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Match Report: Notts County automatic promotion hopes in tatters following loss to Accrington Stanley


Joe Jones

Notts County's automatic promotion hopes have been left in tatters after succumbing to a 1-0 loss away at Accrington Stanley.

Magpies boss Kevin Nolan made seven changes to his starting XI given the quick turnaround of games, with the last League Two fixture - the home draw with Wycombe Wanderers - taking place three days earlier.

Notts began brightly as Carl Dickinson rifled an effort wide and Liam Walker forced a save from goalkeeper Jonny Maxted in the early exchanges.

Sean McConville had the hosts' first sighting of goal, his effort deflecting just wide for a corner, and from the ensuing set piece they would take the lead.

The visitors twice failed to clear their lines before Seamus Conneely found defender Mark Hughes unmarked at the back post, the ensuing finish buried into the far corner beyond Adam Collin.

Notts continued to boast a lot of possession despite the early setback and, on 21 minutes, Jonathan Forte rattled the bar with a bullet header from close range.

Stanley, however, were the more dangerous side, with Collin keeping out efforts from Kayden Jackson and Billy Kee.

The second half brought about little change at first as a Conneely effort was fumbled by Collin with Jackson unable to convert the follow-up, while Jordan Clark fired wide in a good position.

Matty Virtue should have levelled for County on the hour as Rob Milsom's delivery found him unmarked six yards out but the Liverpool loanee somehow his header wide.

Jackson came close to doubling Stanley's tally but was denied by Collin while Jorge Grant fired wide for County in a decent position with 10 minutes to go.

Nevertheless, John Coleman's side succeeded in extending their winning record come the final whistle, while for Notts, the focus now surely changes to remaining in the playoffs.

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