Lee Wrecks-em!

By Paul Smith
Last updated : 19 November 2006

Goals from Andy Parkinson and Jason Lee gave Notts the victory at Meadow Lane today, despite a late struggle when Chris Llewellyn grabbed one back for the visitors.

In front of an attendance under 5,000, Notts secured their first home league victory since the end of September, in a reasonably entertaining affair.

The descending cold threatened to dampen the spirits of the crowd, but both sets of players did their utmost to raise the noise levels, with some neat interchanges and good chances from the beginning.

With only one change made to manager Steve Thompson's starting eleven after last week's FA Cup exit to Leyton Orient, Dan Gleeson in for Gary Silk, meaning new loan signings Daryl McMahon and Jay Smith were only on the bench, Notts were the first to trouble their opposition.

Gleeson: Return to action
David Pipe surged forward down the left in the second minute, and whipped in a swerving cross that Jason Lee narrowly failed to knock into a gaping net. The ball was slightly out of the front man's reach, as he attempted to impress the ITV cameras, there filming a feature on him for ‘The Championship' highlights program.

Wrexham were out to prove they were no pushovers as they surged forward themselves soon after. Denis Smith's outfit, under increasing financial hindrance, have slid down the table after a good start but a disappointing September and October. Nevertheless they didn't look short on confidence as left winger Josh Johnson sped in between Pipe and Dan Gleeson to race into the six yard box. However, his over enthusiasm allowed Kevin Pilkington to narrow the angle and claim the ball from the youngsters feet.

Neither side were able to claim an advantage in either scoreline or possession, as it continued to flow from end to end.

Johnson was again the danger man for The Red Dragons as he was put through by Llewellyn. His shot was easily gathered by Pilkington who quickly released Notts onto an attack.

Junior Mendes showed his trickery with a neat piece of skill before allowing Ian Ross to release Parkinson. The scouser cut inside the visiting half, before laying the ball off to Mendes. His powerful drive was brilliantly stopped by Michael Ingham in the Wrexham goal.

Notts captain Alan White showed a lack of composure when he failed to clear a hopeful ball up field. This allowed Maheta Molango the chance to dart into the box. His cross fell to Llewellyn, a one time Notts target, but he failed to test Pilkington.

Notts were beginning to get frustrated, particularly so with referee Ray Lee. The Essex official consistently penalised Lee, and also turned down a good penalty shout when Parkinson seemed to be wrestled to the ground by Lee Roche.

After both sides enjoyed a fair amount of possession, Wrexham were the side who began to take more of an initiative as the half drew on. Johnson was a constant threat, only his poor finishing ability keeping Notts level, and so it was somewhat against the run of play when Notts opened the scoring.

Junior Mendes seized on the ball on the edge of the Wrexham half before biding his time to wait for a clever run by Parkinson. He wasn't followed by a defender, and had time to pick his spot from inside an empty box. He chose to blast high over Ingham, giving the wide man his second goal of the season, and his first at Meadow Lane.

Parkinson: Powerful finish

After managing to see the half out, Notts returned from the break slightly more composed defensively than they had been during the first half.

Welshman Pipe was excelling down Notts' right, winning tackles and delivering some fine balls into the box. Likewise Johnson for Wrexham continued to look sharp, but it was Notts who posed the bigger threat immediately after the break.

Parkinson closed down Roche and forced him into conceding possession. Parkinson raced onto the ball before cutting into the box and neatly laying it into the path of Mendes. However, the striker couldn't find the net as again he was expertly kept out by Ingham, who superbly palmed the drive away.

Pipe then crossed for Lee, but he didn't connect well enough, before Parkinson had a drive well blocked.

The Magpies didn't have too long to wait before the decisive second came however, as Lee made it 2-0. Pipe harassed Darren Ferguson into a mistake, and Pipe pushed on with the loose ball. He burst forward as Lee peeled off the last man into space. Pipe's vision picked him out, but the ball was slightly over hit. Fortunately for Notts, Lee's long legs allowed him to beat the advancing Ingham to the ball, and stab it past him.

This sparked the visitors into a bit of life, and Mike Edwards had to be alert to clear a clever cross from Johnson.

Danny Williams then hit a firece long range effort over the bar, before a succession of corners threatened Pilkington's goal. Pejic headed wide from one, and Notts just managed to clear another from the six-yard area.

However Johnson's efforts soon paid off as he darted past Gleeson to curl a magnificent cross onto the head of Llewellyn, who neatly finished past Pilkington.

Notts became nervous, and the introductions of new boys McMahon and Smith, for Gleeson and Ross respectively, allowed the game to calm down a little.

Wrexham toiled, but Notts had gathered back their composure, particularly with the outstanding Pipe moving back to right-back to deal with Johnson.

The final chance of the game actually fell to Notts. Late substitute Lawrie Dudfield, unfortunate not to start following some impressive appearances from the bench, dribbled his way past a couple of challenges. McMahon advanced with him into clear space, but Dudfield selfishly chose to shoot, a poor shot at that, when a simple pass would have seen McMahon with a clear shot on goal.

In summary the job was done. A much need three points gathered that keeps Notts within the ‘Playoffs' by four points.

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