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COLIN SLATER: The long road ahead for travelling Notts fans


All of us who travel to watch Notts’s away performances are covering hundreds of extra miles in League Two compared to the journeys last season in League One. So relegation is proving costly, in financial terms, not only to the club but also to its supporters.

Considering which the away following has been remarkably encouraging as proved by these figures: 331 at Oxford; 459 at Morecambe; and 547 at Kingston-upon-Thames where Wimbledon now play.

The fact that the numbers continued to increase, despite Notts defeats in all three games, is probably attributable to the fact that fans looked forward to an enjoyable weekend on the coast at Morecambe and to visiting the Kingstonian ground for the first time ever.

Whether it continues to be so depends largely, I believe, on results.

I write at a time when it’s still in the balance whether Notts will challenge for at least a play-off place or will have to be content with a mid-table spot, which would be very disappointing, in the context that there was so much pre-season chatter about getting back into League One at the first attempt.

I also write on the eve of departure for a midweek fixture at Dagenham, a distance of just over 140 miles from Meadow Lane to the Daggers’ Stadium in East London. It probably prohibits fans who have to work the following morning from even thinking of making the trip – and they’re not the only ones in the same (or worse) situation on the same evening.

Spare a thought for Leyton Orient supporters, faced with a visit to Carlisle United, a five-hour journey covering 305 miles. Any who, undaunted, drive home from Brunton Park at the end of that game face the grim prospect of not arriving back until at least 3 a.m.

There are numerous other examples in the season’s fixture list where inadequate consideration seems to have been given to the convenience of loyal fans. The Football League can surely do better than this. Indeed, the evidence proves that a strong case can be made for much greater consideration to be paid to the legitimate needs of travelling supporters in all three divisions, but primarily in League Two.

This must include particular reference to holiday time fixtures, particularly Boxing Day. This year Hartlepool v Notts is bad enough at a time of year of family get-togethers.

I rest my case!

By Colin Slater (BBC Radio Nottingham Notts County Correspondent)

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It's a fair point, I haven't been able to make many away trips due to health matters - I don't really want to go places I am unfamiliar with. It's not an excuse because I used to make the long journeys very regularly.

This is a discussion point within another area, one which I have to wait to hear back before I can proceed.

Thank you Colin for writing another article for us, this is brilliant.

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tbh, its what puts me off from going to some games. i dont know many fans and i hate long trips, i actually get travel sick and then i can be bad for a few days after. you would have thought the fixtures would be fairer on days like tonights game and others.

its silly to travel so late, then return in the early hours of the morning!

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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