Sam Stunner Fires Notts To Semi Spot

Notts County 3-1 Oxford City (FA Trophy Quarter Final) 27.02.21

Notts County are through to the semi-finals of the Buildbase FA Trophy for the second successive season after a 3-1 home win against Oxford City with a double for Elisha Sam including a sublime finish fit enough to be contender for the FIFA Puskas Award.

The Magpies gave a home debut to seventeen-year-old Tyreace Palmer who featured for the first time against Havant & Waterlooville in the fifth round win and was sent off late on during the penalty shootout victory.

As in Dorset last round, Neal Ardley’s side didn’t have it all their own way against the National League South side who took the lead on 26 minutes when another Notts debutant, Tylor Golden deflected a cross past his own goalkeeper Slocombe to open the scoring for the visitors.

Oxford might even have doubled their advantage when Roberts shot low across the face of goal on 35 minutes, Notts who then saw Golden suffer a knock to be replaced by Kelly-Evans were happy to get back in at the break to regroup.

That fifteen minutes did County good and Elisha Sam was the man who levelled up, weaving into the area to finish confidently side footed on 49 minutes and as Notts searched for the lead Wootton smashed the bar on the hour before Knowles, Lacey and Chicksen missed the target with opportunities of their own.

It mattered little though, as a cross by Adam Chicksen from the left was sublimely, ridiculously, freakishly, flicked into the net by Elisha Sam. A goal that has to be seen to be believed, Sam flicking out a heal as the ball looped over his and the Goalkeepers head to nestle home. If Michael Doyle did something quite unique in the FA Trophy last season to win the clubs best goal of the campaign, this by Sam, was even better.

In the final minute Jimmy Knowles did what he does best to out race the Oxford goalkeeper who came up for a corner and put the game beyond doubt in sending Notts into semi-final joy. The day however, all about Elisha Sam and one of the best goals ever scored at Meadow Lane.

Just one win from Wembley, Notts who had not played at the home of English football since the mid-nineties could be on the verge of a return to HA9 after less than one year from their playoff final heartache v Harrogate.

Notts County: Slocombe, Chicksen, Lacey, Rawlinson, Golden (Kelly-Evans 42), Sam, O’Brien, Wolfe (Doyle 89), Miller, Knowles, Palmer (Wootton 60).

Oxford City: Dudzinski, Drewe, Ashby, Matsuzaka, Oastler, Roberts, Fleet (McEachran 76), Elechi, Bradbury (Benyon 63), Potter, Fernandez (Owusu 74).

Venue: Meadow Lane

*Main image @Official_NCFC Elisha Sam scorer of one of the most ridiculous goals you will see.

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