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Notts County preview

16 August 2014

Report: Notts County 0-1 Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town made it two league wins out of two at Notts County with a well earned 1-0 victory courtesy of Jamie Proctor's header  on the stroke of half time.

Proctor rose highest and beat his marker to get on the end of Josh Morris’ cross and register his second goal in red and white colours.

Victory at Meadow Lane means Town sit in fourth place in League One, and they will now head into Tuesday night’s game at Scunthorpe in high spirits.

Stephen Crainey slotted in at left back to make his first start for the Cod Army since joining from Championship side Wigan Athletic a fortnight ago.

Elsewhere, Steven Schumacher was recalled at the expense of Stewart Murdoch, while David Ball replaced Matty Blair from the team that narrowly lost at Rotherham in midweek.

Graham Alexander’s side exerted some early pressure on the County defence, with Josh Morris, Gareth Evans and Antoni Sarcevic combining well.

In response, Nathan Pond prevented Jake Cassidy from firing an effort away at goal with a superb tackle, before Ronan Murray shot over from the edge of the area.

Proctor, making his first league start for Town very nearly replicated his strike against Crewe last weekend, but curled an effort just wide of Roy Carroll’s top corner.

Town continued to dominate proceedings; Gareth Evans was denied by former Manchester United shot stopper Carroll and Stephen Jordan headed a Josh Morris corner wide.

County were restricted to efforts from distance, with both Nicky Wroe and Cassidy sending strikes over.

On the half hour mark, Morris’ low drive from twenty five yards was tipped expertly around the post by Carroll.

Soon after, Shaun Derry’s men couldn’t take advantage of Fleetwood’s man deficit for seven minutes, as Evans limped off for treatment.

However, Town got their just rewards on the stroke of half time, when Proctor beat his marker and got on the end of a delightful Josh Morris cross to head beyond Carroll.

At the start of the second period, former Blackpool man Crainey dragged an effort wide from a good position just outside the area.

Despite the Cod Army’s first half dominance, County grew into the game after the break and had two good opportunities to level.

Firstly, Cassidy shot wide from a tight angle on the right, before Adam Dawson beat the Town backline and forced a great save out of Chris Maxwell.

Town, backed by some tremendous vocal support, responded well and defended resolutely as County grew more and more frustrated.

On 70 minutes, Gary Jones was a whisker away from putting the Meadow Lane outfit back on level terms when his long range thunderbolt flew inches over the bar.

Ronan Murray also tried his luck from distance, but like Jones, saw his effort from distance go over.

Some neat football involving Ball and Morris presented Sarcevic with an opening, but last season’s top scorer couldn’t direct his shot on target.

Ball later glanced a Gareth Evans cross just wide as Town went in search of the goal that would kill the game off.

Another opportunity fell Ball’s way in the 90th minute; Sarcevic’s delicate chip over the top found Ball, who fired over on the half volley.

However, one goal was enough for the Cod Army as they held on for the win in their first ever away game in England’s third tier.

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