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Match Reports

REPORT: Notts County 3-1 Cheltenham

18 November 2017

Match Reports

REPORT: Notts County 3-1 Cheltenham

18 November 2017

Jorge Grant grabbed a double as league leaders Notts County produced a powerful second half burst to defeat Cheltenham Town in Sky Bet League Two at Meadow Lane.

The resilient Robins had been level in Nottingham at the break as Carl Winchester's fine low drive cancelled out Grant's opener. 

Harry Pell then hit the crossbar and Danny Wright headed agonisingly wide in the opening minutes of the second half as the Robins threatened to take the lead.

Notts County duly made them pay for those missed chances with two quick-fire goals via a cruel deflected free kick from Grant - his 13th goal of the season - and far post header from Shaun Brisley to wrap up the points.

Manager Gary Johnson had made three changes from the team that started against Luton Town, with full back Daniel O’Shaughnessy replacing the injured Jordan Cranston.

Midfielder Joe Morrell returned after Wales Under-21 duty and forward Danny Wright replaced Brian Graham, who missed the game after picking up a hamstring injury.

The league leaders - unbeaten at home all season - looked to make a bright start with goalkeeper Scott Flinders alert after just three minutes to block Terry Hawkridge's shot.

A fast and furious opening saw Notts County dominate territory but a series of important last ditch blocks from Jamie Grimes and Taylor Moore, plus alert tracking back from Kyle Storer, kept the home side at bay.

Jon Stead stabbed narrowly wide, after turning to collect a far post header, before Danny Wright did similarly at the other end but the Robins could not the finishing touch.

Flinders saved again, this time from Tootle's swerving and dipping drive, but he could did little as the Magpies took the lead after 30 minutes.

The always busy Stead collected the ball, after yet another aerial bombardment, and laid it for Grant to side-foot in to the top corner.

The equaliser on 35 minutes was a wonderfully crafted goal as Winchester found space out right, exchanged quick passes with Storer as he came inside and then unleashed a rasping low drive into the bottom corner.

Notts County almost re-took the lead just before the break when Grant played an accidental one-two off Grimes before poking a shot straight at Flinders.

The Robins nearly made the perfect start to the second half with Pell hitting the top of the crossbar from Morrell's cross.

Wright then headed narrowly wide from Storer's free-kick, with home stopper Fitzsimmons nowhere near the ball as he raced off his line.

Instead it was Notts County who scored two in four minutes to take the game away from Cheltenham.

First Grant enjoyed a huge slice of fortune as his free kick took a big deflection and flew in with Flinders given no hope.

Then a near post corner was flicked to the back where Brisley bundled it home, despite a last ditch attempt from Flinders to keep the ball out.

Grant continued to pose a  threat for the hosts and was played in one-on-one with Flinders, but as he tried to round the goalkeeper his the touch was too heavy and Cheltenham recovered.

Johnson made a double change, with Jerell Sellars and Nigel Atangana coming on, but it was Ameobi who nearly added another as Flinders produced a fine save to claw a flicked header away.

Cheltenham worked hard to try and salvage something and almost had the final word with Wright seeing a stinging drive tipped over before Fitzsimmons denied him  as he palmed a header over the bar.

NOTTS COUNTY: Fitzsimmons, Tootle, Dickinson, Duffy, Ameobi (Smith 80), Grant, Hawkridge (Alessandra 90), Brisley, Yates, Milson (Walker 89), Stead. Subs not used: Pindroch (Gk), Hollis, Forte, Hunt

CHELTENHAM TOWN: Flinders; O'Shaughnessy, Grimes, Moore, Winchester, Boyle, Morrell, Pell, Storer (Atangana 67), Wright, Eisa (Sellars 68). Subs not used: Lovett (Gk), Bower, Davey, Lloyd

REFEREE: Ben Toner

ATTENDANCE: 5,809 (232 from Cheltenham)

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