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Match Report


Posted Sat 05 Nov 11 at 14:20 PM


A fantastic stoppage-time goal from Joel Grant earned Wycombe a much-deserved point at Meadow Lane after Ben Burgess' first-minute goal looked to have given Notts County the victory.

Burgess rose highest to power home Alan Sheehan's corner within 45 seconds of kick-off but the expected wave of attacks from the hosts never materialized, and the Blues were unlucky to be trailing at the break after Scott Donnelly's header was well saved by Stuart Nelson.

County lacked ambition after the interval and allowed the visitors to press forward, with Nelson producing another fine save to keep out Stuart Beavon's header.

However, as the game neared the end, a rocket from Grant lit up the away stand on Fireworks Night to salvage a point and keep the Wanderers off the bottom of the table.

Marvin McCoy, Leon Johnson, Scott Donnelly and Ben Strevens returned to the starting XI for the clash at Meadow Lane, taking the places of Dave Winfield (ill), James Tunnicliffe (groin), captain Gareth Ainsworth (suspended) and 15-year-old Jordon Ibe.

Wanderers made the worst possible start to the game, conceding inside the opening minute when Ben Burgess thundered a header past Nikki Bull from Alan Sheehan's corner.

The Blues responded well, with Donnelly looking the most likely to find Gary Waddock's men a way back into the match. The attacking midfielder created two chances in quick succession - firstly from a free-kick which was scoop over the top by Johnson and then a pinpoint cross for Strevens, who was outmuscled by Krystian Pearce just as he was aiming to test Stuart Nelson.

County reminded the visitors of their attacking threat when Alan Judge forced a smart save from Bull on 19 minutes after the midfielder latched onto a mis-placed pass by Stuart Lewis.

At the other end, Donnelly's close-range header was expertly saved by Nelson from McCoy's inch-perfect delivery as the Blues looked to capitalise on an improved spell.

Charlie Allen, Martin's son, then fired a 25-yard effort over the top before Lee Hughes wasted a golden opportunity to give the hosts a two-goal lead as the half-time whistle approached, poking the ball wide from 12 yards after evading Danny Foster's challenge.

The second half started quietly, with Nikki Bull denying an offside Lee Hughes with a superb one-handed save before Grant Basey fired over the bar following a Wycombe corner.

Alan Judge's 30-yard daisycutter hit the outside of the post just after the hour-mark on one of the few occasions when County were able to enjoy any possession in the Wycombe half, having settled for the mundane long-ball game to break up the visitors' attacks.

Stuart Beavon's flick-on from Scott Donnelly's free-kick just evaded his team-mates at the back stick before Jordon Ibe came off the bench in place of Ben Strevens in attack.

Ibe was at the heart of most of Wycombe's moves in the final third as County looked desperate to run down the clock, and they were almost punished when Beavon forced a superb save from Stuart Nelson with a header that seemed destined for the top corner.

For all of the visitors' smart football and probing passes, the chances weren't forthcoming. The ball barely left the County half and no matter how many times it fizzed across the box, there was no clinical finish.

That was until stoppage time. Joel Grant had looked lively since his introduction and smashed the ball goalwards in frustration from 25 yards, seeing his effort swerve past a flat-footed Stuart Nelson in the County goal and sparking jubilant celebrations in the Jimmy Sirrel Stand. Even Nikki Bull - a spectator for the whole second half - joined in with the huddle.

That was that, and Wycombe had earned just what they deserved with a superb second-half display against a turgid County side, claiming a point which keeps them off the bottom of the table.

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