Kevin Nolan made one change to the side that faced Luton Town last weekend, Mark Yeates replacing Adam Campbell to secure a start against his former club.
And the Irishman nearly began the match in dream fashion when the ball dropped for him in space inside the Blackpool area. Yeates composed himself before curling the ball a yard wide of the post. Haydn Hollis had to be alert at the other end shortly afterwards, sending the ball over his own crossbar after a long throw had escaped the clutches of Adam Collin. The Notts stopper made amends minutes later when he palmed away Neil Danns’ powerful cross-cum-shot at his near post, before Rob Milsom and Carl Dickinson denied Danns and Nathan Delfouneso respectively. Danns was proving himself to be an early threat for the visitors and he saw a shot deflect wide on 15 minutes as the visitors continued their search for the opening goal. But the momentum of the match soon began to swing in the Magpies’ favour. Grant fired a shot straight at Sam Slocombe before the keeper did well to claw Yeates’ header off the line after the winger had latched on to Elliott Hewitt’s speculative cross at the back Slocombe made another good save shortly afterwards, preventing Grant’s free-kick from finding the top corner, but Duffy was quickly on the scene to nod home the rebound from close range. Milsom and Shola Ameobi saw shots blocked before the referee called time on a positive first half from Nolan’s men.
There were no changes at the break and Milsom, who before the match was crowned Notts’ Player of the Season, went close to doubling their lead shortly after the restart. His acrobative effort was blocked by Andy Taylor before Stead’s low effort was gathered by Slocombe. Slocombe denied Stead once again moments later, sprawling to make the save after the forward produced a tremendous solo run. Jack Payne rifled a 25-yard shot over before Milsom saw an effort blocked by Tom Aldred as the sides continued to trade blows. Milsom’s name went into the book on 74 minutes, moments before Adam Campbell replaced Yeates. Jon Stead made way for Alan Smith eight minutes later. Blackpool substitute Kyle Vassell sent the ball wide from inside the area and Brad Potts headed the ball straight at Collin, shortly before Nolan’s final change saw Grant replaced by Jonathan Forte. Notts were hanging on to their slender lead relatively comfortably, although five minutes were added on at the end of the game. That proved to be an irrelevance, however, as Notts stood firm to claim all three points.
Notts County: Collin, Clackstone, Duffy, Hollis, Dickinson, Yeates (A.Campbell 74), Hewitt, Milsom, Grant (Forte 88), Ameobi, Stead (Smith 82).
Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Taylor (Vassell 71), Delfouneso, Danns (Flores 78), Payne, Daniel, Potts, Cullen (Osayi-Samuel 71).