Manager Kevin MacDonald was forced into making one change to the starting line-up. With full back Jay McEveley sidelined, skipper Alan McCormack took his place on the left side of defence with Alan Navarro taking the Irishman’s place in the heart of midfield. Youth Scholar Connor Waldon retained his place on the substitutes bench alongside Louis Thompson.
Town had the better of the opening exchanges with both Gary Roberts and Simon Ferry lashing efforts over the crossbar and wide of the upright respectively.
Despite the lively opening, chances began to dry up for both sides with the visitors most notable effort coming from former Town loanee Alan Sheehan who stepped up to a free-kick in front of the Fastplant Town End but drilled his shot closer to the corner flag than Wes Foderingham’s goal.
At the other end, Bartosz Bialkowski had to stay alert to keep out Nathan Thompson. Alan McCormack’s driving run from defence eventually saw the ball drop at the feet of Roberts. The winger paused on the edge of the area before releasing Thompson on the right but the full-back’s rasping drive was pushed away by the goalkeeper.
As the clock ticked nearer the half-time break, Alan Navarro touched a free-kick to Tommy Miller who unleashed a low drive that was turned away by Bialkowski.
At the start of the second period, Simon Ferry could only plant Andy Williams’ cross straight at the goalkeeper before Alan Navarro rifled a free-kick narrowly over the crossbar. Substitute Louis Thompson also saw his effort deflected over before Adam Rooney spurned another opportunity. Following some tireless work in keeping the ball in play by Alan McCormack, Simon Ferry’s cross picked out Rooney at the far post but he could not make a firm enough connection.
At the other end, Darren Ward did well to get in front of a Notts County effort and Wes Foderingham was called into action to tip Alan Judge’s shot over the crossbar. From the resultant corner, a red shirt had to clear a header off the line via the underside of the bar as the visitors came close.
As the game moved into the final 15 minutes, Town spurned a glorious chance to go in front. Adam Rooney’s header cannoned back off the post and, as the ball dropped to Collins with the goal gaping, the striker saw his shot deflected over the top and to safety.
Ten minutes later, Collins was denied again by a fantastic save from Bialkowski. A low cross was dummied by substitute Raffa De Vita and landed at the feet of Collins. The frontman’s first-time swept effort was bound for the bottom corner only for the Polish goalkeeper to stretch out his right foot and deflect the ball away to safety.
Wes Foderingham; Nathan Thompson, Aden Flint
, Darren Ward, Alan McCormack (capt); Adam Rooney, Simon Ferry, Alan Navarro, Tommy Miller (Thompson L '51), Gary Roberts; Andy Williams
Substitutes: Leigh Bedwell (GK), Joe Devera, James Collins, Luke Rooney, Raffaele De Vita, Louis Thompson, Connor Waldon
Notts County: Bartosz Bialkowski, Julian Kelly, Alan Sheehan, Neal Bishop (capt), Dean Leacock, Gary Liddle, Enoch Shownmi, Alan Judge, Jeff Hughes, Greg Tempest, Andre Boucaud
Substitutes: Kevin Pilkington (GK), Manny Smith, Francois Zoko, Yoann Arquin, Hamza Bencherif, Curtis Thompson, Haydn Hollis