Brentford 0-1 Notts County: Jon Stead fires Magpies into FA Cup fourth round
Last Updated: 06/01/18 6:56pm
Veteran striker Jon Stead's second-half goal sent League Two Notts County into the fourth round of the FA Cup at the expense of Championship Brentford.
Stead pounced on a slip by left back Ilias Chatzitheodoridis to run on unchallenged and fire an unstoppable drive into the far corner after 65 minutes.
New Brentford signing Emiliano Marcondes almost levelled with an injury-time header from Josh McEachran's corner but the Bees' luck was out, and it bounced back off the upright.
Bees boss Dean Smith made eight changes to the side that lost at Wolves in midweek and was punished for his selection by a County side who repeatedly looked to hit them on the counter.
Stead gave the hosts a warning after just eight minutes when he looped a speculative effort over 'keeper Luke Daniels and onto the roof of the net.
Two minutes later Brentford were tested down the right flank and only a desperate Josh Clarke clearance denied Stead again.
Brentford centre-back Chris Mepham's header from skipper McEachran's free-kick was easily saved by Magpies 'keeper Ross Fitzsimons after 13 minutes as the Bees struggled to find any killer instinct in the final third.
The visitors' Daniel Jones had to survive a strong penalty shout when he brought a Chatzitheodoridis cross down with both hands in the box, but the ref waved away Brentford protests.
Brentford threw on their first-team players and Ollie Watkins almost scored with his first touch, but his shot hit the post, bounced back against the keeper and rolled along the line.
Notts County boss Kevin Nolan said the "special chemistry" at the club was behind the success.
"They made a lot of changes to their normal line-up and we thought we could exploit that and I'm delighted to say we did," he said.
"I was delighted for the fans who were behind us from start to finish. There is a special chemistry at the club right now between the players, and between the players and fans and management, and all of that is working in our favour.
"Everything we asked of the boys they carried out to a tee and the win was their reward for following the game plan to the letter. I'm delighted with the way it went."
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