protestations led to him being dismissed from the dugout and sent to the stands, with BBC Nottingham commentator and Maggies legend Mark Stallard conceding that the Australian would have been better off sitting somewhere facing away from the pitch.

With injury time coming up, Exeter added a fifth just to really add the mud-encrusted boot to the face of the beaten Magpies, Aaron Martin heading another easy goal from close range to leave Notts foot of the table on one measly point.

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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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