Notts. County 1 Barnsley 1

Last updated : 31 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Notts County missed out on a vital three survival points when Kevin Betsy’s late penalty salvaged a point for Barnsley in a 1-1 draw at Meadow Lane.

The game was played in driving sleet and high winds, yet the players of both sides showed composure on the ball and a degree of commitment that suggests that Notts can escape relegation and Barnsley can easily finish in a play-off place.

Only a late penalty equaliser robbed Notts of their first home win since November yet, such was the attitude of the two sides, it was a battle that neither deserved to lose.

Notts began at a cracking pace and had two great opportunities to go in front before Barnsley had really settled.

Darren Caskey was the provider on each occasion but first Nick Fenton and then Paul Heffernan were off target with headers when they should have at least troubled Barnsley's new goalkeeper Marlon Beresford.

After Heffernan had shot wide of the goalkeeper's left-hand post Notts went ahead through a less easy chance.

Fraser McHugh slipped a lovely through ball to Andy Parkinson who whipped his shot inside Beresford's right hand upright.

That was delivered from some 22 yards but, when Notts were unable to add to their advantage, it had always seemed as if Barnsley would get something.

They re-organised at the start of the second half, eventually made three substitutions, and saw Notts lose first choice goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall to a suspected cheek bone fracture after 73 minutes when, following through, he collided with the woodwork.

Stuart Garden came off the bench and could not be blamed for the penalty equaliser three minutes from the end of normal time.

Notts central defender Ian Richardson caught Isaiah Rankin, and being the last defender, had to go.

Barnsley's best player, Betsy, placed the ball on the spot and neither Garden nor any other goalkeeper would have kept out his well hit drive.

Barnsley had other chances as they began to dominate, but the last opportunity of all fell to Notts who were disappointed when Caskey's 20-yard free-kick bounced off the solid defensive wall.