Kevin Nolan named an unchanged team following last weekend’s 0-0 draw at home to Grimsby Town.
That meant Ryan Yates kept his place alongside Elliott Hewitt, and the former landed an effort on the roof of Cambridge’s net following Jorge Grant’s corner. Grant then saw an effort blocked before being crowded out in the area moments later as the Magpies pressed for the first goal. Ikpeazu entered the referee’s notebook following a coming-together with Shola Ameobi, whose snapshot following the subsequent free-kick was well saved by David Forde. The referee had his yellow card out again moments later, booking Cambridge man Brown and warning Carl Dickinson after the pair had clashed off the ball. Ikpeazu had a chance to give his side the lead when George Taft’s header dropped at his feet a couple of yards out. The big striker could only turn the ball over. Jon Stead then had a similar opportunity when he picked up the scraps from Elliott Hewitt’s long throw, powering a header straight at Forde from close range. But it was the visitors who would break the deadlock – and in sensational style. Ikpeazu curled the ball across goal and into the top corner from just inside the Notts area. Keen to find an equaliser before the break, Notts saw Terry Hawkridge’s low, bobbling effort easily dealt with by Forde before Ameobi lobbed the ball on to the roof of the net on the stretch.
There were no changes for either side at the break but there was soon to be an alteration to the scoreline in Cambridge’s favour. Brown, who moments earlier had seen an effort deflected wide, was the man to double his side’s lead, curling the ball off the inside of the post from the edge of the area. Shaun Brisley became the first Notts man to enter the book for a late challenge on Brad Halliday, before a flurry of Notts chances came and went. The first fell to Ameobi, who received a lay-off from Stead before seeing his deflected effort go wide of the post. Four minutes later, Ameobi had another sight at goal but couldn’t make contact with Grant’s effort to turn the ball home. Notts then had the woodwork rattling when Forde failed to deal with a corner and Yates saw his shot diverted on to the post and behind. Nolan made his first changes just after the hour, sending on Dan Jones and Alessandra for Carl Dickinson and Hawkridge. But the oncoming pair were helpless to prevent the Magpies falling further behind when Brown added his second, receiving the ball from fellow scorer Ikpeazu and finding the top corner from 12 yards. Jake Carroll entered the book for timewasting and Forte replaced Stead as a surpising defeat looked increasingly likely. But two substitutes combined to hand Notts a lifeline with 16 minutes to play, Jones crossing for Alessandra to nod the ball beyond Forde. Another headed opportunity followed, this time for Ameobi, but he could only nod Matt Tootle’s clipped cross wide. But all hope was not lost as, with two minutes of normal time remaining, Brisley‘s heavily deflected effort sent the ball looping up over Forde and into the net. Notts were given five minutes to find an equaliser – and they got one in dramatic fashion when the ball was kept alive in Cambridge’s area before Forte hooked it home to salvage a point for the ‘Pies.
Notts County: Fitzsimons, Tootle, Duffy, Brisley, Dickinson (Jones 61), Hawkridge (Alessandra 61), Yates, Hewitt, Grant. Stead (Forte 74), Ameobi.
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Legge, Taft, Carroll, Elito, Brown, Taylor, Maris (Oasaoabe 84) , Ikpeazu, Azeez.
Booked: Forde, Carroll, Brown, Ikpeazu.