County Hit Shrimpers For Four

Notts County 4-1 Southend United (National League) 11.12.21

Notts returned to Vanarama National League action in style this past Saturday as they beat a struggling Southend United 4-1 at Meadow Lane.

Despite all recent and on-going problems, it was the visitors who took the lead just after ten minutes. The Shrimpers began the move through a strong passage of possession which opened room to exploit down the left. Nathan Ralph utilised the space ahead and sent the ball into the feet of Rhys Murphy, who then found Sam Dalby in which the forward turned the ball home from close range to give his side the advantage.

Taking the lead so early on turned out to be costly for Kevin Maher’s side as complacency led to the hosts’ equaliser. Kyle Wootton’s high press was rewarded as the forward managed to remove the ball from the feet of the Southend defender and supply Cal Roberts with an inch-perfect pass, leaving the winger with the simple task of firing beyond Steve Arnold from close range for the Magpies’ equaliser.

Coming into the second half you felt Ian Burchnall’s side would be significantly better shooting towards the Kop as they usually are, and this occasion turned out to be no different.

After returning from the interval as the dominant side, Notts County took the lead. A burst forward from midfielder Frank Vincent resulted in the 22-year-old threading the ball between two retrieving United defenders, directly into the path of Jayden Richardson. The Nottingham Forest loanee then sprayed the ball across the Shrimpers’ penalty area and was met by a sliding Kyle Wootton at the back post to turn home for his eleventh goal of the campaign.

The sucker punch was well and truly dealt upon those in yellow and this was reflected by the silence amongst the 894 travelling supporters.

Prior to the second Notts County goal, the Magpies went on to cement their victory just nine minutes later. A swift breakaway from the hosts found Kyle Wootton square on against a deflated defender. Notts’ number nine got the better of his man with ease and fired low and hard into the bottom corner of Arnold’s goal, putting the icing on the cake for Ian Burchnall’s side as more scouts watch on as he increased his tally to twelve for the season.

Shortly after the third, visiting shotstopper Steve Arnold was substituted due to an apparent concussion. As there was no back-up goalkeeper amongst the travelling bench, full-back Jason Demetriou took matters into his own hands quite literally and concluded the game between the sticks for Southend.

Given the fact a defender was now in goal, you felt the Magpies would find a fourth and they did just that with two minutes of normal time remaining. Ed Francis and Jim O’Brien combined on the edge of the penalty area which saw Francis result with all the freedom in the world to send a ball into the Shrimpers’ six-yard box. The midfielder did just that with a delightful ball, which was met by the head of the arriving captain Kyle Cameron who easily nodded the fourth in for the hosts.

The visitors had the ball in the back of the net during injury time, but it was adjudged offside by what in truth seemed a very unsure linesman. Despite late efforts of a consolation goal, the game resulted as Notts County 4-1 Southend United.

Notts County: Slocombe, Taylor (Parsons 57), Brindley, Cameron, Lacey, Richardson, Palmer, Vincent (O’Brien 77), Rodrigues, Roberts (Francis 86), Wootton.

Southend United: Arnold (Atkinson 77), White, Ralph, Hobson, Clifford (Rush 76), Dunne, Demetriou, Gard (Ferguson 67), Brunt, Murphy, Dalby.

Venue: Meadow Lane (6,206)

*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).

*Main image @Official_NCFC Taylor in action for Notts as the Magpies are forced to settle for a draw.

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