After Saturday's win over Plymouth Argyle Notts have now picked up six points from three games against the sides relegated from the Championship last season, with the defeat to Sheffield Wednesday also having come in a game the Magpies dominated. The visiting Pilgrims showed little Championship quality however on an afternoon when Peter Reid's side failed to muster up a single shot on target. Having lost their previous two games with losing a goal confidence could've been dented in the Notts camp, but the matches against Carlisle and Wednesday could both have seen three points picked up rather than none and from kick off Notts continued to take the game to sides and look to stamp their authority.
Craig Westcarr had been moved upfront alongside Lee Hughes and they looked to cause problems for Plymouth from the outset, with Bondz N'Gala just stopping Westcarr from getting on the end of a Hughes cross early on, whilst Hughes bent a shot over the bar after a mazy run by his strike partner. Notts continued to press and when Ben Davies swung in a corner both Mike Edwards and Krystian Pearce were unable to bundle the ball over the line from close range. At the other end, the Pilgrims' only real threat of the first half came from tricky winger Craig Noone, who fired across the face of goal after beating Edwards with a smart turn.
After a quiet opening it was Westcarr who burst the game into life with his sixth goal of the season, a fine strike after a Davies corner. A scramble saw the ball fall to Neal Bishop, who teed up Westcarr to smash the ball into the top corner from a narrow angle. This spurred Notts on and they found themselves camped in the Argyle area, with the referee twice turning down appeals for what looked to be certain penalties. Firstly, Lee Molyneux misjudged the bounce of the ball and pushed it behind with his hand, but referee Lewis waved away the appeals before the ball once again struck an Argyle hand moments later, with the Kop and Notts players clearly livid.
After the break it was Argyle who first threatened as Dean Parrett played in Bradley Wright-Phillips, but rather than shoot he opted to try and square the ball and Bishop was able to scramble it behind. They were made to pay for this as Notts doubled their lead, with a fine Jon Harley pass finding Westcarr, who played in John Spicer to slide the ball past Larrieu and notch his first goal since scoring the winner against Argyle in the Carling Cup back in August. The game fizzled out somewhat after this, with Notts' midfield duo of Bishop and Spicer both going off injured and Wright-Phillips blasting over from a long throw to waste Argyle's best chance of the match, whilst substitute Karl Hawley saw his volley charged down. In the end Notts will be content with three points from a game which they bossed from a start to finish.
Notts County 2 (Westcarr '35, Spicer '51)
Plymouth Argyle 0
Notts Co - Burch, Thompson, Edwards, Pearce, Harley, Spicer (Hawley), Bishop (Smith), Ravenhill, Davies, Westcarr, Hughes
Attendance - 6,333 (674)