Full-time: Notts County 1 Scunthorpe United 0
DEAN Leacock scored his first goal for Notts County to inspire them to a dramatic 1-0 win against Scunthorpe United in League One at Meadow Lane today.
The centre-back returned to the heart of the Magpies' defence, after serving a two-game ban, and netted the winner in the closing minutes.
Alan Judge was back for the Magpies, after missing their last two games through injury.
Enoch Showunmi and French striker Yoann Arquin started in attack and Judge joined captain Neal Bishop, Jeff Hughes and Andre Boucaud in midfield.
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Leacock was partnered at the heart of the back-four by Haydn Hollis, while Gary Liddle started at right-back and Alan Sheehan was named at left-back, in front of goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski.
Former Notts striker Karl Hawley started in attack for Scunthorpe and the visitors threatened after just two minutes.
Defender Tom Newey swung a free-kick into the Magpies' penalty area that fell to Paul Reid and his close-range shot was deflected wide of Bialkowski's left-hand post.
Having survived that early scare, Judge passed to Hughes just outside the Scunthorpe box two minutes later, but he blazed a shot well over the crossbar, and Arquin whipped a dangerous cross into the visitors' box from the left wing soon after, but Iron goalkeeper Eirik Johansen claimed the ball under pressure.
Bialkowski then denied Scunthorpe's Akpo Sodje with a good save on nine minutes, after the striker had raced onto a pass from Mark Duffy and fired a shot at goal from inside the penalty area.
Hughes then shot weakly at goal from just inside the box on 22 minutes and Judge smashed a shot at goal from 25 yards on 34 minutes that was blocked by Newey with his hand, but ref Carl Boyeson turned down the Magpies' protests for a free-kick.
Notts then twice went close to breaking the deadlock before half-time.
Bishop forced Johansen into a good save with a close-range header on 39 minutes, after Sheehan had curled a free-kick into the penalty area, and Arquin headed over the bar from close range at the far post minutes later.
Having gone so close to taking the lead, the Magpies were lucky not to fall behind after the break as Hawley missed three chances in quick succession.
He chipped a shot just wide of Bialkowski's right-hand post on 60 minutes and then wasted a great chance a minute later.
Sodje pounced on a bad mistake by Hollis and laid the ball to him and he had the Notts goal at his mercy, but miscued a shot wide from six yards.
Hawley then completed his hat-trick of misses on 63 minutes, putting the ball wide of Bialkowski's left-hand post from the edge of the penalty area.
Notts finally made the breakthrough on 81 minutes from a corner.
Judge swung the ball into the box and Bishop headed the ball down into the path of Leacock, who swept it into the net from three yards in front of the Kop.
NOTTS: Bialkowski, Liddle, Leacock, Hollis, Sheehan, Hughes, Bishop, Boucaud (Tempest, 82), Judge, Arquin (Zoko, 67), Showunmi (Waite, 92). Subs: Spiess, Smith, Bencherif, Thompson.
SCUNTHORPE: Johansen, Nolan, Mirfin, Reid (Canavan, 51), Newey, Duffy, Ryan, Collins, Forde (Barcham, 75), Sodje, Hawley. Subs: Severn, Walker, Grella, Jennings, Alabi.
ATTENDANCE: 4,636 (402 away).