Notts County lost 3 – 2 to Maidenhead at Meadow Lane on Saturday in the Vanarama National League.

Jimmy Knowles and Ruben Rodrigues scored their first goals for the Magpies in the first half, but Sam Barratt’s brace and a Danilo Orsi breakaway ensured the visitors made it two consecutive away wins to kick-start their season. Notts slip down to seventh after three consecutive wins.

Proceedings had barely gotten underway when Mansfield loanee JIMMY KNOWLES put Notts ahead on three minutes, tapping in after nice work down the right side. Notts 1 – 0 Maidenhead.

Neal Ardley’s men started playing some really nice stuff on 12 minutes with countless slick passes exchanged, just after Knowles nearly set up Boldewijn, the Dutchman missing from a tight angle.

SAM BARRATT moved Maidenhead level on 14 minutes as Notts failed to clear a free-kick, his powerful finish into the top-left corner leaving Slocombe no chance. Notts 1 – 1 Maidenhead.

Maidenhead really grew into the game after their goal and might have had a second but Notts were able to shift the momentum with a couple of corners and free-kicks of their own, but nothing came of their set-piece opportunities around 20 minutes.

RUBEN RODRIGUES netted his first goal in English football on 29 minutes after a lovely Boldewijn backheel, beating two Maidenhead defenders and wrong-footing the keeper in finishing into the left post. Notts 2 – 1 Maidenhead.

Maidenhead almost had a second equaliser from a corner, but Jake Reeves was able to hook it away. The second delivery from deep was a very dangerous one and seemed to nick off Wootton as it went behind for a Notts goal kick.

Neal Ardley’s Notts certainly have a penchant for attractive, passing football, and it was on show in abundance in the first half. Both Knowles and Rodrigues’ goals concluded lovely, flowing moves involving several players.

HALF-TIME: NOTTS COUNTY 2 – 1 MAIDENHEAD UNITED

Notts had a couple of decent half-chances early in the second period but nothing that troubled Ashby-Hammond in the Maidenhead goal too much.

Jimmy Knowles should have squared across the box on 57 minutes but was eventually forced too wide to do anything with it and the visitors won a goal kick.

Knowles and Rodrigues looked like real bright sparks for Notts, both with exciting movement whenever they got on the ball. Both used the ball well and looked like making something happen for much of the match.

Jake Reeves also looked a cut above at times and wasn’t afraid to get out wide and whip some dangerous crosses in at times. He did just that on 62 minutes on the right but it was held by Ashby-Hammond.

SAM BARRATT equalised again on 62 minutes from another corner, crosses again proving to be Notts’ Achilles heel as they were for much of last season. Notts 2 – 2 Maidenhead.

Barnsley loanee Matty Wolfe replaced Ruben Rodrigues on 69 minutes.

Maidenhead took the lead on 75 minutes as goalkeeper Ashby-Hammond made a long, low clearance which found its way to DANILO ORSI.

The striker beat both Notts centre-backs for pace before finishing with technique past Slocombe to put the visitors ahead for the first time in the game. Notts 2 – 3 Maidenhead.

Notts never really put together a chance worthy of an equaliser in the remaining minutes despite Elisha Sam and Ben Turner replacing Enzio Boldewijn and Alex Lacey respectively.

FULL-TIME: NOTTS COUNTY 2 – 3 MAIDENHEAD UNITED

Notts County visit FC Halifax Town next on Tuesday 27 October. The Shay hosted a Christmas cracker last season as Neal Ardley’s men ran out 4 – 2 winners in December.

Stockport County will be the next visitors to Meadow Lane on Saturday 11 November; the Hatters currently sit second in the table.

Notts County: Slocombe, McCrory, Rawlinson, Lacey (Turner 85′), Chicksen, Doyle, Reeves, Boldewijn (Sam 76′), Rodrigues (Wolfe 69′), Knowles, Wootton.

Unused subs: Pilling, Graham.

Goals: Knowles 3′, Rodrigues 29′.

Maidenhead United: Ashby-Hammond, Massey, Wells, Parry, Clerima, Sparkes, Comley, Coley (Smile 85′), Upward, Barratt (Twumasi 90+’), Orsi (Kelly 90+’).

Unused subs: Sheckleford, Kelly.

Goals: Barratt 14′, 62′, Orsi 75′.

@FutbolCallander