The Shots fell to defeat in Nottingham after goals from Cedwyn Scott and Macauley Langstaff secured a 2-0 victory for Notts County.
The first chance of the game fell to Inih Effiong in the 10th minute. Archie Davies had plenty of time on the right wing to pick his spot as he delivered a dangerous cross to The Shots number nine whose first-time effort crashed against the post. The referee blew for a foul but we’ll count it as close chance.
The home fans were appealing for a penalty not long after when Kyle Cameron hit the deck after running into Tyler Cordner. Whilst the County centre-half needed treatment for a blood injury, there was nothing malicious involved and it looked to be just a coming together.
Cordner was the man in all the action as just a couple of minutes after up the other end, he launched an audacious effort from over 30 yards out which had to be saved well by Sam Slocombe before Effiong’s effort on the rebound was turned behind for a corner.
From the resulting corner, it was Cordner who rose highest and his header which looked to be heading into the bottom corner was somehow stopped on the line.
Notts had their first chance of the game moments later. It of course fell to Macauley Langstaff who spun the area and sent a shot towards Luca Ashby-Hammond’s net but it was the Shots ‘keeper who came out on top and was able to turn the effort away.
The game went a bit quieter fora while as the next chance fell to Aaron Nemane in the 33rd minute. Arriving late at the back-post he latched onto a long delivery from the left but sliced his shot wide.
Effiong has caused defences plenty of problems with his strength already this season but it was his skill that caught the eye as he skipped over a challenge on the left, advancing down the wing and finding Ryan Glover in the box. Glover’s effort however was blocked behind for a corner with Giles Phillips heading wide from the subsequent delivery.
County perhaps should have entered half-time in the lead. A dangerous ball into the box found Cedwyn Scott in space in the box but his glancing header went just wide of the post.
Notts County started the second-half looking like they had a point to prove, dominating possession and their dominance bore fruit when Cedwyn Scott gave the hosts the lead in the 52nd minute. Geraldo Bajrami advanced all the way into the Shots area with a brilliant run before finding Scott at the back post who had an easy finish into a wide open net.
The home side almost doubled their lead in almost identical circumstances five minutes later. A deep cross from the right found Adam Chicksen at the back post but the left-back couldn’t control the ball and kneed it towards an open net allowing Ashby-Hammond to fantastically claw the ball off the line.
Notts had a second in the 64th minute. Aaron Nemane was found in plenty of space on the right-wing and his low cross was turned in from close range by Macauley Langstaff.
The hosts were controlling the game and continuing to look dangerous as the second-half progressed and though they did threaten the Shots goal, Ashby-Hammond wasn’t called into action.
Francis Amartey and new man Faysal Bettache were introduced in the 74th minute and 10 minutes later, Amartey came close for The Shots. Spinning his man on the edge of the box, he advanced into the box but his shot hit the side netting.
Shots lineup: 1. Luca Ashby-Hammond, 2. Archie Davies, 3. Ollie Harfield, 5. Tyler Cordner, 7. Justin Amaluzor, 9. Inih Effiong, 11. Harrison Panayiotou (14. Francis Amartey 74′), 20. Michael Klass (17. Faysal Bettache 74′), 22. Giles Phillips (c) (18. Ody Alfa 86’), 23. Ryan Glover, 27. Tommy Willard. Subs not used: 13. Ryan Hall, 16. Corey Jordan.