Notts County 0 Mansfield Town 0

Nolan opted for a 4-4-2 formation, with Adam Collin in goal and a back four of Carl Dickinson, Richard Duffy, Thierry Audel and Matt Tootle. Michael O’Connor partnered Rob Milsom in midfield, while Curtis Thompson and Jonathan Forte provided the width. Adam Campbell linked up with Jon Stead up front.

It was an even start to the game but Notts soon took a hold on proceedings. On 18 minutes, the ball just evaded Campbell in the area before, a minute later, brilliant work from Thompson allowed Tootle to scamper to the byline. The right back opted to stand his cross up to the back post but no-one was on hand to head the ball home. Forte saw a shot well blocked as Notts continued to ramp up the pressure on their rivals, whose response came in the form of an off-target Rhys Bennett header from Joel Byrom’s corner. Collin had been largely untested in the first half but was called upon to make an acrobatic save on 33 minutes, back-pedalling brilliantly to push Ben Whiteman’s deflected effort over the crossbar. Notts had a penalty appeal waved away after Stead clashed with Bennett as the pair chased a bouncing Audel clearance and the referee called time on a physical, goalless half shortly afterwards.

There were no substitutions for either side at half-time and Notts nearly took the lead shortly after play resumed when they worked a short corner to O’Connor on the edge of the area. The skipper’s strike was deflected just wide by a Stags defender. But the first golden chance of the game fell to the visitors after Hayden White got the better of Forte deep inside Notts territory. He crossed the ball low to the back post where former Magpie Yoann Arquin turned it wide with the goal gaping. There was, however, little to choose between the sides as the second half progressed. On 63 minutes, Thompson and Campbell both found their paths blocked in Mansfield’s area before Duffy did well to block CJ Hamilton’s shot following a Mansfield breakaway. Tootle fired the ball over from 25 yards and O’Connor shot wide from similar range as Notts looked to force home the opening goal. O’Connor was off-target again on 77 minutes, curling the ball over the bar with a 20-yard free-kick, before he became the first name in the referee’s notebook for a foul on Stags sub Danny Rose. Nolan made his one and only substitution as the clock hit 90, sending on his former Newcastle team-mate Alan Smith for Campbell. Four minutes were added on at the end of the match, during which Duffy was booked for a foul on Hamilton after the Mansfield man had wriggled his way dangerously towards goal. Notts then won a corner which was easily claimed by visiting goalkeeper Jake Kean, before Collin made an excellent close-range save from Pat Hoban.
But in the end neither side were able to find a winner as the match ended 0-0.

Notts County: Collin, Tootle, Audel, Duffy, Dickinson, O’Connor, Milsom, Forte, Campbell (Smith 89), Thompson, Stead.

Booked: Duffy, O’Connor.

Mansfield: Kean, Bennett, Benning, Collins, Pearce, Green (Hoban 75), White, Arquin (Rose 75), Hamilton, Byrom (Baxendale 86), Whiteman

Images And Content Copyright Notts County FC & Notts County Info. Thanks to Notts County for their kind permission to reproduce their content.