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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Match report: Notts County 1 – 2 Barnet

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Notts County were beaten 2-1 by Barnet at Meadow Lane on Saturday.

Enzio Boldewijn’s wonder-strike put the Magpies ahead inside the opening 10 minutes but the sides went into half-time level after Callum Reynolds pulled the Bees level.

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But Barnet completed the turnaround thanks to Simeon Akinola’s third goal of the season 15 minutes from time.

Neal Ardley made two changes from the side that drew with Stockport in midweek. Ben Turner made his full debut in place of Pierce Bird, who dropped to the bench, while Declan Dunn came into the midfield to make his first senior start .

Again, Notts lined up with a back three, with Sam Graham and Connell Rawlinson keeping their places in front of Sam Slocombe, Zoumana Bakayogo and Dion Kelly-Evans continued at wing back and Nathan Tyson recovered from his arm injury in midweek to partner Boldewijn up front. Jim O’Brien and Mitch Rose, who retained the captain’s armband, completed the side.

The game didn’t take long to get going with both sides looking bright early on but it was the hosts who struck first – and in magnificent style.

Boldewijn was the man to make the breakthrough as he did what Notts fans became accustomed to him doing last season – cutting in from the left to rifle an effort into the top corner, giving former Magpie Scott Loach no chance in the Barnet goal.

The Bees looked for a quick response and were given an excellent opportunity to level proceedings when O’Brien brought down James Dunne on the edge of the box. Jack Taylor stepped up to strike at goal but narrowly missed the target.

The Notts man was quickly into the action at the other end, striking from range after a bouncing ball broke kindly for him but he didn’t quite get hold of his effort and Loach watched it beat his post.

Boldewijn continued to look lively and, after combining well with Rose and Kelly-Evans, he teed up Bakayogo for the chance to double the advantage. The left wing back didn’t catch his shot as he’d have liked on his weaker right foot and it was blocked before the Bees cleared.

There were hearts in mouths in the 24th minute when Taylor met a deep cross beyond the back post to head across the face of goal. Akinola looked to get on the end of it to net his third in as many games but went down under pressure as he came steeling in – referee Joe Hull waved away any appeals, though.

The Magpies’ reprieve was short-lived, however, as Barnet levelled things up in the 28th minute.

A set piece proved to be Notts’ undoing once again as Ricardo Almeida Santos got up highest to head a corner back into the mix. Taylor then climbed well to send the ball towards goal and Bees skipper Reynolds was there to turn home from inside the six-yard box.

Tyson called Loach into action from distance and Taylor skied an effort following a well-worked corner, either side of Turner picking up a yellow card as both sides looked to gain the upper hand.

And, moments before two minutes of added time were indicated, Notts might have thought they’d be given the chance to do so from 12 yards when O’Brien went down under challenge from Harry Taylor. Hull took his time over his decision before pointing for a goal kick, rather than the spot-kick Notts fans were calling for.

Two minutes of added time were indicated in which the Scot whipped an inviting free-kick into the area but no one in black and white could make a telling connection in the last action of the first half.

Both sides returned to the field unchanged but, just after Akinola headed wide from a corner, Notts were forced into a substitution as O’Brien picked up a knock and was replaced by Kristian Dennis on 50 minutes for his first action of the season.

That signalled a switch of shape for the Magpies, who now had Boldewijn and Dennis playing off Tyson with Rose and Dunn forming a central midfield duo.

Dunne had his name taken in the 54th minute after hauling down Boldewijn as the Dutchman burst through midfield, and was lucky not to receive another caution shortly afterwards when he pulled Rose down after a good turn from the Notts captain.

Turner made way for Matt Tootle just after the hour which led to another change of shape as the Magpies went 4-4-2 with Kelly-Evans and Boldewijn on the wings.

The home supporters were incensed when Tyson looked to be hauled down by David Tutonda, who was last man, just inside the Barnet half but Hull let play continue.

Dennis was agonisingly close to marking his return to the side with a goal when he won the ball on the edge of the area and bent a low shot towards the bottom corner – Loach got down to make an excellent save to turn it behind. Rawlinson headed wide from the resultant set piece.

Barnet then went in search of the lead themselves with Slocombe called into action by Dunne’s volley, before Jack Taylor skied an excellent opening after Cheye Alexander’s burst forwards.

With 75 minutes on the clock, it was third time lucky for the Bees, however, as Akinola was played in behind and showed good composure to dink over Slocombe who had come out to meet him.

Dennis’ shot on the turn was easily saved by Loach, before Boldewijn’s winding run ended with his shot being blocked as Notts pressed for an equaliser.

Ardley rolled the dice by throwing Remaye Campbell on for his league debut with six minutes to play – Kelly-Evans was the man to make way – and the striker immediately won a corner, which just wouldn’t sit for Rose at the back post following Loach’s unconvincing attempt to punch clear.

Dunn became the second Notts man to be booked after bringing down Harry Taylor before the hosts were given four additional minutes to restore parity.

But, with the exception of Bakayogo’s long-range effort, they struggled to create anything in the added period and slipped to their second defeat of the campaign.

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