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Match Report: Notts County cheated out of victory at Coventry City

Joe Jones

Notts County found themselves the victims of a robbery in Coventry this evening as referee Gavin Ward awarded the most ridiculous penalty decision you will see in a long time to help Coventry City secure a late 1-1 draw in Saturday night's League Two semi-final playoff first leg at the Ricoh Arena.

The Sky Blues began brightly on a rain-sodden pitch in the West Midlands, with Marc McNulty being played clean through by Jordan Shipley and firing against the foot of the Notts post before Max Biamou hit the rebound which was blocked by a back-tracking defender.

Notts, however, worked up the gears and threatened through the likes of Jonathan Forte, who headed over from Jorge Grant's corner, Dan Jones lashing the ball across the face of goal, and Forte then being denied by a Lee Burge save.

Coventry spurned another good chance to take the lead before the break when Tom Bayliss snuck in behind Elliott Hewitt only to drag his effort wide of the post, and it would be a miss that they would rue as the Magpies went on to open the scoring shortly after the restart.

The warning signs had been there as Chris "Notts are a long ball team" Stokes cleared a Hewitt header off the line, and not long after, Jones rode a Jack Grimmer challenge before sending a low ball towards goal, which Forte deftly flicked into the back of the net to send the travelling contingent into delirium.

However, Notts ended up getting screwed over when, just a few minutes from time, Tom Bayliss theatrically went down under a Matt Tootle challenge, prompting Ward to somehow award a penalty which McNulty rifled the opposite way of Collin to literally steal a goal back and leave the tie on a knife edge.

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