The FA Cup - Fourth Round
Notts CountyNotts County1SwanseaSwansea City1

Notts County 1-1 Swansea City

By Mike WhalleyBBC Sport

Notts County manager Kevin Nolan praised his "brilliant" players after Jon Stead's goal earned them an FA Cup fourth-round replay with Swansea.

Stead, 34, kept up his record of scoring in every round of this season's competition, touching in Jorge Grant's cross for the League Two side.

Premier League strugglers Swansea, who are 50 league places above County, had gone ahead through Luciano Narsingh.

"I thought the boys were fantastic," Nolan told BBC Sport.

"We were unfortunate not to go in [at] the break level, but the reaction in the second half was brilliant.

"I think we showed them a bit too much respect in the first half, but we rattled them early doors in the second half, which was magnificent."

Former Blackburn and Sunderland striker Stead, playing for his 11th professional club, had previously scored in FA Cup wins over Bristol Rovers, Oxford City and Brentford this season.

Nolan added: "It's his vision in and around the box that does so much for us, and it's his nous that allows him to get in the right areas to score goals."

Nolan's veterans make their mark

Jon Stead scores for Notts County
Jon Stead's equaliser means he has scored in six consecutive matches

Nolan has built a squad heavy on experience at Meadow Lane - including several players who were team-mates or opponents when he was a Premier League midfielder with Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham.

He went into the match with surely the oldest centre-forward pairing of the fourth-round weekend - Stead and former Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi have a combined age of 70.

Both were involved in the goal that earned the League Two promotion contenders a replay, with Ameobi, back to goal, laying off Elliott Hewitt's low cross for Grant to provide the cross that Stead touched in.

Swansea argued that the ball had gone beyond the byeline just before Hewitt reached it - and television replays suggested they may have had a case.

"Kris [Nordfeldt], my goalkeeper, said the ball was out," Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal said. "I cannot say from where I am - it's the linesman's call. It was 60 metres from where I was, so I cannot say."

The draw, though, was just reward for a fine second-half response from the home side, who had been outplayed in the opening 45 minutes.

Grant, one of County's younger players at 23, had three good chances in the eight minutes after the interval, just missing the target with a floated free-kick, hitting a rising cross-shot beyond the far post and heading wide from a Stead cross.

County were brave when they needed to be, most notably when captain Richard Duffy - a former Swansea player - took a whack in the face to block a Narsingh shot in the final 10 minutes.

Nolan called on a little more experience to secure the replay, with 37-year-old player-coach Alan Smith - the former Leeds, Manchester United and Newcastle midfielder - coming on as a substitute for the final minutes.

Having helped his side earn a draw, Ameobi feels that County could yet cause an upset in the replay. "We're in the draw for the fifth round, and in the FA Cup magical things can happen," he said.

Bony hits a brick wall

Wilfried Bony
Wilfried Bony was unable to score either of two good headed chances for Swansea

Swansea striker Wilfried Bony's career has stalled because of injury, illness and loss of form since he left the Liberty Stadium to join Manchester City for £28m in 2015.

The Ivory Coast international's second spell in south Wales has brought only three goals so far, and he missed his chance to add to that at Meadow Lane, having started as one of eight changes made by Carvalhal.

The 29-year-old's most agonising miss came right at the end, when he reached a left-wing cross from Tom Carroll, only to direct his header wide with keeper Adam Collin stranded.

Bony was not the only Swansea player to suffer a difficult afternoon. Portugal midfielder Sanches, making his return from a hamstring injury, appeared to suffer a recurrence of the problem after 30 minutes, and limped off.

Ki Sung-yueng, on as a substitute for Sanches, set up their goal in the last minute of the first half, running at the home defence before feeding a pass right for Narsingh to drive into the far corner, but it was not enough to guarantee a fifth-round place.

Swansea are bottom of the Premier League, but Carvalhal rejected the idea that a replay was a distraction as his team battle to avoid relegation.

He said: "In this competition, we are not losing and we still have the chance to go through.

"If we don't get through, then it is not the end of the world because our main competition is the Premier League - this is very clear."

Luciano Narsingh
Luciano Narsingh scored Swansea's goal just before half-time

Man of the match - Richard Duffy (Notts County)

Richard Duffy
The Notts County captain - born in Swansea - was key to frustrating his boyhood club, and the hit he took in the face late on was typical of his bravery

'The response was great'

Notts County goalscorer Jon Stead, speaking to BBC Sport: "We were disappointed to concede the goal just before half-time. But the response at the start of the second half was great and really we should have scored another goal early on.

"I think we did well and had an equal amount of chances so a draw is probably a fair result."

Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal, speaking to BBC Sport: "We have to give credit to Notts County because they used long balls and physicality to get back in the game. But after it was 1-1 we controlled the game again, we prepared the team to play against a physical team and we could have scored with three or four chances."

What's next?

Swansea return to Premier League action at home to Arsenal on Tuesday (19:45 GMT), while Notts County resume their League Two promotion challenge at home to Crewe next Saturday (15:00).

What happened in the FA Cup on Saturday?


Notts County

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Collin
  • 19Hunt
  • 5Duffy
  • 16Brisley
  • 3Dickinson
  • 10GrantBooked at 84mins
  • 21HusinSubstituted forSmithat 90'minutes
  • 4Hewitt
  • 11Hawkridge
  • 9AmeobiSubstituted forAlessandraat 84'minutes
  • 30Stead


  • 7Alessandra
  • 13Pindroch
  • 14Forte
  • 17Smith
  • 18Noble
  • 20Walker
  • 23Jones


Formation 3-4-3

  • 13NordfeldtBooked at 55mins
  • 5van der Hoorn
  • 27Bartley
  • 6Mawson
  • 52Roberts
  • 8FerSubstituted forClucasat 63'minutes
  • 35Renato SanchesBooked at 22minsSubstituted forKi Sung-yuengat 32'minutes
  • 14Carroll
  • 11Narsingh
  • 2Bony
  • 10AbrahamSubstituted forJ Ayewat 70'minutes


  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 15Routledge
  • 17Clucas
  • 18J Ayew
  • 22Rangel
  • 25Mulder
  • 62McBurnie
Mike Jones

Match Stats

Home TeamNotts CountyAway TeamSwansea
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Notts County 1, Swansea City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Notts County 1, Swansea City 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jordan Ayew (Swansea City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Connor Roberts.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Notts County. Alan Smith replaces Noor Husin.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Wilfried Bony (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Tom Carroll with a cross.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Notts County. Richard Duffy tries a through ball, but Lewis Alessandra is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Kyle Bartley (Swansea City).

  8. Post update

    Lewis Alessandra (Notts County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Offside, Swansea City. Luciano Narsingh tries a through ball, but Jordan Ayew is caught offside.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Notts County. Lewis Alessandra replaces Shola Ameobi.

  11. Booking

    Jorge Grant (Notts County) is shown the yellow card.

  12. Post update

    Sam Clucas (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jorge Grant (Notts County).

  14. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  15. Post update

    Delay in match Richard Duffy (Notts County) because of an injury.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Luciano Narsingh (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Carroll.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jordan Ayew (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sam Clucas.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Richard Duffy.

  20. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.


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