The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Richard Latham

HEART­BRO­KEN Notts County mid­fielder Gary Lid­dle hopes Craw­ley Town will al­ready be on their hol­i­days when the two sides meet at Meadow Lane af­ter a Good Fri­day to for­get.

While the Red Devils were ef­fec­tively toast­ing sur­vival af­ter beat­ing Ley­ton Ori­ent, the Mag­pies were left three points shy of safety af­ter a last­gasp de­feat at Bris­tol City.

Lid­dle la­belled the per­for­mance at Ashton Gate their best of the sea­son but it was lit­tle con­so­la­tion as Sam Bal­dock struck his sec­ond of the game with four min­utes re­main­ing to deny Notts a point.

With only three games re­main­ing the Mag­pies can­not af­ford an­other de­feat if they hope to sur­vive and Lid­dle is hop­ing they can catch Craw­ley still cel­e­brat­ing.

“They’re safe now more or less so let’s hope they’re a bit tired and won’t be want­ing to be a force for us,” he said.

“I’m dev­as­tated to get beaten so late in the game like that. We just didn’t de­serve that. It was the best we have played all sea­son, away from home es­pe­cially.

“We got back in the game through Hay­den and then to go down like that at the end of the game and we find our­selves back in the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

“We al­ways knew it was go­ing to go down to the fi­nal day of the sea­son, we were never go­ing to be lucky enough to have a fi­nal game where you can just play it out.”

De­fender Haydn Hol­lis was both hero and vil­lain for County, head­ing them level on 29 min­utes and then be­ing guilty of an er­ror, which gifted Bal­dock an 86th minute win­ner.

“It’s a steep learn­ing curve for a young player like Haydn,” said man­ager Shaun Derry. “No one is point­ing a fin­ger at him.We win to­gether and we lose to­gether.”

Bal­dock put him­self in pole po­si­tion to fin­ish top scorer in League One this sea­son with a dou­ble that took his tally for the sea­son to 25, only two of them in cup ties.

The skip­per put City in front against the run of play on 13 min­utes with a close-range shot from Martin Pater­son’s low cross.

County de­servedly equalised on 29 min­utes when Hol­lis di­rected a down­ward header past Si­mon Moore from a left wing cor­ner.

The vis­i­tors looked the more likely win­ners in the clos­ing stages. But Hol­lis badly mist­imed his header back to Bar­tosz Bi­ałkowski and Bal­dock pounced to win a 50-50 chal­lenge with the goal­keeper be­fore shoot­ing home from ten yards.

City boss Steve Cot­ter­ill said: “I hope and be­lieve Sam can win the Golden Boot. He de­serves ev­ery goal he scores be­cause of the amount of run­ning he does in games.

“I told him at half time not to be sat­is­fied with one in this game. He is a clever player and what­ever you ask you don’t have to say it of­ten. We didn’t de­serve to win, but I am mak­ing no apol­ogy.”

To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

WIN­NER: Bris­tol City’s Sam Bal­dock scores af­ter a-mix up in the Notts County de­fence

ON TAR­GET: Sam Bal­dock scores for Bris­tol City

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