Jump to content

Notts County 4 - 2 Port Vale

Joe Jones

Wow. That is today's game summed up in one word, though there are plenty of superlatives that would also be used, such as "exhilarating", "thrilling", "epic"... Notts fans today went through the whole gambit of emotions, from hope, to deflation, to despair, back to hope, then through to joy, then nail-biting tension, and finally the thrilling climax of exhilaration, and all in front of our faithful brothers and sisters from Turin, the Italian Magpies.

Port Vale came to Meadow Lane and struck twice in the opening 25 minutes, threatening to derail County's Great Escape, but Jimmy Spencer struck just two minutes later to give the home side a glimmer of hope, before getting his second midway through the first half to pull things level.


Jamal Campbell-Ryce then scored just after the restart to send Meadow Lane into raptures, but the Valiants then stepped up their game and threatened to pull a goal back, before JCR's second goal, in the 85th minute, proved a cathartic explosion of relief and joy as it confirmed that Notts would finish the game with all three points and drag themselves out of the relegation zone once again.

Haydn Hollis’s suspension meant that Shaun Derry had to rejig things in the home defence. Regular left-back Alan Sheehan moved inside to partner Hayden Mullins at the heart of the back four, Gareth Roberts made his comeback to the squad at left-back to deputise Sheehan and right-back Curtis Thompson replaced Mustapha Dumbuya, who dropped to the bench.

After a minute's silence for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, the game kicked off at 3:07pm, and after some opening exchanges by both teams, the first chance of the match fell in the eighth minute when Gary Liddle sent a header towards the back post, which was caught by away keeper Sam Johnson.


Referees haven't exactly been the most reliable while officiating Notts games this season, and this game looked like being along the same lines, with Thompson being penalised for a foul despite it appearing clean, and a foul on Spencer being waved away.

Eventually, these inconsistencies cost Notts, as a challenge on the right wing prompted the referee to award Vale a free kick. From the resulting set piece by Jennison Myrie-Williams, Thompson then cruelly deflected the ball into his own net.

Moments after the goal, a horrendous Richard Duffy tackle on Jack Grealish was only punished with a yellow card, despite warranting a red.

Vale then doubled their lead in more controversial circumstances in the 24th minute, as Thompson’s clearance appeared to be handled by Myrie-Williams. The opposition forward then dropped the young defender to the ground before his subsequent low cross saw Gavin Tomlin prod home, Sheehan’s desperate clearance being judged to have come after the ball crossed the line.

Campbell-Ryce, who was sensational for most of the game, was responsible for orchestrating the home side's comeback; after beating a number of players on the flank, he sent a cross towards Spencer, who found the top corner with a thumping header.

Shortly afterwards, the referee once again showed his credentials when he failed to award Spencer a penalty, despite being felled in the box. However, the youngster found himself on the scoresheet again midway through the first half when, following more great work from JCR, he sent a shot into the bottom-right corner to restore parity.

Port Vale stepped it up a gear and could have scored again through Tomlin and Myrie-Williams in the ensuing stages, but early in the second half, Notts then struck again to move in front after being 2-0 down, to the emphatic roars of the Meadow Lane faithful. Grealish marauded into the box following a counter-attack, before sending the ball across the face of goal where Campbell-Ryce sent a shot into the back of the net.


After the third goal, Vale became a side possessed, outraged that Notts had dared to turn a seemingly imminent defeat into a potential narrow victory, and the home side had to weather a series of attacks, though the defence and Bartosz Bialkowski worked miracles to keep the opposition's goal tally to just two.

One such effort that stood out was a frankly heart-stopping sequence where, from the left flank, Tomlin cut inside and sent a shot goalwards that struck the post, with the ball then rebounding off Bart's back and falling to Tom Pope, who sensationally missed when it would have been easier to score.

Eventually, came the strike that would guarantee a comfortable final few minutes for the Meadow Lane faithful, when the frankly unplayable JCR was supplied by Grealish before lashing an effort into the far corner, past Johnson, and lift the roof off Meadow Lane, fuelled by thousands of truly ecstatic Notts fans.

And so the game would finish 4-2 to the Black and White Army, in front of the Italian Magpies, who will travel back to Turin having witnessed one of the great Meadow Lane games of the last few years, while for the club, it means that we are once again out of the drop zone, by the skin of our teeth, on 43 points. Carlisle United have a game in hand, so things are still going to be tense, but it's set up an absolutely enthralling finale to the season.

I'm seriously going to need a holiday once this season's over to recover from this saga! Don't suppose anybody wishes to contribute to the "Send Joe Jones to Benidorm for a week" fund?

Share your PRIDE with PON! Visit our Community Forum

Join us - Discuss - Write for us - Debate - Contact us

Member Feedback

Recommended Comments

Why would we want to send our match report writer a way? Wait until the end of the season, they we will grant you leave and me might provide you with your bus fair home!

It was a great result, 2-0 down and very poor goals... I felt we was sunk!

Only our Italian Friends had confidence that I know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went away myself, decided not to go to Notts and spend some time in a lovely greek island. This win being the best thing about returning home! I am kicking myself for missing it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great report Joe.

I didn't get to listen to the game as we had internet problems :( .

What a bloody game to have those problems hey.

IF" we get more than 3 points over easter, I think we'll be fine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

About PON

Pride of Nottingham

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.

Support PON

Enjoy our content? Want to help us grow? Your donation will go a long way towards improving the site!


Meet the Team

Chris Chris Administrators
super_ram super_ram Global Moderators
DangerousSausage DangerousSausage Global Moderators
CliftonMagpie CliftonMagpie Global Moderators

Social Media

    Search In
  • Create New...

Important Information

Pride of Nottingham uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. To approve, simply continue using the site or click 'I accept' Terms of Use.