The sun was shining at Meadow Lane as the Notts County players took to the hallowed turf for only our 2nd game with the Magpies. The game certainly didn’t disappoint as well, with 6 goals shared in an enthralling 4-2 victory for the Home side.
Date: Saturday 26th May 2018
Venue: Meadow Lane
Notts County (Home) vs Notts County (Away)
Kick Off: 10:00 am
Match Officials: James Tewson, Fanran Meng, Max Roulstone & Lewis Morning
It was a bright Saturday morning in Nottingham as Football Aid landed at the ground of the world's oldest professional league club. The Home team lined up in the famous Black and White striped kit against an Away side sporting the bright Green change kit.
Andrew Balmforth wearing the No 9 shirt for the Home Magpies saw an early header comfortably dealt with by Away goalkeeper Mark Woodhead. The first save in what was to be a busy day for the Away stopper.
Balmforth was also in further early action as the striker looked for an immediate breakthrough. His headed effort, after a pinpoint cross, rattling the post before being dealt with. The Away defence were in for an early bombardment and without the heroic tackling of Chris Callaghan the hosts could well have been in front.
The Home side had a deserved breakthrough on 20 mins when Darren Murray hammered home. The Away side failed to clear a cross and after a defensive mix up the midfielder found room in a crowded box to knock the ball into the net. (1-0)
Confidence was with the leaders as Balmforth was again denied, this time poking a corner wide. The Away side then attempted to test the Home defence when Ben Etches’ long range effort flew just wide after smart footwork from Dale Shaw.
However the Home team’s advantage was doubled on 27 mins when Brad Beatson wriggled his way through a gap out wide before netting from a difficult angle. The left footed strike was too hot to handle for keeper Woodhead and the Away side found themselves chasing a two goal deficit. (2-0)
The two goal advantage only lasted four mins though as Ricky Blades found the back of the net to cut the deficit to one goal. A low strike from the edge of the box found its way into the bottom corner past the helpless Home goalkeeper. (2-1)
With just under fifteen minutes remaining on the first half clock, the Home side looked to regain their advantage before the break. They were to find a rejuvenated goalkeeper Woodhead in their way however. A quick reflex save denying Balmforth from registering before the sound of the referee's half time whistle brought an entertaining half to an end.
Half-Time: Notts County (Home) 2 - 1 Notts County (Away)
With a slender lead, the Home side looked for a quick start to the second period with a volleyed effort from Beatson failing to trouble Woodhead.
The visitors were also searching for a reply and a corner could prove vital. An enticing delivery found CH Peter Brunton-Douglas whose contact only steered the ball wide of the mark.
Half time substitute, Taurean Fogarty hoped to be the difference for the Away side but his curling effort landed on the roof of the net. At the opposite end, Woodhead was again in action and only for a matter of vital saves the score was left intact.
It took until the hour mark for the score to change when Beatson completed a brace. Appeals for handball from the Away defence were quashed by the officials and the Left MId played on, firing a delightful left footed strike past a stranded goalkeeper. (3-1)
Again, like the first half, the Away team responded 4 mins later. Substitute and Football Aid regular Andrew Harland finished a determined, mazy run by firing into the bottom corner from a tight angle. (3-2)
The Away side cranked up the pressure as Aidan Peaty saw an effort cannon off the crossbar before the rebound was unknowingly saved by Stephen Moffat at point blank range.
Fogarty was to also go close as his long range effort went wide before Etches was next to meet the woodwork. Another attempt from distance that cannoned off the crossbar before being cleared by the Home defence.
Mark Woodhead was having a busy game in the Away net and a huge stretch tipped the latest effort out for a corner. The resulting set play was to prove the nail in the coffin for the Away side however. The ball eventually falling to Calum Tuxford on the edge of the box and the defender's effort found the back of the net via a hefty deflection from the unfortunate Chris Callaghan. With just 10mins left on the clock it looked like being the decisive goal for the Home team. (4-2)
There was still time for a late penalty shout from the Home team to be turned down before the ref’s whistle brought a keenly contested match to an end. The Home team running out winners by a narrow two goal advantage after a hard fought ninety minutes in Nottingham.
Full-Time: Notts County (Home) 4 - 2 Notts County (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Adam Locker
Man of the Match Away: Mark Woodhead
Moment of the Match: Brad Beatson
Home Team: Stephen Moffatt, Jason Dalton, Calum Tuxford, Simon Ratcliffe, Adam Locker (C), Daniel Cardwell, Darren Murray, Brad Beatson, Andrew Balmforth, Joe Hindmarch, David Heason, Luke Hempstead, Gavin Locker, Kevin Banks, Ben Palmer
Away Team: Mark Woodhead, Steve Snape, Chris Callaghan, Peter Brunton-Douglas, Robert Thorpe, Dale Shaw, Ricky Blades, Wayne Dearden, David Hopkin (C), Aidan Peaty, Ben Etches, Taurean Fogarty, Mark Feehan, Todd Bailey, Andrew Harland
Match Report written by Ben Waite
Official photographs are available to order from Matt Nuttall’s website here >> www.footballaidphotos.com. You can also contact Matt on Tel: 07793 818021 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MATCHDAY FILM FOOTAGE
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AFTER MATCH FEEDBACK
“Just some feedback about Saturday (26th May). Not got enough good things to say about it to be honest! Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience (although not the recovery since!!!) You guys organising did a fantastic job just to get the game on, great bunch of blokes involved in the game too which made it a wholehearted, competitive game played in exactly the right spirit. Even the few people that came to watch me had great fun too (although some of that was probably having a laugh at my expense for falling over a lot and being about 10% of the player I was!)
I definitely intend to get involved again, hopefully at Notts County FC but if there's no game there next year I'll have a look at where else is available. One of the other players said this can be addictive and I can see how! I'm also trying to get a couple of friends involved too so you might have a few of us on board next year!”
Dave Hopkin – Away Team No.9
“2nd Year running lucky to appear at @FootballAid @Official_NCFC game. Another ‘real’ club, recommend any players out there wanting to play at Meadow Lane to catch this next year. Great catching up with @AhhGeeProd and @BalmforthAndy and many other familiar faces”
Mark Feehan – Away Team No.15
"A last minute decision to play at Notts County the oldest Football League Club and even though I only played the first half it was another good game to play in and watch. Some excellent football played, superb goalkeeping on both sides with the away keeper Mark winning M O T M and a brilliant display by the home centre back Adam (M O T M } who played like Alan Hansen bringing the ball out from defence. A super goal for Brad Beaston the 21 year old currently playing for Boston and all the other goals were well worth watching. Yours in sport.
Robert Thorpe – Away Team No.5