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Notts County’s Jim O’Brien celebrates emotional hat-trick with fans


In their 5-2 victory over Maidstone, Notts County midfielder Jim O’Brien scored his second hat-trick for the club. 

Despite a second-half scare when George Elokobi’s side scored two goals in two minutes to reduce the lead to one, Notts County’s superior first-half performance made the difference. 

O’Brien doubled Luke Williams’ side’s lead in the 15th minute after Cedwyn Scott opened the scoring following a mistake by the Stones defence. O’Brien scored his second on the hour mark when Frank Vincent’s effort fortuitously landed at his feet on the edge of the box. He completed an excellent individual performance with a penalty kick.

Speaking to BBC Radio Nottingham, Jim O'Brien said: "It was a bit surreal, when Ruben was tripped in the box I knew he was going to give it to me, so fair play to him. 

"It was a tough time in the game as well to see us through, and it's a nice feeling, but at this stage of the season it was all about the three points, and we know goal difference could come into play too so to get that three-goal swing back was really nice."

As the full-time whistle sounded, the travelling Notts contingent breathed a huge sigh of relief as they secured their 15th away win of the season. A tradition at Meadow Lane this season has been for one of the Magpies players to give a huge fist pump to the supporters. 

This time it was O’Brien’s turn as he clasped the match ball and made his way over to the away section. His previous hat-trick came two years ago when Coronavirus prevented supporters from being in attendance. The midfielder explained the emotional feeling behind his celebrations with the fans following the full-time whistle.

"When the game kicked off after the penalty, I got a little bit emotional when they were singing and that was a nice feeling.

"The last one was during Covid with no supporters, but I will take it, and I am really pleased that the lads dug in and solved our problems - that was the most pleasing thing along with the three points."

After Wrexham were confirmed as champions following their 3-1 win over Boreham Wood, Notts will now have to go through the play-offs to end their four-year stay in the National League. 

O’Brien explained after the game that his side is fully prepared for the play-offs, and he will do everything in his power to ensure Notts gain promotion this season.

"We have been focused on the play-offs for the last couple of weeks, so we are prepared.

"It would mean everything to win promotion because I was here when we came down and every year we have got that little bit closer and the people around the club deserve it, the supporters deserve it, and I think from what we have produced this season, we deserve it.

"But we have to go and do it, no one is going to give it to us, so we have to keep working hard and keep doing what we are doing."

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Jim O’Brien’s experience and attitude on the field are truly something special. He brings a level of skill and determination that can’t be taught. His passion for the game and his drive to succeed set him apart from the rest. It’s clear that his experience has shaped him into the player he is today, and his attitude is a reflection of his dedication to the sport.

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it’s amazing how much emotions can be stirred up by something as simple as a song. when the crowd starts singing and the energy is high, it’s hard not to get caught up in the moment. it’s a beautiful thing to see how much joy and passion can be shared through music and sports.

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Well, I must say, it was a good result against Maidstone. To win 5-2 after they managed to pull back two goals and make the score 3-2, that shows a good reaction by the players. It takes character and determination to bounce back like that and it’s a testament to the strength of the team. A job well done, I say.

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Jim is a true hero of Notts County and should be respected as a playing legend. His contributions to the team and the sport will always be remembered and appreciated by fans and players alike.

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Now, I know Jim O’Brien is getting on in terms of a footballer, but let me tell you, he doesn’t often miss a beat. He’s a credit to the club for his approach to being a leader and a player who is happy to wait in the wing to make an appearance. A true professional.

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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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