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Barrier frustrates County hopes; Notts County 0 Stoke City 0.

PAUL Bowland twice came within inches of grabbing his first League goal in the final minutes at Meadow Lane but in the end County had to settle for a hard earned point.

Gary Brazil's side readily pressed forward in search of goals and victory would have taken them back among the promotion contenders.

The problem was that Stoke had three defenders in Nicky Mohan, Anders, Jacobson and Frode Kippe, who formed a formidable barrier in front of Gavin Ward and when the goalkeeper was required, he responded in style.

Second-half substitute Bowland saw a header drift inches wide after one enterprising burst into the box.

Then, a left-foot half volley was clawed away by Ward when a goal seemed inevitable.

'It was frustrating because I thought we did enough to win, but on the back of the three points we picked up at Gillingham in mid-week, I am well pleased,' Brazil said.

Stoke were seeking a repeat of the beating they handed to Chesterfield last week but County took control without finding the finishing touch.

Craig Ramage and Andy Hughes both had chances but could not find the net.
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Title Annotation:Football
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Mar 12, 2000
Words:189
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