Kevin Nolan made five changes to the team that faced Crawley Town in midweek. Suspended duo Ross Fitzsimons and Matty Virtue made way for Adam Collin – making his return his from a lengthy injury – and Elliott Hewitt. Carl Dickinson, Terry Hawkridge and Shola Ameobi also came in, replacing Dan Jones, Lewis Alessandra and Liam Noble.
The first shot of the day went to the visitors, Mike Van Der Hoorn stinging Collin’s palms from range before Notts came within inches of creating a golden opportunity to take the lead, Jon Stead’s low cross just evading Hewitt in the middle. Jorge Grant tried to catch out Swans keeper Kristoffer Nordfledt with an inventive free-kick on 18 minutes but the keeper was alert to the danger. Bayern Munich loanee Renato Sanches offered his side’s response, bending a long-range effort wide minutes before Tammy Abraham struck an effort straight at Collin. Sanches’ name was the first in the book on 22 minutes following a foul on Stead. Wilfried Bony fired an air-shot when attempting a volley and Van Der Hoorn headed the ball straight at Collin from a corner as the visitors tried to make their Premier League class show. A frustrating first half for Sanches was curtailed on the half-hour mark when he limped off the field in place of former Celtic midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung. Swansea’s pressure continued to mount as the interval neared, Bony drawing a good reaction save from Collin after powering Narsingh’s cross goalwards with his head. Carlos Carvalhal’s team had the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time when Ki threaded Narsingh into the area and watched on as the Dutchman fired the ball into the far corner.
There were no changes at the break and Notts came within inches of levelling the scores shortly after the restart when Grant saw his free-kick take a nick off the wall and fly just wide. It was the first in a string of chances for Grant, who went agonisngly close twice more – first with a driven shot across goal and then with a header from Hawkridge’s cross. Notts were calling all the shots and were left cursing their luck when a low ball across the six-yard box went all the way through without a telling touch. But a deserved equaliser finally came just after the hour when Grant’s low cross was turned home by Stead from close range in front of a jubilant Kop. The game was now anyone’s but it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes that the visitors began to reapply concerted pressure. Substitute Jordan Ayew fired an effort straight at Collin a minute before Richard Duffy blocked a shot with his face and Collin had to be alert to save from Ki on the rebound. Grant went into the book for a foul on Swansea sub Sam Clucas before Nolan sent on Alessandra in place of Ameobi. With a minute of normal time remaining, patient Swansea build-up resulted in Bony heading the ball inches wide. Alan Smith replaced Noor Husin seconds before four minutes of added time were indicated at the end of the match. In the dying seconds, Ayew curled the ball over the bar with a first-time effort from the edge of the area and that was to be the last of the action as the Magpies secured a replay at the Liberty Stadium.
Notts County: Collin, Hunt, Duffy, Brisley, Dickinson, Grant, Husin (Smith 90), Hewitt, Grant, Ameobi (Alessandra 84), Stead.
Swansea City: Nordfeldt, van der Hoorn, Bartley, Mawson, Roberts, Fer (Clucas 63), Sanches (Ki 32), Carroll, Narsingh, Bony, Abraham (Ayew 70).
Booked: Nordfeldt, Sanches.