Town 2 Notts County 2
Town: Weale, Grandison, Jones, Richards (c), Morgan, Taylor, Parry (Purdie, 68), Goldson, Wildig (Hall, 68), Rodgers (Bradshaw, 71), Gayle.
Subs: Anyon, Jacobson, Purdie, Bradshaw, Hall, Woods, Gwilliams.
Goals: Rodgers, 20. Taylor, 82.
Notts County: Bialkowski, Kelly, Bishop (c), Smith, Liddle, Judge, J.Hughes, L.Hughes (Arquin, 71), Campbell-Ryce, Boucaud, Iwelumo (Showumni, 71).
Subs: Spiess, Showumni, Zoko, Mahon, Arquin, Ladabie, Bencherif
Goals: o.g, 24, Campbell-Ryce, 45.
Referee: Mr. S. Martin
Assistants: Mr. N. Davies & Mr. S. Barrow
Fourth Official: Mr. J. Clark.
Attendance: 6,474 (603)
Matt Johnson reports from the Greenhous Meadow
Luke Rodgers and a late own goal helped to secure Town a point in a 2-2 draw with Notts County at the Greenhous Meadow.
Rodgers opened the scoring, but a Cameron Gayle own goal brought the Magpies level soon after. Jamal Campbell-Ryce put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half time, but goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski’s error late on handed Town a share of the spoils.
Jon Taylor recovered from the injury that forced him off at Bury to start as Graham Turner named an unchanged side for a third consecutive match.
Neither team succeeded in taking a stranglehold of the game in the first 15 minutes as the two goalkeepers became mere spectators with the early battles taking place in the centre of the park.
From seemingly nowhere though, Town took the lead on 20 minutes when Marvin Morgan knocked down a pinpoint diagonal ball and Rodgers was first to react to steer over Bialkowski in the County goal.
But the Magpies weren’t behind for long, levelling just four minutes later. A near post corner from Alan Judge was flicked on by Lee Hughes and from inside the six yard box, Cameron Gayle was powerless to stop the ball hitting him and bouncing into the net.
Having settled, the Shrews began to take control and could’ve gone ahead twice in the space of three minutes late in the half when first, Aaron Wildig angled his free header wide from Parry’s cross, and then Bialkowski produced a fine save from Matt Richards’ thunderbolt after the keeper had fumbled a cross.
County fired a warning shot when Neal Bishop ghosted in to head a near post corner over the bar when he perhaps should’ve done better and then hit a sucker punch on the counter in the final move of the half. Judge broke at speed and fired a shot which Chris Weale saved well, but Campbell-Ryce was on hand to tap home the rebound.
Half-time: Town 1-2 Notts County
Town came out of the blocks quickly in the second period in an attempt to find a route back into the game, but it was the visitors on the counter that provided the greater threat.
Judge’s drive from 30 yards on 53 minutes had Weale scrambling and it was that man again causing the problems on 65 minutes when his curled free-kick towards the top-left hand corner required Weale to make a flying save.
Substitute Enoch Showumni could’ve sealed the victory for the Magpies on 74 minutes when the powerful striker found himself through on goal, but he blasted high and wide to the relief of Town gaffer Graham Turner.
Showumni and County were made to pay for that miss when eight minutes from time, Taylor sped down the right-flank to force the equaliser for Town. His deflected cross seemed easing pickings for Bialkowski, but the stopper misjudged the flight and as the ball flew over his head, he could only help steer it into his own net.
With the bit between their teeth, Town continued to push on for an unlikely victory but time ran out for Turner’s men as both teams were forced the settle for a point.
Full-time: Town 2-2 Notts County