Full-time: Notts County 1 Crewe 1
ON-LOAN Manchester United striker John Cofie was Notts County's hero on his debut at Meadow Lane today.
The Magpies were losing 1-0 to Crewe until the 20-year-old scored in the second half to rescue a 1-1 draw.
Notts went 1-0 down in injury time at the end of the first half as the visitors' captain Luke Murphy scored from the penalty spot.
Cofie equalised just before the hour mark and the Magpies were unlucky not to go on and win the game, after dominating the second half.
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Cofie started as a lone striker just a day after joining the Magpies from Old Trafford, as caretaker boss Chris Kiwomya dropped Yoann Arquin and Francois Zoko.
Kiwomya also ditched a three-man defence, bringing Julian Kelly back into the team at right-back in a back-four, alongside Dean Leacock, Gary Liddle and Alan Sheehan.
Andre Boucaud, Gavin Mahon, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Jeff Hughes and Alan Judge were named in the Magpies' midfield.
Fabian Spiess started in goal and the youngster made two great saves to deny Crewe in the opening minutes, parrying away a close-range header from defender Mark Ellis on five minutes and then tipping a long-range shot from midfielder Bradden Inman onto the foot of his left-hand post on eight minutes.
He made another good save on 17 minutes, leaping to his left and clutching a curling shot from Crewe striker Chuks Aneke.
Notts hit back on 25 minutes, Judge whipping a cross into the box from the right wing for Hughes, but he fouled the visitors' goalkeeper Steve Phillips as they challenged for the ball in the air and ref Andy Woolmer blew his whistle as it fell to Cofie and he prodded it into the net from a couple of yards out.
Murphy then blazed over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area on 30 minutes and Hughes headed wide of Phillips' right-hand post a minute later, after Sheehan swung a cross into the box.
Hughes then tried to find Cofie inside the box with a low cross on 37 minutes, but Kelvin Mellor cut it out and the visitors replied on 42 minutes, Murphy crossing into the box and Abdul Osman directing a looping header on the roof of Spiess' net.
Notts went 1-0 down in injury time at the end of the first half as Crewe scored from the penalty spot.
Mahon brought down striker Ajay Leitch-Smith inside the box and Murphy buried the spot kick into the top-right corner of the net, sending Spiess the wrong way.
Trailing, the Magpies brought Arquin on for Mahon at the start of the second half and less than two minutes after the restart Judge crashed a superb shot against the bar.
Boucaud then curled a shot just wide on 49 minutes as the Magpies put Crewe under pressure.
Notts made it 1-1 on 57 minutes and it was a good goal by Cofie as he held off a defender just outside the penalty area and smashed a shot past Phillips and inside his right-hand post.
Having equalised, Notts threatened to score a second goal on 62 minutes as Sheehan crossed into the box for Arquin and he directed a header at goal from eight yards, but Phillips saved it.
The French striker then rifled a long-range shot just wide of Phillips' right-hand post a minute later and forced him into another save on 68 minutes, after seizing onto the ball inside the box and driving a low shot at goal.
Crewe still looked dangerous and Murphy forced Spiess into a good save with a dipping 25-yard free-kick on 77 minutes, the Notts goalkeeper acrobatically tipping it onto the bar and over.
The Magpies were quickly back on the attack and Sheehan came within inches of netting a winner on 85 minutes with a powerful right-footed strike, after beating two men on the edge of the box.
NOTTS: Spiess, Kelly, Leacock, Liddle, Sheehan, Boucaud, Mahon (Arquin, 46), Campbell-Ryce (Zoko, 82), Hughes, Judge, Cofie (Showunmi, 93). Subs: Mitchell, Smith, Bencherif, Tempest.
CREWE: Phillips, Mellor, Ellis, Dugdale, Tootle, Moore (Pogba, 64), Osman, Murphy, Inman, Aneke (Colclough, 78), Leitch-Smith. Subs: Martin, Clayton, Turton, Robertson, Ray.
ATTENDANCE: 5,450 (497 away).