Cheltenham Town 2-3 Notts County
Notts County recorded a narrow 3-2 win over Cheltenham Town in an exciting game at The LCI Rail Stadium.
Jonathan Forte put the away side in front just four minutes in but Danny Wright equalised 20 minutes later, though Jon Stead's goal just before the break meant County went in 2-1 up at half time.
Harry Pell brought The Robins level again on 55 minutes only for Stead to score the winner for Jon Sheridan's men just 60 seconds later.
The match marked the first start for club captain Aaron Downes in over 9 months, though unfortunately it wasn't to be for Gary Johnson's team.
The first shot of the game came just 15 seconds into the match as a long ball forward was flicked on to Stead, but his powerful shot hit the side netting.
Just four minutes later, though, County took the lead when Forte was allowed the space to turn and hit a half volley past Russell Griffiths and into the net.
It was the lead that the away side deserved after the high tempo they began the game in, but Cheltenham saw the challenge presented to them and rose to it.
Pell had only been booked moments before for a tasty challenge on Robert Milsom, but his fantastic curling cross was whipped straight onto the head of Wright, who couldn’t miss from just inside the six yard box to level the game on 24 minutes.
From then on it was a balanced game as both sides tried to push for another goal, with Pell and Jonny Smith having the best efforts at goal for Cheltenham.
Four minutes before half time Notts County went in front again as another long ball forward went over the Cheltenham defence, and Stead picked it up on the right hand side, cut into the box and finished well into the far bottom corner.
It stayed that way until the 55th minute when two goals came within the space of a minute. First, Pell drew The Robins level as he chested Downes’ header down and smashed it past Adam Collin.
Then, almost straight from kick off, The Magpies were level as Stead scored his second of the afternoon when he controlled the ball well and hit a low shot across goal and into the bottom corner.
Ten minutes later, after a flurry of substitutions including a first Football League appearance for Jack Munns, Cheltenham almost equalised when James Dayton let fly from just outside the area, but his shot flew narrowly wide of the post.
Cheltenham then went close again soon after as, after some pinball in the box, the ball fell to Billy Waters – but his tame shot from a narrow angle was saved by the feet of Collin.
Even though Cheltenham applied plenty of late pressure they couldn't find an equaliser, meaning it was Notts County who took all three points.
Cheltenham Town: R Griffiths, A Downes (C), D Parslow. D O’Shaughnessy (J Dayton, 60), R Dickie, J Cranston, H Pell, A Hall (B Waters, 60), J Rowe (J Munns, 66), D Wright, J Smith.
Unused Subs: C Kitscha, J Barthram, E Suliman, K Arthur.
Notts County: A Collin, R Duffy, H Hollis, L Laing, C Dickinson, M Tootle, R Milsom, M O’Connor (C), A Rodman (J Richards, 63), J Stead (A Collins, 74) J Forte, (V Oliver, 74).
Unused Subs: S Loach, S Aborah, E Hewitt, A Campbell.