Notts County 2-1 Stockport County (National League) 23.10.21
On a day where Frank Vincent shone again, the 22-year-old’s sixty-eighth minute strike turned out to be the match winner as Notts County edged Stockport County at Meadow Lane this past Saturday.
A game in the fifth tier of English football attended by 7,418 supporters was always bound to be a thriller, and it certainly did not disappoint.
The first dangerous attack on either goal came from the visitors. After an opening five minutes with the ball moving dangerously around their own half, the hatters managed to break off into a counterattack. The counterattack resulted in a darting goal-bound run from Mark Kitching, who’s attempt to fire towards goal was disrupted by a lunging challenge from opposing full-back Dion Kelly-Evans. The attack fizzled out, concluding with a goal kick for the hosts.
Thirteen minutes beyond the Stockport counterattack, the magpies went close to taking the lead. Connell Rawlinson, who made his return to the starting eleven in a Vanarama National League fixture following a lengthy injury, carried the ball into a mass amount of open space. Being encouraged to shoot from the Notts County faithful, the Welshman dispatched a low, curled effort towards the visitors’ goal. however, the shot was tipped beyond the post by hatter shot-stopper, Ethan Ross.
The visitors then looked certain to take a precious lead. Notts County struggled to clear their lines following an in-swinging set piece. Due to this, a dangerous strike towards goal flew through a crowd of black and white shirts, which led to an obstructed view for goalkeeper Anthony Patterson. As the ball looked to be entering the net, magpies captain Kyle Cameron was a man in the right place at the right time, as the defender managed to prevent his side from going behind. This led to the clearance being celebrated as if his side had just taken the lead.
A glorious opportunity to take the lead went begging for the hosts on the stroke of half-time. An aggressive counterattack from Notts County resulted with Ruben Rodrigues threading an inch-perfect pass through to forward, Kyle Wootton. The striker closed in on goal, one-on-one with Ethan Ross. Unfortunately for the home side, the goalkeeper came out on top as the outstretched right hand of the goalkeeper prevented the ball from entering the net, meaning the sides went in level at the break.
You felt an early goal would set the tone of this second half, clearly Ian Burchnall’s side felt the same. Just nine minutes after the restart, the magpies took the lead. That man Frank Vincent yet again was heavily involved in the creation of this goal as his good work down the right allowed the perfect opportunity to set the ball up on a plate for Kyle Wootton. As many have already learnt this season, you simply cannot afford to allow this man any freedom in your penalty area. Stockport County did, and they paid the price. The forward
unleashed a powerful effort towards goal, which flew beyond Ethan Ross, which equated to an erupted Meadow Lane.
Following off the back of what was an uneventful ten minutes beyond Kyle Wootton’s opener, the hosts doubled their lead. Who else could it have been? Other than current hot topic, Frank Vincent! A fast, free-flown move from the magpies saw the midfielder allowed all the time in the world to steady himself before firing his side two ahead. This goal was Vincent’s second goal in as many games this week.
A huge chance followed for Notts County to put the game to bed. A faultless delivery into the penalty area from midfielder Matty Palmer was met by a towering Connell Rawlinson, who’s header was well saved by Ethan Ross.
Just as it looked as if the magpies were closing in on their third consecutive clean sheet, Stockport County were awarded a penalty. Miscommunication was how manager Ian Burchnall described it post-match as a failed attempt of clearing a bouncing ball resulted in Connell Rawlinson being penalised for a dangerously high boot. Up stepped winger, Ben Whitfield. Despite being met by the outstretched leg of Anthony Patterson, the ball deflected up and into the back of the net as the visitors were dealt a late lifeline.
However, late turned into too little too late as the final whistle sounded. The game ended Notts County 2-1 Stockport County.
So, what is next for both sides?
For Notts County, the magpies face the visit of Bromley this Tuesday evening at Meadow Lane. Both sides find themselves on winning form, so the expectation of an enthralling Vanarama National League fixture is present. After victory over Stockport County, Notts County have climbed to eighth place. A win this Tuesday would see them return to the play-off places, after a short period just outside of them. It most certainly will not be an easy task, the visitors for Tuesday night picked up an impressive victory away to Aldershot Town this past Saturday, proving they are no strangers to victories on the road.
As for Stockport County, they return to Edgeley Park this Tuesday evening as they welcome league strugglers, Barnet. The hatters will be looking to put behind this weekend’s disappointment with a comfortable win this Tuesday. However, there is no easy game in the Vanarama National League. A win for Stockport County would temporarily remove the pressure from Simon Rusk’s shoulders, as doubt has started to mount over his capabilities in taking the club forward. For a club who have spent as much as they have, it is understandable as to why the expectations are so high for this season.
Notts County: Patterson, Taylor, Rawlinson, Cameron, Brindley, Kelly-Evans, O’Brien (Roberts 77), Palmer, Vincent, Rodrigues (Mitchell 90), Wootton.
Stockport County: Ross, Palmer, Keane, Hogan, Southam-Hales, Kitching, Rooney, Croasdale, Crankshaw, Madden (Sarcevic 41), Quigley (Whitfield 70).
Venue: Meadow Lane (7,418)
*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @jimholyoakphoto Frank Vincent and co celebrate what turned out to be the winning goal.