It may have taken six games, but Notts County were able to return to winning ways in League One this weekend after a late strike from full back Julian Kelly sealed a 3-2 win over struggling Scunthorpe United. The Magpies certainly didn't have it all their own way, despite taking the lead through a towering a Krystian Pearce header - goals either side of half time had given Alan Knill's visitors a shortlived lead.
The home side took the initiative early on and began the game on top, with Pearce testing out Man Utd loanee goalkeeper Sam Johnstone early on, before Ben Burgess headed Alan Judge's corner over the bar at the far post when he should at least have hit the target. The visitors evidently had pace to burn on the counter attack though and that speed nearly gave them the lead, when Bobby Grant capitalised on a Notts attack breaking down and played in Andy Barcham, who looked set to slot the ball home before a fantastic last ditch tackle by Judge.
Notts were soon back on the attack though, with Ishmel Demontagnac making his first telling contribution on his first league start for the club, whipping in a devilish cross that Burgess glanced narrowly over. Notts didn't have to wait long for the break through after that, when Pearce struck against the club for whom he spent a season on loan. A neat pass by Karl Hawley found Judge, who's floated cross to the far post was brilliantly guided into the corner by the head of the big Notts centre back.
Rather than build on this initiative though, Notts quickly allowed Scunthorpe to get back into the match and level the scores. Mike Edwards won a defensive header, but the ball squirmed away from Julian Kelly into the path of Barcham, who thrashed a smart volley over Nelson and into the far corner to pull the Iron level. This was enough to persuade Martin Allen to make two changes at the break, bringing on Jeff Hughes and Lee Hughes for Demontagnac and Hawley, but this seemed to have little effect early in the second half.
Barcham forced Nelson into a smart save early on, before Scunthorpe took the lead within ten minutes of the restart. Mark Duffy found space out wide and was able to deliver an inch perfect cross for Grant to head past Nelson and into the corner, sparking wild celebrations from the visitors with their beleagured manager. Their joy lasted just a moment of minutes though, as another Man Utd loanee, Oliver Norwood, jumped into a tackle with Jeff Hughes that was to prove to be the decisive moment.
Knill would later try and claim that Norwood 'got the ball', but his two-footed, dangerous lunge left the referee with little choice to send the midfielder off, before having to deal with the melee that had ensued. As the dust settled, Notts composed themselves and took control of the game once again. Burgess headed wide, before Judge got himself another assist, lofting an angled pass forward to Jeff Hughes, who chested it down before volleying a right footed strike past Johnstone. From this point on there seemed like there was only one winner, and so it proved, as the Scunthorpe defence failed to cut out Mahon's through ball, which sent Kelly racing clear to slot home the winner.