STAND-IN boss Paul Hart believes Notts County’s new manager will inherit ‘something to build on’ – despite the frustration of seeing his expected one and only game in the dugout end all-square.
Days after sacking boss Shaun Derry, the Magpies looked to have picked up a big three points at the expense of one of their main rivals in the League One relegation battle when Hungarian substitute Balint Bajner drilled them in front in the 73rd minute.
But Scunthorpe United, having earlier taken the lead inside 70 seconds, also produced a sting in the tail, with centre-back Niall Canavan heading a deserved equaliser four minutes from the end.
Despite the frustration, Hart was pleased with the way the County players bounced back following Derry’s departure five days earlier.
“From a bunch of lads who were all over the place at the start of the week, with the loss of their manager and his assistant, they girded their loins and got at it,” said the 61-yearold, who is expected to revert to his role with the Magpies’ Academy next week.
“It was an unfortunate start, but the players rolled their sleeves up and recovered very well.
“Certainly in the first half we took control of the ball and passed it around and looked like we could go on and get another goal. If we had done, we’d have been nicely placed to take the game on.
“Second half we lost a little bit of confidence, which is understandable in this situation, but overall I’m really proud of the players. They can hold their heads up high. There’s something to build on, I think.”
Hart, the vastly-experienced former Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest chief, certainly got the best out of a side chasing a first home win in two months.
County attacked with enthusiasm and confidence, despite their struggles. But they had to come from behind following the worst possible start to the match.
A poor defensive header by Sean Newton won the visitors a corner after only 12 seconds. In the attacking spell that followed, Paddy Madden saw a header tipped onto the bar by Notts’ recalled veteran goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington, but Theo Robinson, making his debut
SPOT THE BALL: Notts’ Jordan Williams and Scunthorpe duo Luke Daniels and Paddy Madden can’t bear to look
IRON WILL: Niall Canavan celebrates scoring Scunthorpe’s late leveller