At last! Sheri’s got home win to toast
JOHN SHERIDAN made no attempt to disguise his relief as Notts County secured their first home win of the season after coming out on top in a lively second half against Leyton Orient.
Strike duo Jonathan Forte and Jon Stead scored within two minutes of each other early in the second period before Louis Laing’s dismissal and Paul McCallum’s late goal for Orient put the hosts under pressure in the closing stages.
But Sheridan’s men held on, with substitute Aaron Collins’ goal putting the result beyond doubt in the dying seconds.
“I’m just pleased we’ve got it over the line,” Sheridan admitted. “It was an excellent performance to get the first win at home against a good team.”
County edged a forgettable first half and went ahead seven minutes after the restart when Forte met a fine right-sided cross from Matt Tootle with a downward header. Orient keeper Alex Cisak appeared to have saved, but the referee’s assistant indicated the ball had crossed the line before he had reached it.
The impressive Stead doubled the advantage moments later with an excellent 25-yard strike into the bottom corner.
Laing’s dismissal for a second booking on 69 minutes and Paul McCallum’s close-range header four minutes from time set up a nervy finish, but Wolves loanee Collins drove down the right superbly a minute into stoppage time before cutting inside to roll the ball beyond Cisak.
“The sending-off gave us a bit of a scare, and they get a goal, but obviously people will see on telly it’s a great third goal from Aaron,” Sheridan reflected. “I’m chuffed to bits for the players and the fans.”
Orient boss Andy Hessenthaler felt the game turned on the first goal, and while he told keeper Cisak he should have claimed the cross, he was adamant the ball did not cross the line.
“The keeper’s got to come and get it. He knows that, I’ve just told him that in the dressing room,” Hessenthaler said.
“But it wasn’t over the line. I’ve already seen it, and where the linesman gives it for being over the line, he’s not in line with it. He’s got to be 100 per cent sure.
“We were quite happy at half-time in terms of coming in at nil-nil away from home. ‘Keep a clean sheet and don’t give anything away early on in the second half ’ is what we say to the team pretty much every week. We’re saying it, but we’re not doing it.”