Notts County 0 Plymouth 2

Last updated : 25 January 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Two goal hero David Norris will capture the headlines after Plymouth Argyle's first win at Notts County for 44 years, but his performance was overshadowed.

Central defenders Graham Coughlan and skipper Paul Wotton were outstanding and formed such a strong defensive barrier that, even when at their best, the Magpies struggled to make any real impact.

The best period for County was a 25-minute spell in the first half when they ran the match, pushing Plymouth back but finding chances hard to create.

There was only one really testing moment in that period for Argyle goalkeeper Romain Larrieu and he held on firmly at the foot of a post to keep out a stinging effort by the otherwise disappointing Danny Allsopp.

Larrieu had a moment of fortune after 18 minutes when Paul Heffernan, restored to the Notts starting line up, struck the frame of the goal after good work by Mark Stallard.

When the same thing happened at the other end, Ian Stonebridge's 38th minute effort coming back off Steve Mildenhall's left hand post, Norris' deflected shot beat the helpless keeper.

It's become fashionable for Notts to battle back to supremacy in home matches having been behind. This proved the exception, as when Norris collected a second Plymouth goal on 50 minutes it was effectively the end of the contest.

The goal was gifted to Argyle by Ian Baraclough and Craig Ireland, both of whom had chances to clear before Norris nipped in for his second.

Notts came back into the game a little in the closing stages, particularly after Richard Liburd had come off the bench to replace Kevin Nicholson, but it was then that Coughlan and Wotton really showed their class, well supported by David Friio who had a real influence in midfield.

Notts manager Billy Dearden said afterwards it would all have been so different if his side had managed an early goal.