Hyam, Murphy and Taylor all on the scoresheet as the Blues and the Magpies play out an entertaining draw
Town concluded their pre-season programme with a 3-3 draw against Notts County, in an entertaining game at Meadow Lane.
The Blues broke the deadlock in the first-half through Luke Hyam, with Daryl Murphy then extending the lead soon after.
Former Town man Danny Haynes then restored the deficit shortly before half-time, before Paul Taylor cracked home a free-kick to fire Mick McCarthy’s side back in front, the striker’s first goal in a Blue shirt.
However Chris Kiwomya’s Magpies then hit back with two late goals, with Manny Smith and then a solo effort from Yoann Arquin seeing them draw level.
The first chance of the game fell to the hosts with Mark Fotheringham showing some neat footwork to play in Enoch Showumni clean through, but the big striker was foiled by Scott Loach who saved with his legs. Danny Haynes then heading the rebound over the bar after just two minutes.
Seconds later and Town responded. Daryl Murphy connected with a Jay Tabb cross at the near post but saw his header come back off the post with the ‘keeper well beaten.
The former Celtic man went close again moments later, glancing a header inches wide of Bartosz Bialkowski’s goal after being picked out by strike partner David McGoldrick.
Town were beginning to dominate and went close to breaking the deadlock after five minutes. Neat interchanges involving Paul Anderson and Daryl Murphy saw the latter spray the ball wide to Aaron Cresswell, who immediately fed Hyam but the midfielder dragged his shot wide.
However the Blues did open the scoring, with Hyam making up for his earlier miss by getting on the scoresheet.
McGoldrick headed into the path of Murphy, who cleverly backheeled the ball to Tabb who crossed invitingly for Hyam to dive in and head beyond the palm of Bialkowski after 15 minutes.
Shortly after, Tommy Smith went close from a Anderson corner but the New Zealand international could only head over the bar.
However Town did double their lead after 22 minutes with another beautifully crafted goal.
Tyrone Mings, who had earlier come on for the injured Cresswell, played the ball up the line to McGoldrick who showed some neat control to turn his marker before sliding across the face of goal for Murphy to tap home.
The hosts were always looking a threat on the counter though and Hyam showed great determination to snuff out a Haynes shot, after the former Blue had raced clear of the Town defence.
However the summer signing from Charlton wasn’t to be denied against his former employers and he pulled a goal back for the Magpies after 35 minutes.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce saw his effort deflected by Mings, but the ball broke loose to Haynes in the box and he was on hand to dispatch low and hard into the corner leaving Loach with no chance.
Town were close to regaining the two-goal lead just before half-time, but skipper Chambers could only head Anderson’s corner over the bar shortly before the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the first-half.
The Blues made a host of changes at the break, with one of those substitutions, Taylor, getting himself on the scoresheet after 57 minutes.
After Town were awarded a free-kick for handball, the former Peterborough man stepped and emphatically planted the ball into the top corner from 25 yards, for his first goal in a Blue shirt.
However Chris Kiwomya’s side were still fighting and they hit back just three minutes later through defender Smith, who bundled the ball home following a goalmouth scramble.
Dean Gerken, who replaced Scott Loach at the bench, made a smart save to deny Arquin after 66 minutes but he could only stand and stare as Manny Smith headed against the post soon after, a let-off for Town.
The pressure the hosts were applying to Town was soon rewarded, as they levelled up the scoring after 77 minutes.
Arquin picked up the ball and ran at the Blues defence, twisting and turning away from his markers before coolly slotting beyond Gerken and into the corner.
Gerken showed good reflexes to deny the Magpies taking the lead soon after, tipping Kyle Hammond’s deflected header behind for a corner.
That was the way it stayed as the referee called time on an entertaining afternoon, with Town now focusing their attention to Saturday’s Championship opener against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Notts County: Bialkowski, Hollis, Smith, Liddle, Sheehan, Bell, Ladabie, Fotheringham, Campbell-Ryce, Haynes, Showumni. Subs: Pilkington, Arquin, Haworth, Thompson, Tempest, Boucaud, Mahon, Parrett, Phillip, Murray, Bennett.
Town: Loach (Gerken 46), Hewitt (Veseli 46), Chambers (Berra 46), Smith, Cresswell (Mings 10 (October 68)), Anderson, Skuse (Tunnicliffe 46), Hyam (Wordsworth 46 (Berkane 50)), Tabb (Hammond 68), Murphy (Nouble 46), McGoldrick (Taylor 46).