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Match Report: Notts County triumph over Mansfield Town


Well folks, the outlook is looking a lot better now - seven points from the last three games, all against top sides in League Two, and the cherry on top - local bragging rights over Mansfield Town and a first league win over them in 13 years!

Saturday's early kickoff saw the Magpies host the Stags at Meadow Lane and Neal Ardley's side began brightly before taking the lead in the 19th minute when Rob Milsom's cross was touched into the path of Mackail-Smith by Virgil Gomis, and the on-loan Wycombe man volleyed home from 20 yards.

Notts continued to push forward as Jon Stead went close with a header which went just wide, while Enzio Boldeiwjn had a pop but it was straight at Mansfield goalkeeper Jordan Smith.

Although David Flitcroft's side stepped up a gear in the second half, with Nicky Ajose and CJ Hamilton both trying their luck to no avail, the visitors never really threatened Magpies loanee stopper Ryan Schofield, with not one shot on target registered.

Indeed, Notts had a great chance to kill the game off late on when Kane Hemmings just failed to connect with a Mitch Rose cross, but unlike last season, this time Notts held film and claimed all three points to to one point within safety ahead of this afternoon’s League Two fixtures.

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The best use of a January transfer window that I can remember, for Notts. What an incredible turnaround. Tremendous credit must, off course, go to manager Neil Ardley and his backroom staff.

Only a couple of weeks ago, I'd resigned myself to the fact that we neither had the fight nor the personnel and, consequently, spent an evening researching the potential geography of the National Conference.

Buoyed by two terrific performances prior to 'the biggest ever Nottinghamshire derby...ever', I was unusually confident in the lead up to this encounter. Nerves duly arrived in the hours before kick-off; this decade-long-hoodoo-thing but I reasoned that another spirited performance would be a sizeable challenge for the yellows.

In the end, it turned out to be fairly easy, didn't it? Their support fell quieter and quieter still with each moment. Perhaps it's just as well that their centre-back, Turner, wasn't sent from the field after seven minutes. For sometimes, it can galvanise the away support.

Their team had some selection trouble, as a result of an away defeat in Wales the previous week. Ours picked itself. Which was nice. If we'd have had this Notts side back in August...(!)and

They may well chirp of poor refereeing, or that they had an off day. Notts just had a bigger fighting spirit and wanted it more, which I attribute, almost entirely, to the recent addition of the two Irish fellas 'in the middle, who never give the ball awaaayyy'.

Quite simply, Town had an off day because we suffocated their play in the middle. Much like in chess; who owns the middle, usually wins the game. Our newly configured back-four were tremendous.

To a man, we played them off the park. We beat them hands down. Fair and square victors. They can have zero complaints. Zero.

Up top, we now have energy, pace and craft. Whenever we need an out-ball, we can play it into the corners behind their lines for speedy Gomis to latch on to.

Notts have come together just when we needed it most. We won't go down. No way - not with these kind of performances. Bravo, Notts!

You Pies!



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