LIDDLE EYES HELP FROM RED DEVILS
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.”
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WINNER: Bristol City’s Sam Baldock scores after a-mix up in the Notts County defence
ON TARGET: Sam Baldock scores for Bristol City