Published: 29/11/2023 15:30

Author: Oliver Heathcote

Notts County returned to winning ways, with a 3-1 victory over Crawley Town under the lights at Meadow Lane.

After going behind in the 10th minute, goals from David McGoldrick, Jim O’Brien and a first league goal for Junior Morias proved to be the difference between the two sides, with the Magpies remaining 6th in the table, just one point adrift of Wrexham in second.

It was a slow start from a Notts perspective, with Crawley keeping possession and looking dangerous going forward. In the 10th minute, the home crowd were stunned after former Magpie Adam Campbell received the ball with no defender applying pressure. He unleashed his effort, nestling into the left side of the goal, with the visitors taking an early lead. Despite Notts having a lot of time to come back from the deficit, they needed to remain solid and start to play the football which makes them successful. 

10 minutes later, the Magpies struck back. A long ball into the left hand channel found the run of David McGoldrick, who showed excellent vision to spot the goalkeeper off his line. His lofted effort found the back of the net to level the scoreline. However, it was unclear to see which team had the momentum as the game turned into an end-to-end affair. Notts were unlucky not to be ahead, with Baldwin unable to turn a free kick from Jones home; conversely Crawley had an attempt to capitalise on a Macari mistake, for which the youngster made an important tackle to deny the shooting opportunity. Nothing could separate the sides at the end of the half, with the teams going into half time at 1-1.

For the first 10 minutes of the second half, it was the visitors who looked the most threatening, with numerous dangerous attacks. However, Notts eventually found a spring in their step and began to create many chances. Crowley had a couple of his efforts blocked, one of which was on the goal line. However, it was the longest current serving player of the club Jim O’Brien, who headed home from Crowley’s free kick, making the score 2-1 to Notts.

Notts had deserved a goal from their spell of pressure, dominating the game and creating some great chances. 9 minutes later, it was to get even better for the Magpies. A misplaced pass by the Crawley defender attempting to play out from a goal kick found the feet of Dan Crowley. His pass found Junior Morias, who made no mistake in the one on one with the goalkeeper. It was a significant goal for Morias, netting his first league goal for Notts. The two goal cushion gave Notts the chance to control the lead, meaning that the tempo of the game began to slow. The full time whistle eventually sounded with Notts County winning 3-1, claiming 3 important points.

It was a great win for Notts, who were able to take their chances when they were needed most. Despite some errors defensively, the recoveries were particularly impressive. The game may have been somewhat frustrating, with the away side having more possession, which is a rare sight for Notts. However, with promotion rivals dropping points elsewhere, this brings the Magpies to within just 1 point of second place. Overall, a good win which will build the confidence of the squad ahead of the FA Cup second round at home to Shrewsbury Town.

Starting XI: 1 Slocombe (46’) - 28 Macari, 15 Baldwin, 4 Cameron - 11 Nemane (78’), 6 O’Brien (73’), 8 Austin (62’), 10 Jones, 7 Crowley, 17 McGoldrick (62’), 9 Langstaff

Subs Used: 26 Stone (46’), 16 Bostock (62’), 27 Morias (62’), 23 Chicksen (73’), 14 Randall (78’)

Not Used: 2 Brindley, 5 Rawlinson 

Attendance: 7,716