The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Leigh Cur­tis

RI­CARDO MONIZ hailed Notts County’s best win so far this sea­son and be­lieves vic­tory over Portsmouth could fi­nally spark their pro­mo­tion push.

The Mag­pies came from a goal down at Meadow Lane to se­cure vic­tory over Paul Cook’s side, who had taken the lead through Caolan Lav­ery in the 19th minute.

But Gra­ham Burke’s stun­ning vol­ley made it 1-1 three min­utes later, al­though Notts were in­debted to goal­keeper Roy Car­roll for tip­ping Adam Web­ster’s shot onto the post.

Notts fi­nally sealed the win in the sec­ond half when Alan Shee­han’s free-kick from 60 yards crept in to give boss Moniz his first win over a top-ten side in League Two.

The Dutch coach said:“This win will do won­ders for our con­fi­dence be­cause we have beaten a very good team.

“I said be­fore you can train and coach, and train and coach, but ul­ti­mately the play­ers have to ex­pe­ri­ence the suc­cess out where it mat­ters.

“That’s the best way to learn and give your­selves be­lief and that’s what hap­pened here.

“We did show naivety for the first goal but the good thing for us was that we scored quickly af­ter­wards.

“We didn’t make the same mis­takes of be­ing so open to the counter at­tack in the sec­ond half.We kept our shape and we spoke at half-time about one mo­ment be­ing de­ci­sive for us and that proved to be true.

“It has given us be­lief that we can beat a big team even though we didn’t dom­i­nate like we usu­ally do. But this a great win and the play­ers and the foot­ball club de­serve it. There is a great feel­ing in the dress­ing room and this could be a big mo­ment in the sea­son.”

This de­feat ended Portsmouth’s own un­beaten run of five games and left them third in the ta­ble still hand­ily placed to launch an as­sault on the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion po­si­tions.

Boss Cook re­mained philo­soph­i­cal af­ter­wards say­ing he couldn’t fault his play­ers’ ef­fort as they con­trolled the game for large spells.

“I thought it was a ter­rific game of foot­ball,” Cook said.

“We played well and I never felt we were in any dan­ger of los­ing it.

“Some of our com­bi­na­tion play in the first half was very good. Adam McGurk and Gareth Evans linked up well and gave us a lot more pen­e­tra­tion.

“Both of those play­ers have had in­juries and they need games, but we looked good.

“Sadly we gave a goal right away af­ter scor­ing and then in the sec­ond half we took con­trol of the game.

“They had Izale McLeod up front on his own and ev­ery­one else be­hind the ball, but un­for­tu­nately we couldn’t take ad­van­tage.

“In the end we weren’t good enough to win, so you have to give credit to Notts County for go­ing on and do­ing so.

“Foot­ball is a game of fine mar­gins. We will have to ac­cept it and move on.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age

GOLDEN GRA­HAM: Notts County’s Gra­ham Burke watches on as his vol­ley flys in to level the score

MY BALL: Izale Mcleod and Chris­tian Burgess tussle



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