A quick turnaround of fixtures saw Notts County host Newport County on Tuesday night. The Magpies came into the game having won a closely-fought battle away to Gillingham whereas the Welsh side looked to register their first league victory since their 2-1 win over Colchester at the start of the month. A hat-trick of assists from wingback Jodi Jones ensured a comfortable victory for Notts, winning 3-0.
Notts came into the game having made a lot changes to their squad. Cameron and McGoldrick were both serving their suspensions due to having 5 yellow cards; Brindley missed out through injury, which saw Rawlinson, Macari and Morias come into the side. This was Morias’ first league start which presented him the chance to make a positive impression on the side. O’Brien was replaced by Austin in the centre of midfield and Nemane dropped to the bench for Dan Crowley. The team looked to win to bring to an end a tough month, facing up against many playoff contenders.
Despite Notts being the favourites to win coming into the fixture, it was the visitors who looked to make a fast start, with Slocombe being forced into an early save. However, it did not take long for Notts to start to find openings in the Newport back line. Langstaff and Jones both had efforts which were unsuccessful, but the goal looked to have been coming soon. In the 24 minute, Notts eventually got their reward with Dan Crowley finding the bottom corner, after some fantastic footwork from Jodi Jones presented him with the opportunity.
1-0 in many cases has not been the most positive scoreline in Notts’ favour, as they had failed to control the lead in previous games. However, spectacular footwork from Jones once again gave Langstaff a header which rebounded off the defender back into his path. His second effort made no mistake in firing home the second goal, to give the home side a two goal cushion in the 34th minute. Notts were in total domination and were so close to a third before half time, with Morias striking his shot over the bar. The half time whistle may have come to some relief of Newport, who were struggling to deal with the relentless threat of the Magpies. As for the home side, they would have been delighted with their performance and would have wanted to continue playing as they did going into the second half.
Despite a half time break giving Newport the chance to regroup and look to attack Notts more, Notts continued to play with their high intensity attack, making it almost impossible for Newport to get out of their own half. It did not take long for Langstaff to score his second goal of the game, tapping home a low cross from Jodi Jones. The impact that the left wingback had on the game was outstanding, which if not evident throughout the start of the season, was definitely showing now. Although 3 goals up, Notts needed to stay focused and make the correct decisions.
Newport started to have a few attempts of their own just after the hour mark, with Baldwin making a massive block. 7 minutes later, Boyle had his effort saved by Slocombe, who had not had much to do during the game. However, the away side lacked in clear cut chances, which definitely favoured Notts towards the end of the game. This gave the opportunity for youngster Madou Cisse to get his first taste of League Two football, replacing the hard-working Jodi Jones. Langstaff was left wondering how he did not get his hat trick, following a sliding challenge from Baker and his attempted lob going over the bar. After 6 minutes added time, the referee brought the game to an end with Notts County winning 3-0, at the expense of Newport County.
It was a fantastic night from the Magpies, who get their second win in as many games. There were many positive moments throughout the game but some individual performances such as Jodi Jones with 3 assists proved to be the difference for the outcome of the game. It was a spectacular reaction from their previous home defeat against Mansfield, but now look to make it 3 wins in 3, when they face Wrexham at home on Saturday’s game. It is sure to be a thrilling battle in the matchup between the two teams who came up from the National League last season. Overall, a fantastic performance and a well deserved victory in such a short turnaround of fixtures.
Starting XI: 1 Slocombe - 15 Baldwin, 5 Rawlinson (67’), 28 Macari - 21 Adebayo, 8 Austin, 18 Palmer (67’), 10 Jones (75’), 7 Crowley (67’), 27 Morias (57’) - 9 Langstaff
Subs Used: 11 Nemane (57’), 33 Tipton (67’), 6 O’Brien (67’), 14 Randall (67’), 42 Cisse (75’)
Not Used: 26 Stone, 25 Mahovo