NEWS OF NOTTS CO FRIENDLY, + HOLDSWORTH INTERVIEW
David Holdsworth video interview, before the Notts Co friendly
15 Sep 2009 --->
Kevin Thornton on trial, from Coventry. Left sided midfielder. Currently without a club.
Lee Gregory going out on loan to Glapwell for 3 months
report from Notts Co v Mansfield friendly --->
Langford shines in Notts friendly
Posted on: Tue 15 Sep 2009
Mark Stevenson reports from Highfields, Nottingham
In-form forward Nick Langford was our shining light as we fell to a 3-1 friendly defeat against big spenders Notts County this afternoon at Highfields, Nottingham.
The 17-year-old has bagged seven goals in his last three games for our youth team, and he netted the game's best goal under the eye of our manager David Holdsworth and County's director of football Sven Goran Eriksson with a sweet half-volley which left ex-Stags goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington helpless.
The match was much welcomed by the two clubs - both of which are not part of a reserve league this season.
Stags fielded two trialists, ex-Coventry midfielder Kevin Thornton and former Birmingham City left back Peter Gilbert.
Meanwhile, amongst a strong Notts side was ex-England defender Sol Campbell, who turned in 60 minutes.
Both sets of staff were out in force, with Notts' coaching team running into double figures. Stags were lead by first team coach Gareth Holmes. Manager David Holdsworth, head of youth Mike Whitlow and scout Ivan Hollett were also present to witness the display.
Old County favourites Tommy Johnson and the Magpies' new kit man Mark Draper took charge of the home team, while Sven Goran Eriksson watched on the far side with Notts boss Ian McParland and his assistant Dave Kevan.
Ex Stags winger Matt Hamshaw, yet to appear for County this term, started in the central midfield role and went close to breaking an early deadlock when his low curling effort from the edge of the area was almost blown in and over the goal line from the swirling wind.
New signing Lee Gregory registered Mansfield's first effort on goal three minutes later. Peter Gilbert, playing at left-back, slipped it to the 21 year old on the edge of the area who turned neatly to smash it narrowly over the target with a first time effort.
Gilbert again played a part in Stags' next move. His ball down the line was cleverly flicked in field by the impressive Nick Langford, but the on-rushing Blair Sturrock managed to get only the deftest of touches.
Notts got their noses in front on nine minutes but a slice of luck was owed to their advantage. Craig Westcarr struck tamely from 20 yards and the effort took a wickedly deceiving deflection to beat Tim Sandercombe in the Stags' goal.
Westcarr may have added a second five minutes later but his final effort was weak after a good run into the box.
Burly front man Delroy Facey made up for it on 17 minutes, however, as Notts doubled their lead. He slotted home from four yards after the ball was played in low and hard from deep inside the left- channel.
It was Mansfield's Sturrock who continually came close to writing his name on the scoresheet, but he never found the elusive goal. The forward tried his luck on 24 minutes with a delicate chip, but the effort went wide.
He then forced Kevin Pilkington into a save for the first time three minutes later. Pilkington was nearly at full stretch to parry the well-struck shot, and Nick Langford fired from an acute angle with the follow up but Pilkington was again equal to it.
Stags by now had stepped up a gear after Notts enjoyed the opening stages, and they finally pulled one back just after the half-hour mark through a superb Langford strike.
The ball fell to the 17 year old on the right side of a packed penalty area and he let the ball bounce before firing into Pilkington's top right hand corner to reduce the deficit.
Both sets of staff stood and applauded as the youngster continued his rich form in front of goal.
Striker Lee Gregory should have put Stags level a minute later. Scott Gardner's pin point right wing cross found Gregory just 12 yards out - but he smashed the ball at the floor and it fell into the grateful hands of Pilkington.
Matt Hamshaw then restored County's two goal lead on 37 minutes, curling it in off the post from the edge of the area.
Sturrock had a similar opportunity for the Stags at the other end five minutes later, but his effort shaded the post.
The second half saw far fewer chances for both sides as Stags enjoyed the majority of the possession.
Trialist midfielder Kevin Thornton replaced goalscorer Langford and he played on the left of a midfield three as Stags employed a 4-3-1-2 formation. Sturrock played in the hole, with Jake Speight and Lee Gregory partnering in attack.
Livewire Speight produced a fancy flick on 53 as he raced past Sol Campbell, but the ball was too far ahead of him to race on to and it was easily claimed by a foreign goalkeeper trialist.
Some of County's useful looking line up were made up of trialists, and for that reason a team was not announced. However, noticeable faces included Pilkington, Campbell, Hamshaw, Westcarr, Facey, Ben Fairclough and Luke Rodgers.
Campbell came off on 61 minutes and was replaced by a youth team defender. The giant defender may still need another game before attaining full match fitness, however, but he was solid enough in the home defence without being severely tested.
Youth team goalie James Elliott was then put in between the sticks at the expense of Tim Sandercombe who appeared injured.
In a second half where both goalkeepers were relatively unemployed, County's keeper had the only save of the period to make when a well-timed Kevin Thornton pass was latched onto by Langford, returning to the action, but he hit it straight at the Notts custodian from inside the area.
On 70 minutes, an unchallenged Luke Graham headed over from a Blair Sturrock corner when he should have hit the target from 12 yards.
The game faded away as a spectacle, but Nottingham-based Stags players Gary Silk, Matt Somner and Craig Armstrong watched on as both sides took full advantage of a good work out.
STAGS LINE UP: Sandercombe, Gardner, Jones, Graham, Gilbert, Langford, Speight, Istead, O'Raffertey, Sturrock, Gregory
USED SUBS: Elliott, Thornton, Purcicoe, Turner, Ventrella
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