Notts County failed to beat Peterborough United at Meadow Lane for the ninth time in succession as a second half goal from Christian Burgess sent Posh back to London Road with just their fifth away win of the season.
Opening the scoring inside 15 minutes, Marcus Maddison put the visitors one goal to the good as he turned his marker and fired home via a deflection from outside the box. However, a thunderous strike from Garry Thompson gave County hope going into the second half.
The match started fairly slowly for Notts who were largely reduced to long balls as Peterborough’s midfield trio controlled the match. The home side’s frustrations were typified by Alan Smith who picked up an early booking after chopping down Conor Washington.
Maddison’s goal for Posh may have been fortuitous, but it was certainly deserved. With Jack Payne dropped to the bench, summer signing from Bristol Rovers Michael Smith had been given the captain’s armband and it took him little time to get familiar with the role.
Having held the armband sporadically for the now-Conference club, Smith turned assistor for his new side after marauding up the wing from right-back.
But this goal seemed to shift the tandem for Notts, who reacted extremely well to going behind.
The golden opportunity for the Magpies to get themselves back in the match fell to Hungarian new-boy, Balint Bajner. Having already been the subject of social media frenzy which saw County’s official Facebook page gain almost 2,000 likes in 2 days, Bajner should have been the centre of attention at Meadow Lane too.
Alan Smith lofted ball allowed Bajner to race through on goal, shrugging off competition from Shaun Brisley, but Scott Loach was quick off his line to pounce on Bajner’s effort to beat him.
The goal for County eventually came just before half-time, signalling a successful spell in the match for the home side.
Gary Thompson found himself in acres of room on the right wing which allowed him to set himself beautifully to strike an emphatic thunderbolt past the hapless Loach. Hitting it on the half-volley, Thompson pelted his shot into Loach’s top corner, skimming the near post on entry.
The half-time whistle came just too early for County, who continued to press the visitors after getting back on level terms. It was a strong 25 minutes for the home side, but it proved to be their best.
Chances were proving hard to come by when play resumed for the second half. Both Notts and Peterborough were struggling to craft any significant chances, instead both sides were attempting long-ranged drives. And it was a long-ranged shot which spawned the corner for the away side to regain the lead.
Running up the left flank, Joe Newell weaved his way past Hayden White to cut the ball back to Marcus Maddison, who was swiftly charged down to prevent him from scoring. Unfortunately for County, the ball fell to his midfield partner, Jermaine Anderson, who forced Carroll into a fantastic save as he dived to his right. The resulting corner, however, would prove to be decisive.
Newell whipped the corner into the centre of the home side’s box and Burgess flicked the ball tamely towards the back post. However, this was enough to see the ball trickle in off the inside of the post.
The goal was deflating for County, who despite a late surge in a desperate attempt to claw back a point couldn’t find the equaliser. The late introductions of Derby loanee Alefe Santos and Ronan Murray proved futile in the Magpies’ quest to source a second goal.
Speaking to the press after the match, Shaun Derry described today’s game as “one of frustration, one of anger and one of disappointment,” then adding “I think we gave the game away, we didn’t do enough.”
Derry also played down the rumour linking former England international Shaun Wright-Phillips with the club.
By Lucas Swain