County cruise to opening-day win: Match Review


Martin Allen's Notts County got their npower League One campaign off to a dream start as a dominant first-half performance set up a 3-0 victory at Carlisle.

The Cumbrians started slowly and it was no surprise to see the visitors building the pressure early on. After 13 minutes, they opened the scoring in controversial fashion.

Lee Hughes appeared to foul Peter Murphy in the build-up but, when the referee waved play on, Jeff Hughes swept the ball home from the left, leaving the home fans jeering in disapproval.

After half an hour, and with Carlisle no closer to threatening, the Magpies doubled their lead. A Matty Robson foul gave County a free-kick and Alan Sheehan's delivery was headed by Francois Zoko past his own goalkeeper.

Frank Simek was forced off injured before Notts County's third, Lee Hughes intercepting a loose pass before rounding Adam Collin and sliding home.

The divisive striker was substituted after another ugly foul earned him a yellow card but Carlisle could not get back into the game, despite the introduction of Rory Loy and Andy Welsh from the bench in the second period.

Welsh, installed on the wing after replacing Paul Thirlwell, looked lively but County cantered towards the final whistle.

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