More Joy for the Magpies in the Cumbrian sunshine

The fantastic change in fortunes that as seen Notts County move 13 points from the danger zone in league two and up to 15th in the league with just 5 games to go as nothing to do with luck or poor opposition teams, it is down to the team being organised, hard working, skill and self belief all these qualities have been brought about by the team buying into Kevin Nolans plan to make Notts County a force to be re conned with, all these qualities where apparent in the 2-1 win at promotion chasing Carlisle United.

The game started with half chances for both sides, with Notts having the better of the early exchanges, Jorge Grant was the first to threaten when he used his skill to hit a bouncing ball on the volley towards the top corner but Gillespie held the comfortably under the cross bar, next Jon Stead tried his luck but shot wide of the goal, after all Notts pressure Carlisle broke quickly and Reggie Lamb the ex Mansfield player put his shot over the top when he should have done much better.

On 25 minutes Notts nearly broke the deadlock when Tootle broke down the right and put an inch perfect cross over with was met superbly by Shola ameobi his clever header went over all the Carlisle defenders and seemed certain to go in until Shaun Brisley cleared to the ball off the line.

The 295 fantastic travelling fans were singing and making their voices heard above the subdued Carlisle fans, Jorge Grant had Notts final chance before the interval when he found space in the box but hurried his shot and put it over the bar.

The Notts supporters were hoping that the supremacy and chances they had in the first half were not going to come back to haunt them as Carlisle started to up their game and on 58 minutes they introduced two of the fans favourites in Ibehre and Kennedy and in less than a  minute the dangerous Jaso Ibehre had latched on to a flick on to drive the ball past Adam Collin in the Notts goal, almost immediate Jon Stead nearly brought the scores level when he put a shot just wide of the post, Stead continued to drag the Carlisle defenders all over the park and on 55 minutes he had a golden opportunity to level the scores when in space he tried to lob Gillespie but did not get the right contact and the ball floated harmlessly into Gillespie s hands. Nolan introduced Michael O’Connor to replace Adam Campbell to inject a little more flair into there play, then with 10 minutes to go Bola came on for Dickenson to add more pace down the left side, with his final change he brought Tahvon Campbell replaced Rob Milson who had covered every blade of grass on Brunton Park, with the added pace, Notts were going all out for an equaliser and on 85 minutes Duffy put a pin point ball into the box which Grant headed across goal which caused panic in the Carlisle defence causing Brisley to divert the ball past Gillespie and Jon Stead bravely slid in to equalise. Not content to accept a  point, Notts went all out for the winner and on 89 minutes the  hard working Matt Tootle exchanged passes before firing a terrific shot that eluded Gillespie at his near post to Notts the lead. During the 6 minutes of added time the Notts fans hearts were in their mouth as Ibehre broke free and looked certain to score until Adam Collin spread his body magnificently to thwart the big striker and Notts then played out the last minute or so to gain the well deserved 3 points.

Melvyn Watson


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