Full-time: Notts 3 Shrewsbury 2
LEE Hughes came off the subs' bench to fire Notts County to a dramatic 3-2 win against Shrewsbury Town and top of League One today.
Francois Zoko put Notts ahead on 57 minutes at Meadow Lane, but the visitors hit back with two quick goals to lead 2-1.
Shrewsbury captain Matt Richards equalised from the penalty spot and defender Jermaine Grandison put them ahead, before Jeff Hughes made it 2-2 with his first goal of the season.
The game looked set to end in a draw until Lee Hughes came on in the dying stages and netted the winner on 87 minutes.
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The Magpies made one change from their 2-0 win against Bury.
Lee Hughes scored his first goal in six-and-a-half months at Gigg Lane, but he was still replaced as the spearhead of their attack by Yoann Arquin.
The rest of the team was entirely unchanged, so Bartosz Bialkowski began in goal, Julian Kelly, Dean Leacock, Gary Liddle and Alan Sheehan were in defence and Jeff Hughes, captain Neal Bishop, Andre Boucaud and Zoko started in midfield.
Alan Judge started in an advanced role behind Arquin.
Notts made a great start and threatened to score in less than two minutes.
Sheehan swung a cross into the penalty area from the left wing and Zoko powered a header at goal, but straight at Shrewsbury goalkeeper Chris Weale.
Boucaud then sent Kelly racing down the right wing on five minutes, he crossed into the box, Judge sliced an attempted shot into the six-yard box and centre-back Darren Jones hacked the ball away from the danger zone.
The Magpies were relentless in the opening stages and again went close to scoring on ten minutes.
Jeff Hughes headed a deep cross by Sheehan back across the box from the far post and Judge smashed a shot at goal, but it hit defender Reuben Hazell and deflected wide of Weale's left-hand post.
Boucaud then forced Weale into a good save on 18 minutes, creating space for a shot 20 yards out with some clever footwork and curling an effort towards the top-right corner of the net that Weale tipped away at full-stretch.
Notts kept up the pressure on the visitors and Sheehan blazed a free-kick over the bar from 30 yards on 22 minutes.
They survived a scare soon after, however.
Mark Wright curled a free-kick into the Magpies' penalty area on 24 minutes and striker Marvin Morgan beat Bialkowski to the ball, but, fortunately for Notts, steered it wide from seven yards.
The visitors threatened again on 30 minutes.
After an attack broke down, Notts were caught with only Bishop at the back so Terry Gornell countered quickly and hit a shot narrowly over the bar from the edge of the box.
The Magpies then lost Sheehan to an injury on 42 minutes, but they still ended the first half strongly, with Arquin firing wide from 25 yards before half-time.
Shrewsbury created the first chance to break the deadlock in the second half and it took a good save from Bialkowski to deny Morgan after he beat Leacock inside the box and fired a powerful shot at goal from close range.
Judge drove a shot wide of Weale's right-hand post moments later and Notts took a 1-0 lead on 57 minutes through Zoko.
The Magpies were gifted the opportunity because Richards under hit a back-pass to Weale and Jeff Hughes seized onto it.
He laid the ball across goal to Zoko and he swept it into the back of the net from close range.
Their lead was shortlived, however, because the visitors equalised from the penalty spot on 61 minutes.
Richards atoned for his mistake by burying the spot kick into the bottom-left corner of the net, sending Bialkowski the wrong way, after Jeff Hughes fouled Morgan inside the box.
It got even worse for Notts a minute later because Shrewsbury scored again.
It was shocking defending from the Magpies as they let Grandison carry the ball all the way from inside his own half to the edge of the box and the right-back beat Bialkowski with a low shot.
Having dominated the game, Notts were suddenly losing 2-1, but they fought back quickly and made it 2-2 on 65 minutes, Jeff Hughes beating Weale with a header from eight yards.
The Magpies then went close to scoring a third goal on 73 minutes.
Judge swung a free-kick into the box and Bishop glanced the ball at goal with a header, but Weale parried it away.
Determined to win the game, Notts threw Lee Hughes on in the closing minutes and it took him just four minutes to score the winner on 87 minutes.
Arquin broke down the left wing, drove the ball low into the box, Hughes controlled it with his first touch and steered it into the net with his second before celebrating in front of the Kop.
NOTTS: Bialkowski, Kelly, Leacock, Liddle, Sheehan (Regan, 42), J Hughes, Bishop, Boucaud (Labadie, 90), Zoko (L Hughes, 83) Judge, Arquin. Subs: Spiess, Wholey, Bencherif, Showunmi.
SHREWS: Weale, Grandison, Jones, Hazell, Purdie, Parry, Richards, Summerfield (Bradshaw, 90), Wright, Morgan, Gornell (Hall, 46). Subs: Anyon, Jacobson, Doble, Wildig, Hector.
ATTENDANCE: 6,774 (734 away).