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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Oliver King

Notts County player ratings vs Maidstone as Magpies knocked out of FA Trophy on penalties

Notts County have been knocked out of the FA Trophy after losing 6-5 on penalties following a 2-2 draw at Meadow Lane against Maidstone.

The Magpies found themselves a goal behind thanks to a penalty from former Notts man Regan Booty following a mistake by Archie Mair, with Roarie Deacon doubling the visitors lead after another error from the Canaries loanee.

But Luke Williams' side managed to draw level, with Adam Chicksen firing beyond Tom Hadler before Sam Austin scored his fourth goal in cup competitions to send the game to penalties.

READ MORE: County team news vs Maidstone as three academy stars named in squad

With the shootout going into sudden death, Matty Palmer saw his effort well saved by Hadler, sending Maidstone through to the fifth round.

Ahead of kick-off, the Notts boss made six changes to the side that drew in midweek with Boreham Wood, including a debut for newest recruit Mair, who has joined the Magpies on loan from Norwich City for the rest of the season.

Despite Williams' side dominating early possession, it was the visitors who fashioned the first chance through Jack Barham, with the Stones number 10 beating the offside trap but curling his effort narrowly over the crossbar.

With Austin back in the side, his deliveries were causing problems for the Maidstone defence, first finding Aaron Nemane at the back post only for the Frenchman to find the side-netting, before the unmarked Kairo Mitchell headed over when well placed.

However five minutes before the break, the Stones managed to capitalise on a mistake in the Magpies defence to take the lead.

Aden Baldwin's heavy touch inside the area created a problem, forcing Mair off his line and bringing down Barham, with former Notts midfielder Booty stepping up and placing the ball beyond the grasp of the Norwich loanee.

And the 21-year-old keeper was involved once again when the hosts' extended their lead, this time rushing out of his area to claim the ball but losing possession in the process. It meant Deacon was given the simple task to lob the ball into an empty Notts net.

But the hosts managed to reduce the arrears six minutes later, Palmer's deflected effort squirming into the path of Chicksen who fired home his eighth goal of the season and his first in eight games.

The introduction of under-19s starlets Madou Cisse and Charlie Gill provided the injection of pace Notts needed to get back on level terms.

Gill's first involvement prompted cheers from the Meadow Lane crowd as he skipped beyond two Maidstone defenders with ease. And their involvement in the game eventually saw the Magpies draw level, with Palmer's cross into the area finding Austin, who saw his first effort saved, only to follow up the rebound to send the game to penalties.

But it was the travelling fans who left Meadow Lane happy, with Mair thinking he had made amends for his early errors by saving Josh Fawole's first spot-kick, only to have been adjudged to be off his line.

It was left to Palmer to keep Notts' FA Trophy dream alive, but Hadler sprawled to his left to deny the midfielder and send Elokobi's side through.

Here is how we rated the Magpies players...

Archie Mair - 5

Unlucky to concede the penalty with the initial problem caused by Baldwin's mistake. The same can't be said about the second, making the decision to come out but giving the ball away.

Kyle Cameron - 6

Often picked up more central positions when in possession and offered a different avenue when going forward. Produced some dangerous crosses into the area but without reward.

Aden Baldwin - 5.5

At fault for the opening goal with a loose touch inside the penalty area. Lost possession on a couple of occasions which resulted in unwanted pressure.

Connell Rawlinson - 6

Sloppy on a couple of occasions potentially down to match fitness, but defended well for the majority. A timely return ahead of a tough run of fixtures.

Geraldo Bajrami - 5

Several sloppy passes when under no real pressure and was an avenue with the ball over the top in which Maidstone looked to exploit.

Ed Francis - 6

Nothing too flashy about his performance. Kept possession well and worked hard in midfield.

Adam Chicksen - 6.5

Rarely able to affect the game out wide, often forced to play backward rather than attack the space, but was on hand to take advantage of Palmer's deflected effort to notch his eighth of the season.

Matty Palmer - 6.5

Another solid display in midfield, keeping the ball simple in possession and looking to affect the game in the final third with some neat touches.

Sam Austin - 7

Was the one player looking to inject that pace in the final third, producing a couple of dangerous deliveries in the area that warranted more, but his persistence paid off netting a late equaliser.

Aaron Nemane - 6

Looked very dangerous when attacking his man, unfortunately, he did not do it often enough.

Kairo Mitchell - 5

Missed a glorious chance during the first half with a header and should have tested the keeper. Nothing stuck with him upfront for the entirety


Madou Cisse - 6.5

Played out wide and was keen to attack his man at every opportunity. Kept possession well and enjoyed a solid debut.

Charlie Gill - 6.5

His first involvement in the game just showed a glimpse of what this lad can do. Looked a threat when he came on with his movement and eye for a pass.


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