Brilliant Bialkowski saves Notts – A fans view
Full time score: Yeovil 0 – 0 Notts County
Stadium: Huish Park, Yeovil
Yeovil goalscorer/s: none
Notts County goalscorer/s: none
My man of the match: Bartosz Bialkowski (Notts County)
A sublime second half performance from Notts County's goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski ensured that his side would return North with a point in the bag.
Both teams played out an entertaining and physical performance where the Referee's notebook was never too far away. The Magpies ended up with five bookings while the Glovers had two and it was a miracle that no one was sent off.
Less than a minute in and a caution had already been given as Luke Ayling chopped down Jeff Hughes on the edge of the area. Luckily the wall did its job and the subsequent effort by Neil Bishop, after the Glovers failed to clear their lines, was well saved by Marek Stech.
From another set piece, Luke Ayling found himself free inside the opposition penalty area after a good cross by Captain Jamie McAllister. Unfortunately he couldn't capitalise as the Notts County goalkeeper turned away his attempted shot into the side netting. Some of the Yeovil crowd (me included) were off their seats as we thought the twenty-one year old fans favourite had scored his first ever goal in the green and white hoops.
The Glovers next chance was from a cross into the box which was not well dealt by County's defence and resulted in a game of head tennis. When it finally dropped just outside the area, Sam Foley took on a volley which whistled just wide of the left hand post with the Magpies goalkeeper scrambling across his line.
Joe Edwards then took on a speculative effort that curled just over the crossbar with the goalkeeper watching it all the way.
At the other end, Yoann Arquin almost put Notts ahead but he was foiled by a good Stech save after Arquin had got in behind Yeovil's defence.
It was a pretty even first half but I felt Notts County just edged it, sometimes even making the Glovers look like an away team: having long periods without possession of the ball and being relentlessly pressured when they did.
Keith Curle's men would probably have felt aggrieved to still be drawing as the Glovers held on until half time.
Gary Johnson's team talk seemed to have sparked a revival though as straight from the restart they seemed like they had more about them and forced Bialkowski into a number of saves, but the best was yet to come.
On sixty-four minutes McAllister put in another good free kick that was powerfully headed at goal by defender Daniel Burn. Everyone in the ground was waiting for the inevitable cheer as the ball hit the back of the net only for Bialkowski to somehow move instinctively to his left hand side and diving full stretch, managing to palm the ball away.
The Glovers were adamant the ball had crossed the line but replays are inconclusive and for his sheer brilliance at getting there in the first place, I think the Magpies goalkeeper and my man of the match deserved that bit of luck.
Yeovil were now completely on top and with the clock ticking down, they just couldn't find that winning goal.
It could almost have gone the other way as on the counter attack the Green & Whites were caught short at the back, only for Alan Judge to hit a shot centimetres past the post with another Magpies player just evading the ball when it looked like he could have had a tap in at the far post.
In the end despite their league standings, these two evenly matched teams left Huish Park with a point that sees Yeovil drop a place to thirteenth in the table. It could have been so much more for Gary's Glovers if it had not been for a superb performance by Bartosz Bialkowski.
Their manager praised his goalkeeper after the game as his side managed to extend their twenty-one match unbeaten away run, saying "I think it was probably his best display for Notts County."
That was at least some consolation to the Glovers faithful and they now look on to their next match where they face Walsall in Birmingham, with the Green and Whites hoping to get back to winning ways next weekend.
Written by: Josh Wilde, Age 14.