Notts County v Exeter City match ratings

By Dane Vincent
Last updated : 12 January 2009

Kevin Pilkington 7 - Pulled off two vital saves - both when the game was level - in a relatively quiet afternoon. The first, at 0-0, was particularly impressive, as he flung himself to his left to push the ball around the post. He also looked much more comfortable in the air, claiming a handful of high crosses with ease.

Phil Picken 5 - Must have thought that he was still playing in the blue of Chesterfield in the first half because he repeatedly squandered possession.

Star Man: Edwards was back to his best.
He struggled a little defensively but picked up after the break and looked a lot steadier. An improvement is needed, however, if he is to perform as the first choice right-back throughout his loan stay.

Michael Edwards 8 *STAR MAN* - Back to his best, Edwards looked assured in possession unlike in previous weeks. Coupled with a sterling defensive display, it helped the Magpies remain solid at the back for the majority. Hopefully it is a return to form that can continue over the coming weeks.

Michael Johnson 7 - Was extremely unfortunate to give away a penalty, when an accidental trip was harshly pulled up by the linesman. Overall he provided the fully committed performance that is expected of the centre-back. He was guilty of diving in on a few occasions but thankfully they went unpunished.

Jamie Clapham 7 - Supported Weston down the left to great effect, bombing forward at every opportunity. Even so, his defensive qualities were not abandoned and Notts looked very resolute down his side. A fine swinging delivery from deep helped to create Facey's equaliser.

Matthew Hamshaw 6 - Went on the occasional promising run but failed to produce the goods when it came down to the final ball. He did come close to opening his goals account in County colours but his deflected free-kick was tipped over by Paul Jones in the Grecians' goal.

Gavin Strachan 5 - Grabbed his first ever goal for the club with a fine sliding finish. It was bitter-sweet for the for the ex-Peterborough midfielder, as minutes later he found himself dejected at the discovery that he had picked up another hamstring injury. Apart from the match-winning strike, Strachan offered little going forward and struggled to cope with Exeter's build-up play through the middle, despite working hard to harry.

Adam Nowland 6 - Looked far too lightweight in the challenge and misplaced far too many passes early on. He picked up somewhat in the second half, creating a couple of openings and even came close with a delicate chip from outside the box that clipped the top of the bar.

Myles Weston 7 - Although in the opening 10 minutes it appeared that the Exeter defence knew how to handle him, he took it to the next level, beating his marker regularly. He was rewarded for his efforts when his in-swinging

No match ball: Facey should have netted a hat-trick.
cross produced the decisive strike. The tricky winger looked to be brimming with confidence and nearly scored with a powerful grub-hunter that slid narrowly wide of the right post.

Delroy Facey 7 - Could have had a hat-trick but missed two one-on-ones, in which he feebly placed the ball straight at the keeper on both occasions. He did manage to put one away in a messy equaliser that he forced over the line on the rebound. Apart from his finishing, it was an imposing display by the big man, who controlled magnificently and produced some useful flick-ons.

Jamie Forrester 6 - A respectable return by the team's top-scoring striker, who intelligently interacted with those around him. Demonstrating tidy control and passing, many of Notts' best moves involved the front-man. A lack of sharpness in the penalty area appears to be an issue though, with several potential opportunities going begging. He faded as the game progressed and was understandably withdrawn.

Subs:

Nathaniel Wedderburn 7 - Easily his best game in the black and white stripes. The well-built Charlton youngster immediately strengthened the central midfield area with an admirable composure in possession. He spread the ball well, closed down efficiently and nearly scored with a long-range strike. He can expect to start the next game against Brentford.

Sean Canham 5 - Wasteful in possession on numerous occasions against his former club. He has improved in this area of his game but will need to progress further before he is considered as a regular starter again.

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