Exeter City 1-1 Notts County
EXETER CITY: Olejnik, Butterfield (capt), Noble, McAllister, Ribeiro, Nicholls, Moore-Taylor, Nichols, Wheeler (Morrison 68'), Tillson (Harley 83'), Grant (Davies 68').
SUBS: Hamon, McCready, Jay, Watkins.
Goals: Nichols 20'
NOTTS COUNTY: Carroll (capt), Smith, L. Noble, Hewitt, Barmby, Campbell (Burke 77'), Stead, Aborah, Edwards, McLeod (Spencer 90'), Sheehan.
SUBS: Loach, Thompson, Jenner, Swerts, Sprockel.
Goals: L. Noble 31'
REFEREE: Graham Salisbury
TOM NICHOLS' opener was cancelled out by Liam Noble as the Grecians drew 1-1 at home to Notts County.
Alex Nicholls started out wide in place of Lee Holmes in the Grecians' only change to the starting eleven from the midweek win over Cambridge United at St James Park. Ryan Harley returned to take a place on the bench alongside Tom McCready, while Notts County made two changes of their own; Jack Barmby and Adam Campbell the players coming in.
After David Wheeler forced a succession of corners in City's favour in the early stages of the first half, Tom Nichols had Paul Tisdale's side's first shot fifteen minutes in, and it went narrowly wide of former Manchester United, Derby County and West Ham United goalkeeper Roy Carroll's goal.
But twenty minutes in, while Notts were complaining about a decision not given their way, Tom Nichols hit them where it hurts, ducking inside to curl the Grecians in front. Notts came within inches of an equaliser when Adam Campbell crossed for Izale McLeod to head against the post with nearly half an hour gone, but Jon Stead headed the ball down for Liam Noble to equalise just after thirty minutes.
1-1 it remained at the break.
HALF-TIME: EXETER CITY 1-1 NOTTS COUNTY
David Noble cleared Alan Sheehan's shot off the line just under ten minutes into the second half, and it was another key intervention from Jordan Moore-Taylor that kept City on level pegging as Izale McLeod worked his way towards Bobby Olejnik's goal.
Clinton Morrison, on as a sub for David Wheeler, played a delicious cross for Tom Nichols to head into the arms of Roy Carroll with twenty minutes to go, while Alan Sheehan put a free-kick in for Adam Campbell to hit into the side-netting after Jordan Tillson was booked for pulling Izale McLeod.
Exeter City hearts were in mouths when County sub Graham Burke's cross was headed goalwards by McLeod; the ball went through Olejnik's legs, but the momentum stopped just soon enough for the City goalkeeper to gather it. SJP was not happy when the referee missed Arron Davies's shot being deflected out and instead awarded a goal-kick just as City turned up the pressure, while Liam Noble put one very narrowly wide just seconds later.
That was it - 1-1 probably a fair result.
FULL-TIME: EXETER CITY 1-1 NOTTS COUNTY
Attendance: 3,429 (299 away)
Man of the Match: David Noble