Veteran striker Jon Stead kept up his record of scoring in every round of this season’s FA Cup as Notts County held Premier League strugglers Swansea.

The former Blackburn forward, 34, equalised from Jorge Grant’s cross, although the visitors claimed the ball had gone out of play in the build-up.

Luciano Narsingh had driven Swansea, 50 league places above the League Two side, in front just before half-time.

But Grant then went close three times for County before Stead struck.

Notts County manager Kevin Nolan has built a squad heavy on experience at Meadow Lane – including several players who were team-mates or opponents when he was a Premier League midfielder with Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham.

He went into the match with surely the oldest centre-forward pairing of fourth-round weekend, with Stead and former Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi totting up a combined age of 70.

Both men were involved in the goal that earned the League Two promotion contenders a replay, with Ameobi, back to goal, laying off Elliott Hewitt’s low cross for Grant to provide the cross that Stead touched in.

Swansea argued that the ball had gone beyond the byeline just before Hewitt reached it – and television replays suggested they may have had a case.

The draw, though, was just reward for a fine response in second-half from the home side, who had been outplayed in the opening 45 minutes. Grant, one of County’s younger players at 23, had three good chances in the first eight minutes after the interval, just missing the target with a floated free-kick, hitting a rising cross-shot beyond the far post and heading wide from a Stead cross.

County were brave when they needed to be, most notably when captain Richard Duffy – a former Swansea player – took a whack in the face to block a Narsingh shot in the final 10 minutes.

Nolan called on a little more experience to secure the replay, with player-coach Alan Smith – the former Leeds, Manchester United and Newcastle midfielder – coming on as a substitute for the final minutes.




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