Notts County 2 - 3 Coalville Town | FA Cup Round Four Qualifying | 15 October 2022
On a day that should have been an opportunity for Notts’ fringe players to make an impact it was Coalville who stole the limelight, completing the shock of the Fourth Qualifying Round.
Other than Sam Austin, who scored an impressive brace, nobody really gave Luke Williams any selection headaches ahead of the weekend, and the Magpies fans were understandably disappointed with both the performance and the fact that Notts will not be in the hat for the First Round Proper tomorrow.
The game couldn’t have started any worse for Notts, as the visitors took a surprise lead just 3 minutes in. Brindley’s poor header down was pounced upon, and a miscommunication between debutant Lucien Mahovo and returning from injury Joel Taylor allowed Tom McGlinchey to ghost in at the back post.
The winger made no mistake as he duly slotted past debutant keeper Young. McGlinchey is a player we highlighted in our preview, and the danger he posed when getting in behind a makeshift left side was shown here to devastating effect.
Notts responded well though, taking control of the game, levelling just 5 minutes later through Sam Austin. Lucien Mahovo started the move, as Notts worked the ball across laterally from left to right. Francis fed Adebayo-Rowling who had maintained a high and wide position. We know how good his delivery is, and he did not disappoint, clipping a cross into the back post where Sam Austin was waiting. The 25 year old may have felt hard done by in recent weeks with limited game time, but he showed no signs of any rust as he calmly controlled the ball, before slotting it home into the bottom corner.
Moments later Notts should have been 2-1 up as Bajrami’s shot was spilled into a dangerous area, but Kairo Mitchell was unable to react and tap into the empty net. Had he gambled Notts would have been ahead, something which they didn’t do at all on Saturday afternoon. Brindley then found himself in space in the box, and Adebayo-Rowling could have had a second assist if Brindley’s left footed shot had hit the target.
Despite Notts’ dominance, the visitors led once again after 25 minutes, after the inexperience of Mahovo once again to told, allowing McGlinchey in behind the backline yet again. Once in the box he showed the same composure he did for his own goal, squaring it to Ashley Chambers who was waiting in the middle. Whilst Mahovo was out of position criticism must also be levelled at Brindley who was completely bullied by Chambers before he tapped into the empty net.
Ten minutes later Notts were exposed down the left yet again, as McGlinchey the danger man raced clear once more after a long ball from the keeper. This time Young was finally equal to the effort, but the consistency in which Coalville were exploiting Notts makeshift left side was frightening. Notts didn’t respond before the break either, sending the sides into half time with the visitors 2-1 up.
Shortly after the restart Notts made their first changes, with Palmer and Rodrigues coming on for Mahovo and Castro with Notts in need of a goal. It seemed to have an instant impact, as the two substitutes combined with Adebayo-Rowling, keeping possession high up on the right. The ball was then played back to Brindley, whose cross into the box was well trapped by Mitchell, but the big forward was unable to do anything with the chance. Fortunately for the Grenadian international he would get a second bite of the cherry, as Joel Taylor’s cross from the loose ball found Mitchell’s head. However, the big forward was unable to get much on the cross, with his header narrowly going wide, but in truth had it been on target the keeper would have had it covered.
Notts began to pile on the pressure, and Austin, Notts’ best player on the afternoon, once again showed the class he possesses. Austin received the ball in the box from Adebayo-Rowling after some clever movement, before turning his man inside out, opening the space up to dink a cross into Mitchell, but the ball was just that bit too high for the striker. Rodrigues looked to press the advantage, but the Portuguese midfielder was sloppy in possession, losing the ball high up exposing Notts to a counter attack. Former Dunkirk striker Tim Berridge was away and through on goal, but the Coalville number 9 lost his footing squandering an excellent 2 on 1 counter attacking situation. Had he maintained his composure and squared the ball Coalville would have undoubtedly gone 3-1 up and been out of sight.
Notts were not deterred by this scare though, and continued to mount an offensive on Coalville’s goal, and moments later Austin had his second. Coalville simply gave Joel Taylor too much time to get a cross in, and when he has that much space you’re guaranteed to see a quality ball into the box. Coalville keeper Paul White made a total mess of the cross, leaving an empty net for Austin to head into. Once again the number 8’s movement allowed him to score, moving inwards from the right flank before evading notice of the defenders, his positioning allowing him to head home. The Magpies were back on level terms, and looked the more likely to go and get the winner.
Palmer completely changed the game when he came on, and his class showed with a pair of scintillating passes setting up Adebayo-Rowling once again down the right in an area he looks so dangerous. Another great ball once again found Austin, and it’s no coincidence that a player with movement as good as his consistently found chances in the opposition penalty area. His header was directed low and hard, but credit must be given to White who pulled off a strong save to deny the hat trick.
Joel Taylor then showed flair down the left, a back heel to Bajrami which was then returned, for Taylor to once again put a sumptuous cross into the box, one which White struggled to deal with. A weak palm let the ball fall at Adebayo-Rowling’s feet, but the wing back was unable to adjust, squandering the chance. Whilst Notts’ quality of delivery was extremely high, it was frustrating to see the large majority of attacks come from wide areas. Notts are a side who should have the class to open up Coalville, but instead we allowed them to play their game, keeping compact and reducing Notts to chances from crosses.
From Notts’ own corner Coalville broke, and comical defending allowed left winger Luke Shaw to score, a goal in truth he knew very little about. McGlinchey was free at the back post, and it seemed to take an age for Shaw to pick him out, but when he did McGlinchey almost scored himself, a goal line block turning the ball onto Shaw and then into the back of the net. With just a few minutes remaining Coalville once again had the lead, and horror defending had undone the Magpies late on, a story all too familiar with the Meadow Lane faithful.
Notts needed to respond, and for the first time in the game they used the half space, Bajrami putting a dangerous ball into Rodrigues, whose header was straight at White. Once again Rodrigues found himself in space, as moments later Adebayo-Rowling cut back and played a cross in, but again Ruben’s effort was unable to really test White, the last chance of the game. Notts had gone down to a disappointing 3-2 loss, but full credit must be given to Coalville. The visitors came to Meadow Lane and played their game, looking to frustrate the Magpies and catch them on the counter. And catch them on the counter they did, and we at Notts Stats wish Coalville the best of luck in the next round.
Unfortunately this game wasn't covered by our data supplier so we don't have the xG analysis.
Either way, looking at the stats above it's clear Notts had the chances to put this game to bed but unlike Coalville who hit the target with 80% of their goal attempts, Notts could only muster 37.50% shot's on target.
Goals + Assists:
Goals and assists table updated and Sam Austin adds 2 goals to the 4 assists he already has for this season. This means that despite only having 4 starts this season he is averaging a goal contribution every 94 minutes of the 564 minutes played.
Make the most of this one, it's the only time you will see it this season!
Notts record updated:
We turn our focus back on the league on Friday night where National League newcomers Maidstone United are visitors to Meadow Lane.
This is a great opportunity for Luke Williams and his players to respond and put the Coalville defeat behind them. As it's being played a day early a win will ensure Notts can't be caught by Wrexham on the Saturday and will do much to rebuild confidence both in the players and the fans.
Maidstone preview to follow soon.
As always, thanks for reading.
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Data - Wyscout
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