Notts County started the week with a trip to Essex to take on Ben Garner’s Colchester team, in a match where The Magpies were perhaps expected to emerge victorious. Players and fans alike would have known the importance of getting some points on the board, given the fact that the league’s top scorers, Swindon Town, would be visiting Meadow Lane just three days later.
Things did not go as expected in the opening exchanges for Luke Williams’ men on Saturday, when a misplaced pass from Aidan Stone could only find the feet of Noah Chilvers, who expertly guided the ball into the unguarded net to give the home side the lead, only ten minutes into the contest. Notts replied well though, with Sam Austin equalising just after the 20-minute mark, following in a well saved Macaulay Langstaff effort to put County right back in the game. That was as good as it would get for the visitors in the first half however, as just after half an hour of play, full back Jayden Fevrier waltzed through multiple defensive challenges before firing his side back into the lead, giving his side a foothold in the contest. Things would then go from bad to worse before the interval when Arthur Read whipped a fantastic free-kick into the top corner of the Magpies net to establish a two-goal buffer going into half-time.
County had all the work to do in the second half if they were to get anything out of this contest, and they started the second half off in ideal fashion, with front-man Langstaff steering home a Kyle Cameron only around three minutes into the second period. With their tails up, many supporters of Notts County would have expected their side to kick on and equalise once again, potentially setting the match up for an enthralling finish. However, the home side would tighten their grip on the game just before the hour mark, with Joe Taylor capitalising on defensive hesitancy as he squared to the unmarked Cameron McGeehan to tap home his first goal for The U’s. County were not going down without a fight though, threatening to come back into the match once again when Maltese international Jodi Jones cut in from the left-hand side and whipped a beautiful effort into the top corner, to give the black and white faithful yet more hope. But that hope was quashed around 20 minutes from time, when Arthur Read got his second of the game, picking the ball up unchallenged and firing an effort into Stone’s net from just outside the area. Notts were not quite done yet though, with Macaulay Langstaff getting his second goal of the game in added time, following a Cameron McGeehan dismissal to finish off the scoring, heading in from point blank range. Ultimately, Luke Williams’ men would come up short in this one, with the gaffer addressing the number of goals shipped by his side as “worrying.”
County would need to bounce back effectively though, as coming up was the visit of free-scoring Swindon Town on Tuesday evening, with many fans fearing the worst, given how many goals their side had leaked just three days prior. Although, the Magpies produced a perfect first half performance, quelling any attacking threat the visitors posed at source, extremely effectively. Up the other end, just ten minutes in, Jodi Jones slipped through the prolific David McGoldrick who stretched and managed to lift the ball over the onrushing Murphy Maloney to give the Magpies the lead. Things would get even better too, with County being awarded a penalty following a long ball forward, which Aaron Nemane refused to give up, earning his side their first penalty of the season so far. Top scorer Langstaff dispatched the penalty in expert fashion, doubling his sides lead, as well as scoring his 50th Notts County goal in just 59 matches. It would be safe to say that near 10,000 inside Meadow Lane could see that County were firing on all cylinders in this one, with the perfect half being topped off by Dan Crowley just two minutes later, ghosting in at the back post and volleying home a lovely David McGoldrick cross with expert technique, meaning Notts were three goals to the good going into the interval.
Swindon would get a goal back in the second half, with Tyrese Shade heading home a cross, with what would turn out to be merely a consolation goal for Michael Flynn’s side, who ended up succumbing to their first defeat of the season at the hands of the ruthless Notts County, who opened the gap at the top of the table to three points, the largest it has been all season. As a result, many supporters would agree with Luke Williams post-match deductions, where he states that his side are “becoming a special group.”
*Article provided by Will Sey (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @Official_NCFC Macaulay Langstaff hit his fiftieth Notts goal against Swindon.