Nolan made two changes to the side that lined up against Cambridge United in Notts’ last Sky Bet League Two outing. Kristian Dennis was handed his first start, alongside Kane Hemmings up front, while Noor Husin was brought into midfield after his impressive Carabao Cup display against Middlesbrough in midweek. Jon Stead and Matt Tootle were the men to make way, with Elliott Hewitt filling in at right back.
Yeovil claimed the first chance of the match when Fisher capitalised on an underhit backpass to draw a good early save from Ross Fitzsimons. Notts had the ball in the back of the net four minutes later but Nathan Thomas was denied by a late, late offside flag after turning home Enzio Boldewijn’s cross. The Magpies were quickly taking control of the game and went close again when Shaun Brisley met Thomas’ dangerous cross with a header which whistled over the angle of post and crossbar. Hemmings and Dennis were causing the visiting defence all sorts of problems but it was the Notts back four who had to be alert on 17 minutes, Brisley denying Diallang Jaiyesimi with a strong block. Notts were breathing a sigh of relief moments later when Yeovil missed two glorious opportunities in quick succession, Jaiyesimi missing his kick and inadvertently letting the ball run through to Yoann Arquin. The former Notts man got his finish horribly wrong, side-footing wide from eight yards. The home side’s response came in the shape of a barnstorming Thomas run on 27 minutes, the winger racing nearly the full length of the pitch before seeing his effort saved by Nathan Baxter in the Yeovil net. Dennis saw a fierce shot on the spin blocked by Omar Sowumni and Boldewijn’s low cross somehow evaded Dennis’ touch as Notts’ continued their assault on Town’s defence. But as half-time neared the match began to swing in the visitors’ favour. Indeed, Fisher could have had a five-minute hat-trick had he not been denied by a strong point-blank Fitzsimons save on 31 minutes. He made no mistake with his next two chances, however, scoring with almost identical efforts. Fisher’s first came courtesy of Arquin, who span his way into space down the right before supplying the front man with a low cross to turn the ball beyond Fitzsimons from close range. And, two minutes later, Fisher applied the same finish after latching on to Wes McDonald’s grounded delivery. It could then have got worse for Notts, Arquin’s cross cannoning off Jones and on to the woodwork moments before another ex-Notts man, Carl Dickinson, stung Fitzsimons’ palms with a long-range drive. Thomas saw an effort deflected wide from a narrow angle and Brisley went into the book for a physical aerial challenge before the referee called time on an infuriating half for Nolan’s men.
The Notts boss sent his side back out for the second half unchanged and within three minutes of the restart Boldewijn forced a good save from Baxter with a well-struck effort from inside the area. David Vaughan followed up shortly afterwards with a looping volley over the bar before Yeovil had two opportunities to extend their lead.
They both fell to the dangerous Jaiyesemi within a minute of each other. On both occasions he was thwarted by Fitzsimons, the keeper first making a comfortable save after the ball had rolled out to his opponent 25 yards out. The next save was far more spectacular as he somehow got the slightest fingertip on the ball to divert the forward’s effort on to the crossbar. A double substitution followed as Tom Crawford and Andy Kellett replaced Vaughan and Thomas. That brought about a change to three at the back, with Hewitt forming a back three alongside Richard Duffy and Brisley. Jones and Boldewijn adopted wing-back roles and Kellett slotted in behind Dennis and Hemmings. There was to be no halting Jaiyesimi, however, who drew another good save from Fitzsimons when he arrowed a shot towards the bottom corner from 20 yards. Nolan’s final change soon followed as Stead, who scored two at the Riverside three days before, replaced Dennis. Time was running out for the Magpies to haul themselves back into the game and, after Husin had seen a deflected effort saved, the match was all but put to bed when Fisher grabbed his hat-trick. The imposing forward latched on to a delicious dink into the area and crashed the ball off the inside of Fitzsimons’ post and over the line. Notts were thrown a potential lifeline on 79 minutes when Dickinson was adjudged to have bundled Boldewijn over in the area. But Hemmings could only crash his spotkick against the bar as Notts’ tortuous night continued. Crawford entered the book for a late challenge and he was promptly followed by Yeovil boss Darren Way, who had been protesting with the referee. The Glovers added a fourth when Arquin headed home Dickinson’s free-kick as the clock ticked down towards full-time. And it could have been five when Tom James marauded forward from full-back before rolling the ball wide of Fitzsimons’ far post. Further half-chances came and went for the Magpies but there was to be no consolation for Nolan’s men.
Notts County: Fitzsimons, Jones, Duffy, Brisley, Hewitt, Thomas (Kellett 57), Husin, Vaughan (Crawford 57), Boldewijn, Hemmings, Dennis (Stead 68).
Booked: Brisley, Husin, Crawford.
Yeovil: Baxter, James, Sowunmi, Warren, Dickinson, McDonald (Gray 84), D’Almedia, Pattison, Jaiyesimi (Henry87), Fisher, Arquin.