REPORT: Notts County 2-1 Cheltenham Town
Notts County saw off a late fightback from the Robins as a dominant first half display meant they picked up three vital points with a 2-1 win at Meadow Lane.
The hosts dominated the first half from the outset and had their first real chance in the sixth minute as Mark Yeates' long ranged effort skimmed the top of the bar.
Cheltenham struggled in possession, regularly giving the ball away in the middle of the park as County were allowed lots of possession.
Yeates was booked for a rash tackle and reaction on Harry Pell as the Robins tried to find a way into the game.
Sadly just as Cheltenham started to get a foothold, they went behind. A lovely ball over the top from Notts' captain Michael O'Connor put stead Jon Stead through on goal. The tall striker made no mistake and fired his shot into the roof of the net to give his team a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute.
That goal seemed to give County confidence and they dominated possession and territory for the rest of the half.
Less than ten minutes after their first goal, Kevin Nolan's side had doubled their lead.
From a third corner in quick succession, Richard Duffy's header from inside the six yard box was deflected past Scott Brown.
Gary Johnson brought on Dan Holman for Alex Pike just before the break and Billy Waters for Harry Pell at half-time to try and orchestrate a comeback.
At the start of the second half the Robins were much livelier, but still struggled to create clear chances.
Liam Davis caused problems for the Notts down the left but couldn't find anyone in the box with a cross.
A great chance was presented to Billy Waters just after the hour mark as the ball dropped to him in the box. However his half-volley was bravely blocked by Duffy inside the same six yard box he had scored earlier in the game.
The Robins continued to push for a way back into the game, but were unable to find the last pass after getting into dangerous positions.
They were given late hope as Emmanuel Onariase's first goal for the club in the 89th minute made the score 2-1. The defender tapped home after Holman had beaten the keeper after a scramble in the box.
Cheltenham through everything at County in injury time but the hosts held out and secured three big points, bringing them level with Cheltenham in the table.
Brown, Pike (Holman, 43), Onariase, Boyle, Plavotic, Cranston, Winchester (Wright, 89), Pell (Waters, 46), Rowe, Davis, Wootton.
Attendance: 7,910 (432 from Cheltenham)