Notts County Vs Bury – Match Report – 22/02/13

23rd February 2013

Super-Sub Zoko inspires the Magpies to overcome a first half deficit to score 4 past a struggling Bury side.

Steven Schumacher’s blistering strike from 25 yards lit up a relatively dull first half and within 23 minutes the Shakers had a surprise lead. The Bury captain capitalised on a poor pass out of defence from Notts’ right-back Julian Kelly and drove towards the box lashing a stunning strike past a helpless Bialkowski. County looked helpless as they had created very little in the first 45 minutes. The Magpies mustered plenty of shots on target, but efforts from Arquin, Judge and Bishop were tame strikes, easily collected by Bury keeper Tevor Carson.

Caretaker manager Chris Kiwomya was yet to pick up a win he desperately needs if he wants to land the job permanently and his half-time team talk must have reinvigorated his players as they came out much brighter from the restart. County began to play more direct, threatening passes and Bury soon realised they had a job on their hands to keep their 1-0 lead. The game was level by 58 minutes as County had a goal that was well deserved after some fantastic build up and inter-play. Cofie picked up the ball 25 yards out and held up play enough to slot in an overlapping Kelly. The right-back, keen to amend his previous error, showed great skill to cut inside and slotted home brilliantly. Meadow Lane erupted as they saw their revitalised team level up the match.

The Magpies were ahead by the 61st minute as Bury became increasingly nervous as County heaped on the pressure. Second-half substitute Zoko, who’s movement had been fantastic since coming on, found the ball at his feet 10 yards from goal. He worked himself enough space to brilliantly score past Carson whose defenders should have certainly done more to prevent the Ivorian’s goal. Notts soon extended their lead at 65 minutes, but Blackwell will again be furious with his team’s inability to deal with easy lofted balls. Leacock played an optimistic pass up field to Zoko which Eastham misjudged badly allowing the striker to run unchallenged into the penalty area. He beat Carson with one touch before coolly slotting into an empty net. Impressive by the Magpies but woeful defending from their opponents who now looked down and out on a cold, brisk night at Meadow Lane.

The game was over by 74 minutes as County won a penalty when Eastham, who had a torrid second-half, tripped the nimble Judge in the box. Zoko, who was on a hattrick, graciously allowed Jamal Campbell-Ryce, whose goals have deserted him recently, to take the spot kick. He converted confidently sending Carson the wrong way as he shot to his right hand side securing a 4-1 win for the Magpies.

Although Notts County were only able to produce 45 minutes of brilliance yet again, this win in front of the Sky Sport’s cameras could easily kick-start their season. 6 points off the playoff places means only a stunning run of form and slip ups from teams around them would see them make 6th place; but with the goals scored, fans will know that the promotion dream is still alive. Consistency is key and one feel this will only come with managerial stability that the fans and players so desire. Bury on the other hand look doomed for relegation back to the fourth tier of English Football. A shame for a spirited group of players that stagnated in League 2 for so long, before earning promotion in 2011. A fantastic League 1 game nonetheless and a great advert for Notts County who will hope to boost their relatively low attendance figures this season with this impressive win.

Notts County
01 Bialkowski
02 Kelly Booked
03 Sheehan
06 Leacock (Hollis – 85′ )
04 Bishop
08 Liddle
10 Judge
20 Campbell-Ryce
28 Boucaud (Hughes – 76′ )
15 Arquin (Zoko – 46′ )
19 Cofie

23 Speiss
05 Smith
26 Hollis
11 Hughes
18 Bencherif
13 Zoko
29 Blyth

01 Carson
03 Skarz
06 Eastham
19 Regan Booked
24 Zubar (Soares – 46′ Booked )
34 Ebanks-Landell
07 Worrall
08 Schumacher
32 Thompson (Carrington – 86′ )
10 Bishop
15 Ajose (Fagan – 80′ )

30 Belford
09 Jones
13 Carrington
35 Soares
37 Carole
25 Healy
31 Fagan

Ref: Geoff Eltrigham
Att: 5,795

Rob Schofield