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Match Report: Notts County survive scare to beat Carlisle United

Joe Jones

Notts County have bounced back from their horror week with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Carlisle United on Tuesday night.

Jon Stead's first-half brace did the damage against the Cumbrians, who made it a nervy finish through a deflected Jamie Devitt strike after the break and an inexplicable seven minutes of injury time.

The game began with both sides looking dangerous, the best chance of the first quarter of an hour coming when Matt Tootle exchanged passes with Shola Ameobi to get into the area before rifling wide of the upright.

Notts managed to break the deadlock on 19 minutes when Carlisle gifted the hosts possession and Lewis Alessandra slotted the ball into the path of Stead, who took a touch and rifled an effort off goalkeeper Jack Bonham and into the net.

Keith Curle's charges remained dangerous as Devitt and Kelvin Etuhu fired off target but they conceded once again through an almighty goalmouth scramble that culminated in Stead scuffing home from his own deflection.

County nearly added a third when James Brown's header back towards Bonham actually sailed over the goalkeeper but Stead couldn't get to the ball in time and a corner was conceded instead.

The visitors began the second half brightly and had Notts under the cosh for a period and, although Kevin Nolan's side soon grew back into the game, the third goal of the encounter went Carlisle's way in controversial circumstances.

Notts skipper Richard Duffy was down with a head injury but the Cumbrians played on, substitute Ashley Nadesan playing the ball into the path of Devitt, who in turn hit a deflected finish from the edge of the area.

Meadow Lane was shocked when seven minutes of injury time were announced, which gave impetus to Carlisle to try to find an equaliser, but Notts held firm for all three points which keeps them fourth in the table.

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