Notts County 3 Stockport 2

Last updated : 21 January 2003 By Footymad Previewer

The contrast between the first and second halves was total to an extent seldom seen.

Stockport dominated the first 45 minutes, giving no hint of any lack of confidence following their 5-2 home drubbing by Swindon Town on Saturday.

Notts were simply unable to get into the game and only goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall emerged with any credit with a string of splendid saves.

He was left powerless after 15 minutes, as Luke Beckett and home defender Craig Ireland met a cross from Ali Gibb, with the ball flying into the net.

Gibb was the source of all Stockport's threats and Notts, failing to learn their lesson were punished by him again after half an hour, as Hatters leading scorer Beckett drove the ball home.

Notts were booed off at half time when manager Billy Dearden pulled off Duncan Jupp from midfield and introduced Paul Heffernan as an extra striker.

Notts desperately needed an early goal which arrived only ten minutes after the restart when Darren Caskey's left-wing corner was flicked on for Mark Stallard to head home at the back post.

A better goal was to follow when Danny Allsopp released Heffernan through the middle and he drew out Lee Jones before firing inside the left-hand upright.

The best was yet to come in the shape of County's winner 15 minutes from the end to complete their revival.

Caskey found himself with a yard of space inside the penalty area and as Jones came off his line he lobbed the ball with an excellent finish just under the bar.

The fans who had been so disconsolate were now on their feet cheering as they were at the end as Notts tied up their third home win in a row in all of which they have scored three times.

But Stockport's fans turned their fury on player-manager Carlton Palmer with demands for his dismissal.