Notts entertained MK Dons this afternoon on a pitch which looked like it hadn't been subjected to the recent torrid weather, so first of all - a big thank you to the groundstaff. The opening minutes showed evidence of Paul Ince's desire to play neat football with Judge, Westcarr and Davies exchanging neat passes in triangles, almost toying with the MK Dons defence. It was from Davies' cross from which Notts almost went ahead but Craig Westcarr couldn't quite make contact as the ball went agonisingly close across the face of the goal.
Westcarr then fired in a cross of his own which evaded the slightly taller version of Karl Hawley; Lee Miller but eventually found its way to the feet of Alan Judge who had his shot blocked by a Dons defender. Former Doncaster Rovers man, Lewis Guy then managed to escape from Jon Harley breaking down the right-hand side at speed before turning a low ball across the box leaving Rob Burch stranded, but young Liverpool loanee, Stephen Darby was on hand to put pay to the danger and the game proceeded at 0-0.
Neil Bishop then had a glorious opportunity to put County ahead after intelligent link-up play between Craig Westcarr and Alan Judge, the Notts number 10 found himself in front of goal but got his shot horribly wrong and fired well wide. The game looked like it had goals in it and the majority of the Notts faithful would have put their parents' mortgages as well as their own on Ben Davies being able to convert the 1-on-1 which had presented itself to him after a Craig Westcarr dummy but the keeper stood tall and kept himself large and Davies couldn't find a way past Martin and saw his shot saved.
The beginning of the second interval nearly saw the Dons punish County's slack finishing as Ibehre found himself bearing down on goal after pressure from himself and Guy on young right-back Darby, whose header fell well short of the Notts stopper. However, Burch came to the rescue with his quick reactions to smother the shot. With just over twenty minutes left on the clock, Hughes came on for the elusive Miller to rapturous applause from the home crowd. MK Dons were sent down to 10 men after Milbraham was given a second yellow for another elbow on Notts centre-back Mike Edwards. This gave County the incentive they needed to push on for a goal. There were a few close offsides but it wasn't until another substitute, Tom Ince managed to capitalise on a poor header and he unleashed a venomous shot past Martin to put Notts 1-0 ahead. With 10 man Dons pushing for a winner it was Notts who scored next and put the game to bed as Hughes raced onto a long through-ball down the left before leaving the last defender after pushing the ball a yard to his right before curling a lethal shot past Martin to double the lead and take Hughes' tally to 3 in 3.
A good victory but Hughes sounded slightly disconsolate at being left at the bench when he was "fully fit" as he described himself. Miller cannot possibly keep him out of the team again on Tuesday, can he?