Published: 26/11/2023 08:28

Author: Oliver Heathcote

Notts County slumped to successive away league defeats, losing 4-2 to AFC Wimbledon, in what was a late collapse from the Magpies.

After coming back from 2 goals down, Notts were eventually beaten with an 86th minute penalty and a 92nd minute goal, rewarding the Dons with three points. This defeat sends Notts down to 6th in the table, just 5 points adrift of dropping out of the playoffs.

The first half started with Notts resorting to their game plan of keeping possession of the ball, remaining patient for when gaps would start to appear in the Wimbledon back line. AFC Wimbledon looked very much happy to absorb this early spell of pressure, knowing that the Magpies would be vulnerable with the pace of their forwards, exploiting the high line of the away side. In the 30th minute, the hosts earned themselves a golden opportunity, with Bostock tripping his man meaning that AFC Wimbledon had a penalty. It was the former Notts man Jake Reeves to give the Dons the lead, with a clinical finish into the top left hand corner from the resultant penalty.

Notts needed to cut out defensive errors and build momentum- much as they did last week at home to Bradford. However, things were to go from bad to worse for Notts as Ali Al Hamadi rounded Slocombe, doubling the lead for the hosts. It was a deserved lead, as Notts failed to learn from their mistakes, and were punished once again with their high defensive line. Thankfully for the away side, Slocombe was able to save more opportunities from the Dons breaking the offside trap, otherwise the score was at risk of becoming embarrassing. The first half was brought to a close after an underwhelming first half.

A reaction was needed as quick as possible from Notts if they stood any chance of getting themselves back into the game. They began to craft more chances, showing that they were well and truly in the game. In the 62nd minute was when Notts eventually had their reward for their relentless pressure to start the second half. After winning possession back, Langstaff was threaded through by Crowley and finished superbly into the back of the net. The momentum was very much within the favour of the Magpies. 5 minutes later, the game was tied, after a short corner gave the chance to cross the ball into the box. This was taken down by Nemane, who finished in front of the away fans, who cheered their approval.

The away side wanted more than just a point after their efforts to get back level. The scoreline almost went in their favour, as a fantastic save denied Langstaff from a volley. The game started to calm down until the 86th minute, when a Wimbledon player was pulled down inside the box, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the penalty spot. Jake Reeves once again put his side into the lead, smashing the ball into the middle of the goal. 8 minutes to find an equaliser were shown. However, a mix up between Rawlinson and Austin meant that Al Hamadi stole the ball, running through and keeping his composure to make it 4-2. The Magpies looked defeated, which was confirmed when the game was brought to a close.

Overall, it was a disappointing display from Notts, who were unable to achieve their potential standard for the majority of the game. This meant that many defensive mistakes were punished, which gave the Dons a deserved victory. The spirit to fight back from two goals down was positively shown, but not being able to send the 1200 fans home happy is a huge disappointment. It is now a quick turnaround of fixtures as Notts face Crawley Town on Tuesday looking to bounce back from this defeat.

Starting XI: 1 Slocombe - 2 Brindley, 5 Rawlinson (74’), 4 Cameron - 11 Nemane, 6 O’Brien (63’), 16 Bostock (87’), 10 Jones (87’) - 7 Crowley, 17 McGoldrick (87’), 9 Langstaff 

Subs Used: 8 Austin (63’), 28 Macari (74’), 23 Chicksen (87’), 32 Gosling (87’), 27 Morias (87’)

Not Used: 26 Stone, 14 Randall

Attendance: 8,479