Match Report: Notts County 1-4 Sheffield United

18th October 2012

Wednesday night saw Notts County take part in the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy (JPT) for only the second time in the last 11 years, against a Sheffield United team who narrowly missed out on promotion from League 1 last season.

With the stadium half full the game kicked off and County looked in good form with Andre Boucaud and Jordan Stewart looking lively. Sheffield goalkeeper George Long had to make an excellent early save from an Enoch Showunmi header and managed to claw the ball away from the following goal mouth scramble. However it was Sheffield United who broke the deadlock mid-way through the second half against the run of play. Jordan Stewart got caught out of position again which left County stretched at the back. A quick break down the right from Sheffield saw a cross be flicked onto the unmarked Shaun Miller at the penalty spot and Sheffield had the lead.

This didn’t discourage Jordan Stewart from still bombing forward. Though Showumni sought to benefit from some good crossing from County he was lacking in front of goal and failed to find an equaliser. Deep into injury time of the first half Sheffield United won a corner from Shaun Miller’s good work down the left and centre back Harry Maguire was able to raise above Arquin to nod home and put Sheffield 2-0 going into half time.

Over the break Keith Curle brought on Lee Hughes and Campbell-Rice for Showumni and Mahon with the intention of getting a goal back early in the second half. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. In the 52nd minute Shaun Miller pounced on a poorly cleared corner at the back post to rifle home a superb volley to make it 3-0. To make matters worse two minutes later another poorly cleared corner from County found its way to Harry Maguire who played a deep cross (definitely a cross, in spite of what Maguire might claim!) which looped over Bartosz Bialkowski to make it 4-0 and put the final nail in the coffin for the Magpies.

In the 75th minute Jordan Stewart combined well down the right hand side with Boucaud to slot home but it didn’t make up for his defensive frailties throughout the entire game. Lee and Jeff Hughes both missed sitters from close range which sparked songs of “let’s pretend we scored a goal” from the County fans who were in good spirits throughout the entire game.

Ultimately the better team won on the night. Sheffield’s defence were well organised and limited County to a few chances, and even after going 4-0 up they still played with intent. Notts had a poor game defensively, conceding 3 goals from corners which weren’t dealt with properly. Stewart played almost exclusively out of position which hurt County’s midfielders when trying to push forward. The best news is that County can now focus on the league and push for promotion and Andre Boucaud looks to be a fantastic prospect.

17/10/12 at Meadow Lane
Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Second Round