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Match Reports

Notts County

17 November 2012

The Iron extended their unbeaten run in the league under Brian Laws to three games as they held high-flyers Notts County to a 2-2 draw at Glanford Park.

A first professional goal from Christian Ribeiro gave the Iron a great start before Lee Hughes levelled not long after.

The Iron would go into the second half in the lead though through Damien Mozika's first goal this season after a great Iron move.

A red card for Paul Reid midway through the second half questioned the Iron's leading position and they were eventually pegged back through a second Lee Hughes header with twenty minutes to go.

With Josh Walker suspended, the Iron made one change to the side that beat Coventry last weekend, with Damien Mozika in for his first start of the season.

That meant that the home side lined up with Steve Mildenhall in goal. In front of him were a back four of Christian Ribeiro, Paul Reid, Niall Canavan and Tom Newey.

In midfield Mozika was joined by Jimmy Ryan, Andy Barcham and Mark Duffy, while up top it was Karl Hawley and ten-goal Leon Clarke.

That meant no starting place for new signing Nathan Ellington who took his place on the bench alongside Sam Slocombe, Callum Kennedy, Mike Grella, Robbie Gibbons, Callum Howe and Jordan Keegan.

The optimism shown by Iron fans, who gave returning boss Brian Laws a rapturous reception before the game, looked unfounded as their pink-shirted opponents took control in the opening exchanges, spraying the ball around the pitch and with their hosts chasing shadows.

But it was the hosts who forced the first chance of the game after twelve minutes.

A great piece of skill on the right saw the ball find its way to Hawley. He in turn found Clarke who forced Barthoz Bialkowski into a save low down to his left.

That was just the warning shot across the bows and within sixty seconds the Iron were ahead, from the most unlikely of sources.

As a result of Clarke pressuring Bialkowski, the Magpies stopper sliced his clearance straight to Duffy. The tricky winger then strode forward into the area, beating two defenders in the process before sliding the ball to Ribeiro.

With a cross looking the only option, the Iron right-back took a touch before unleashing a thunderbolt into the left hand corner for his first ever professional goal.

One could have been two six minutes later; as from being on the back foot the Iron broke through Duffy, who raced the length of the pitch before being denied by a last ditch challenge from Dean Leacock.

In a game which swung first one way and then the other Mildenhall showed just why Laws brought in the experienced stopper, making a timely intervention just ahead of Jeff Hughes after 23 minutes.

But with eleven minutes of the half, the dream start from the Iron was cancelled out by the controversial Lee Hughes. Love him or loathe him, there is no arguing with his goal scoring record as he rose to met an Alan Judge cross, sending a bullet header past a helpless Mildenhall.

But unlike recently the hosts didn’t buckle, as Clarke crashed a header against the crossbar before having shouts for a penalty waved away by referee Eddie Ilderton.

After knocking time and again the hosts finally kicked the door wide open, taking the lead for the second time. On the right, Hawley rode two challenges before sliding the ball to Ribeiro, who in turn cut the ball back to Mozika who crashed the ball in off the bar.

That prompted chants of “Lawsy give us a wave” and at the end of the two minutes added time the side left the field to a standing ovation as a sense of optimism flowed around Glanford Park.

The second yellow card was awarded just after the restart of the second half with substitute Arquin carded for a late tackle on Mozika.

Hughes nearly got his side level with ten minutes played of the second half. A cross from Alan Sheehan was met my Hughes in the air, only to see his back header hit the post and go out for a goal kick with the keeper beaten.

The Iron looked to have been pegged back in the 62nd minute when Arquin struck a long range effort into the bottom corner with Mildenhall beaten. On closer looking though the referee blew for an Iron free-kick with Arquin's effort taking a deflection of a County player stood in an offside position.

Things changed for United though in the 69th minute when skipper Paul Reid was shown a straight red card. The centre back was adjudged to have used an elbow in a challenge with Arquin who recieved treatment as a result.

In response to the red card, Jimmy Ryan was sacrificed for Callum Kennedy with Newey moving into centre back.

Notts County made their second change with 16 minutes left, bringing on Josh Labadie replacing centre half Damion Stewart.

And the extra man made the difference when Notts County scored an equaliser through a second Lee Hughes goal. A corner from Sheehan was nodded on by a County defender finding Hughes, who did well to turn his body and smash the ball home from a couple of yards.

The Iron made their second change straight after with Leon Clarke being replaced up front by Nathan Ellington.

Drama brewed in the final few moments when, after ten minutes of constant defending, Kennedy burst down the left wing only to be pulled back by what seemed to be the last man in Alan Judge.

The referee though deemed the foul to be worthy of only a yellow but the Iron were able to play out the final few minutes and get the draw.

Iron Bar man of the match: Damien Mozika.

Sponsors' man of the match: Mark Duffy.

Attendance: 4,553 (795 away)

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