North Notts steal win in derby goal thriller

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North Notts came from behind three times before snatching a late winner in a pulsating 4-3 Midlands Division One league derby victory at South Notts.

After a convincing win last week Notts travelled the short distance to Clifton for a crucial derby against a South Notts side who are also struggling.

Manager Jay Faulkner said “This was an incredible game that showed the difference in the two clubs.

“North have built a camaraderie in the club over the past 10 years, many of these players are close friends and will fight tooth and nail for each other while South are in a rebuilding phase and chose to import many of their players in.

“In the dying minutes of games when you look around you want people on your shoulder that you know are willing to put the effort in for you.

“This victory was all the sweeter due to the fact that both William Butler and Matt Cooper were missing, however South probably did deserve something from the game.

“This weekend we are at home to Bridgnorth in another must win game ,as we don’t want to undo all of Saturday’s hard work.”

Before the game South were just one position and three points above North and the visitors were understrength dues to the unavailability of key players Cooper and Butler.

So North Notts knew caution was the key with a pinch of desire and commitment thrown in if they were to open a six-point gap.

Caution was indeed the word in the opening exchanges with North Notts happy to allow South the majority of ball in their own half.

Notts did create the first real chance from a short corner, Nathan Smith’s drag flick well saved by the South keeper.

The first goal came for South after a quick breakaway found a player at the back post unmarked, who was able to bundle the ball home.

Six minutes later the score was equal when the sublime Allen Butler slotted home a short corner after a slick North Notts move.

Two minutes later South again took the lead when a slick penalty corner move was deflected in at the right post by a midfielder.

Notts went into half-time trailing 2-1 and were ordered up the tempo and re-focus as several players didn’t perform to their ability in the first half.

Re-energised and composed, Notts started the second half like a different team and within five minutes found the all-important breakthrough via Adam Moss, who clinically slotted home to equalise.

Notts now had the upper hand with Smith and Josh Singleton dominating the midfield, Singleton again putting in a master class performance.

However, disaster struck when forward Greer thought he’d won a penalty corner. Unfortunately for Greer the umpire saw it differently and Greer’s remonstrations earned him 10 minutes in the sin-bin.

With Notts down to 10 men, a quick tactical reshuffle saw them hold tight for five minutes until South again went in front from a penalty corner.

With the game looking like it had run away from North Notts, they struggled to hold on until back to full strength when immediately an impact was made, Allen Butler again the hero from a short corner after great work from Moss to level up the scored once more.

With 10 minutes remaining North Notts were completely dominant and Jason Barton came close with a diving shot which was well saved.

Notts finally took the lead with seven minutes remaining after great work from Matt Kanalass in the build-up, the ball finally finding Singleton who capped a fantastic display with a deft finish.

The final five minutes were a close affair and, with North Notts losing Moss to the sin-bin for a rash tackle, it was left for the defence to hold on for the final breathtaking minutes which they managed to do.