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League One

Notts County testing Shaun Derry's nerves

21 April 2014

Notts County boss Shaun Derry said the result was all that mattered after his side kept their survival hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Crawley Town.

Jimmy Spencer's header just past the half-hour mark was all that separated the sides, although the Magpies were forced to weather the storm late on.

The victory moves Derry's men on to 46 points, just one point behind Tranmere and Crewe with two games remaining.

"It was nerve-wracking," said Derry.

"We've had some great wins here at Meadow Lane, but they have been wins with a lot of goals.

"We've not won too many games 1-0.

"We've rode our luck at times in the game. We only had two shots on target, but I don't care - the three points were most important.

"It was tough being there on the sidelines and I told the players I know exactly how they feel.

"The character was fantastic and they got the win the football club deserved.

"It was a great comeback from Friday, which was a tough day because of the way we lost despite playing so well.

"We played on a carpet of a pitch there, but we played with a different system and a different style and I thought the lads played well.

"But at Meadow Lane, the pitch is awful so we had to adapt and make changes."

County's goal deservedly arrived in the 34th minute when Spencer headed home following Alan Sheehan's free-kick.

But Crawley improved after the break, with Magpies goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski forced into a brilliant save from Matt Tubbs before also denying Gary Dicker and Gwion Williams.

But Crawley manager John Gregory insisted it was too little too late from his side.

"It told me a lot about everyone. I've got to renew contracts this week," Gregory said.

"I probably should have done it after Saturday when I was in a much better mood.

"We seem to have a problem against teams who are low down in the table and I think that's a mentality issue.

"We need to be a lot better than that next season because we cannot afford to play against teams lower down than us and not perform.

"We started getting going in the second half, but it was too late and that's really been the story of our season.

"Had the players gone about playing against teams in the bottom half as well as they did against those in the top, then Richie Barker would still be in a job.

"In some of the games we've played, people have put their bodies on the line, but you have to do that from the first minute, not in the last five."

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