Notts County 2-0 Stevenage: Two late goals sink battling Boro at Meadow Lane
PUBLISHED: 17:09 24 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:09 24 February 2018
Stevenage lost 2-0 at Meadow Lane against Notts County on Saturday as Darren Sarll's men fell to two late goals.
Jorge Grant netted with 13 minutes to go followed by former Newcastle United forward Shola Ameobi doubling the lead 180 seconds later.
The result was harsh on Sarll as visitors Stevenage started brightly with the same first XI which disposed of Yeovil Town 4-1 at the Lamex seven days previously.
The continuity prompted a lively start from the Lamex outfit as they made their way into the Notts penalty area in the opening stages but the highly-rated on loan Tottenham Hotpsur winger Luke Amos could only slam his shot into the side-netting.
Moments later Boro’s Millwall loanee Tom King dropped Adam Collin’s free-kick under pressure from Shola Ameobi but Ben Hall could only lob his effort over the bar from the edge of the penalty area.
Goddard’s shot was then spilled by Collin, who gathered as Duffy held off Newton and was so close to turning it in.
As the entertaining half progressed there was a valid penalty appeal from the Stevenage players and fans as Kennedy appeared to be bundled over in the area.
Kennedy stayed down after the incident and eventually got back to his feet, drawing the ire of the Kop.
Yet he had every right to appeal for the spot-kick as there was contact, not that Kevin Nolan’s men and County supporters agreed as he was targeted for the remainder of the half suffering further knocks which necessitated in him being replaced moments before the break.
While it was unfortunate to lose a player of his calbre, the highly-rated Arsenal midfield loanee Ben Sheaf came on for the brave Northern Irishmam with seconds remaining of the first half. It was instructive to watch his first two effortless touches at this level as he glided across the rutted Meadow Lane turf in the maelstrom of League Two.
The second half started in the same vein as both sides looked to probe each other. What was encouraging to see was the fact Boro looked to build from the back.
It takes courage to play that way, as well as confidence in your abilities and the talents. You may not get what you deserve but at least it indicates the type of football you want to deliver.
Nolan’s County prefer a more direct style, which proved the be the winning strategy.
The opening goal came from Nottingham Forest loanee Grant who had already notched 17 goals this term. Grant replaced the quiet Lewis Alessandra.
With only 13 minutes to go the visitors couldn’t clear their lines from the corner and the midfielder produced a cool finish low into the corner to give Notts the lead.
There was worse to come for Boro as County doubled the lead three minutes later after Brighton loanee Ben Hall flicked on a free-kick and Ameobi beat the goalkeeper to the ball to slam in and double the lead.
It could have been worse with six minutes to go as Danny Newton sliced the ball onto the roof of the net.
However for the 277 loyal travelling Stevenage fans in a Meadow Lane crowd of 5,684 it was another defeat on the road with only the victory at Carlisle in September and the 1-0 triumph at Chesterfield in January with full points to take back to North Herts.