Notts County 3-1 Dagenham & Redbridge (National League) 09.02.21
A fantastic odds-defying performance from the ten men of Notts County ensured they would end up easy winners against Dagenham & Redbridge at the Lane last night despite playing the majority of the match with no recognised goalkeeper.
After his goalscoring exploits at the weekend Notts started with Mansfield Town loanee Jimmy Knowles in attack and the young Sutton-in-Ashfield born forward might have opened the scoring after just ten minutes, his header from a Ruben Rodrigues cross saved as Kyle Wootton swept home the rebound to put the Magpies one up early-doors.
That lead might have given the home side a cushion but there were soon pins pricking right through to the clubs famous black and white feathers as just six minutes from Notts taking the lead, goalkeeper Sam Slocombe was given his marching orders as he rushed out to fall the oncoming Daggers attacker McQueen to give the Referee no option but to double whammy red and pen against the County shot stopper.
As Slocombe trudged off and with Notts without a recognised goalkeeper on the bench, Michael Doyle donned the gloves with his first job to face a daunting spot kick, incredibly McCallum hit the post and the makeshift keeper’s clean sheet was still intact.
Despite the loss of a man, Notts had chances to double the lead and might have made it two when Knowles headed over, who might have made it two when Wootton’s shot was saved, who did make it two when Ruben Rodrigues did something out of the extra-ordinary.
The Belgo/Portuguese man dancing and weaving away from the Daggers defence to smash home from distance and re-affirm the County cushion to an even healthier advantage.
If that wasn’t drama enough, let’s make it three as Kyle Wootton netted his 12th of the league campaign a minute before half time, a peach curled into the corner of Justham’s goal. That before Doyle in the County goal saved with his feet from McQueen. A much-needed sit down for fifteen minutes and calm… Before the stripes were back out again.
Thankfully, the second half wasn’t quite as eventful as the snow came down on Meadow Lane but Notts missed early opportunities for number four as Wootton and Knowles spurned chances but Dagenham did get a late goal in stoppage time to put a dent on Michael Doyle’s otherwise solid display.
Robinson netting on 90, nothing more than a consolation as Neal Ardley avoids the usual Manager of the Month curse and gets Feb off to a winning league start too.
Notts in fifth on 33 points, closing the gap on league leaders Torquay who could only draw with Wealdstone, to just eleven, with four games in hand.
Notts County: Slocombe, Barnett, Lacey, Rawlinson, Kelly-Evans, Reeves, Doyle, Rodrigues, Boldewijn, Wootton, Knowles (Effiong 77).
Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Clark, Croll, Deering (Saunders 66), McQueen (Wilson 62), Rance, McCallum, Eleftheriou (Gordon 45) Robinson, Reynolds, Weston.
Venue: Meadow Lane
*Main image @Official_NCFC Enzio and Rodrigues celebrate on a good night for Notts.