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Joe Jones
In the lower reaches of the Football League, the turnaround of players at football clubs is generally quite high.
Contracts tend to be one or two year deals, and players who fail to make the grade are shipped out or let go before long, while better players are more inclined to make the step up to bigger clubs in higher divisions who can offer better wages and challenge for honours. 
Mike Edwards, however, bucks that trend. Over two spells, the combative defender has been on the books of Notts County for a combined total of over ten years, becoming club captain and playing over 300 games for the Magpies in the process.
Born in Hessle, a town near Hull, on 25 April 1980, the Yorkshireman began his career at Hull City, joining the club as a trainee. He made his debut in December 1997 away at Rotherham United and turned professional at the end of the season.
Edwards is loved by the Hull fans because, aside from making over 200 appearances for the club, he was the last East Riding protege to be raised and discovered locally and to work through the schoolboy and apprentice ranks to become a fully-fledged first team player.
He was part of the famous Great Escape team of 1998/9, which survived relegation from the Football League after being rooted at the bottom of the table for much of the season, and continued to thrive under managers Brian Little and Jan Molby before suffering a cruciate injury. Peter Taylor arrived and, sadly for Edwards, decided to release him just as he was restoring his fitness.
A short spell at Colchester United in 2003 was followed by a season at Grimsby Town, and in the 03/04 close season, he was signed by then Notts manager Gary Mills on a free transfer.
He quickly established himself in the heart of defence for the Magpies, relegated from the Second Division the season before, but just ten games into the season, a cruciate ligament injury suffered against West Ham in the League Cup ruled him out for six months.
As Mills was replaced by Gudjon Thordarson, the defender recovered and was back in the first team by the time the 2005/06 campaign began. A versatile and committed player, Edwards played all 50 league and cup games during the troubled season, both in central defence and central midfield, and did enough to earn a new two-year deal.
The following season, his consistency, talent and commitment to the cause saw Notts finish the season comfortably in mid-table, a massive improvement on the year before, as well as embarking on a great League Cup run which saw them defeat Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough and Southampton (against whom he scored). His reward was the Player of the Season award and the club captaincy.
In a cruel turn of events, Edwards then suffered another long-term injury in the 07/08 pre-season. A dislocated right ankle, fractures to both bones in his lower leg and ligament damage meant he was ruled out until the end of January.
Notts missed him terribly, only surviving relegation by the skin of their teeth in the last two games of the season, and the club recognised his importance by offering him a new deal, the player more than happy to repay the faith showed to him by the club in the face of his injury problems.
"Steady Eddy" was ever-present in 08/09, playing 43 league games as Notts, aided by points deductions to several teams in the league, survived another season in the Football League.

Then came the oddity that was the 09/10 season and everything that came with it, as Notts were taken over by the enigmatic entity that was Munto.
A season that began on a high, with promises of investment and marquee players and staff coming to Meadow Lane, soon became a confusing and anxious mess as the takeover turned out to be fraudulent, but luckily there was a happy ending as the club finished top of the league and the ownership and financial issues were resolved.
Despite all the uncertainty, Edwards played 40 league games and scored 5 goals as Notts were promoted with 93 points, and for his efforts was awarded another new two-year deal.
Back in League One, Edwards initially lost his first-team place to the pairing of Graeme Lee and Krystian Pearce, but soon, unsurprisingly perhaps, won his place back, and played a total of 39 league games as Notts consolidated their position in the third tier. He also captained his side, and played his 500th professional game, in the fixtures against eventual FA Cup winners and future champions of England, Manchester City.
The 2011/12 season saw Steady Eddy become one of a select few to play 300 games for the Magpies, reaching the milestone against Scunthorpe United in March, and also played against Juventus in the historic first game at the Juventus Stadium.
When Edwards was only offered a one-year deal at the end of the season, he decided to up sticks for a more secure contract, joining Carlisle United, and it looked like the love affair between Notts and him would be consigned to history.
Like all good love stories, however, this also came with a happy ending because, two years later, he returned to Meadow Lane as a coach, and also registered as a player to help the team out in times of need.
As it turned out, Edwards played a total of 21 games in his first season back in black and white, scoring three goals in the process, and in 2015/16 he upped his game considerably, bagging FIVE goals in just 17 games - the kind of rate you could expect from an attacking midfielder - including TWO braces.
In 2016/17 he was used much more sparingly, but still appeared twice from the bench against Cambridge United and Barnet in November, and this season, with the club under a new lease of life under Alan Hardy, he has been able to get on properly with his coaching role at last, although he is also registered as a player and can be called upon if need be.
Mike Edwards' statistics speak for themselves. He has played or otherwise worked under TWENTY-FOUR different managers or caretakers at Notts - Gary Mills, Ian Richardson, Gudjon Thordarson, Steve Thompson, Ian McParland, Michael Johnson, Hans Backe, Dave Kevan, Steve Cotterill, Craig Short, Paul Ince, Carl Heggs, Martin Allen, Keith Curle, Shaun Derry, Paul Hart, Mick Halsall, Ricardo Moniz, Richard Dryden, Jamie Fullarton, Mark Cooper, John Sheridan, Alan Smith and now Kevin Nolan (hopefully the list stops there for at least a couple of years).
He was a figure of stability, professionalism and consistency over one of the most turbulent eras at the club and is still giving his all for Notts now that stability is back.
For all this and more, Steady Eddy will forever be remembered as one of Notts County Football Club's all-time greats.
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Joe Jones
Notts County were lucky today against Crawley. Very very lucky. The amount of times they got out of jail today, you could write another series of Prison Break. Both teams were very attack-minded and got plenty of shots in, but some instances of slack defending by Notts would have surely seen Crawley pick up maximum points as they edged the Magpies on the attacking front. The referee, however, was very lenient, and you cannot blame the Crawley players and fans for feeling aggrieved when no penalty was given for Manny Smith handling the ball in the Notts box in injury time.

The Notts team sheet was surprising to say the least. With Dean Leacock suspended and Alan Judge picking up a knock against Orient, the replacements came in the form of Smith and Hamza Bencherif. However, Francois Zoko, Yoann Arquin and John Cofie were all benched, with the untested Jacob Blyth the lone frontman in a 4-5-1 formation.

The game began in a lively manner, Haydn Hollis facing up against Jamie Proctor early on and coming off best. Within five minutes, Neal Bishop released Jamal Campbell-Ryce early on and the winger won a corner, taken by Sheehan but easily cleared.

Although Blyth was officially the lone forward, he was supported up front by JCR and Bencherif, the youngster serving a kind of support role for the others by knocking on headers thanks to his strong aerial presence.

First proper chance of the game came to Proctor, whose strong effort from outside the box was tipped round the post by Bartosz Bialkowski.

JCR, criticised in recent weeks for below-par displays, was on great form again today, the winger threatening down the wing with his swerving runs and decent crosses, and on ten minutes, even attemped to chip the keeper like Judge did against Carlisle, but Paul Jones wasn't beaten.

Unlike the grittier displays of the last few games, Notts were very cohesive and played a strong passing possession game, to the point that the travelling fans began chanting "Ole!". However, Crawley also threatened, Matt Sparrow coming very close several times, but Bialkowski was in top form again.

Half an hour in, a good run by JCR saw him find Boucaud, who then set up Hughes for a good effort which was tipped wide.

The first half soon became very physical, as Hughes found himself both giving and receiving fouls, before Gary Liddle upended Nicky Adams for a yellow card. He also received a retaliatory foul later on for his troubles.

The first half finished 0-0, both sides putting in a strong display and having several good chances on goal.

After the food/drink/toilet/cigarette break, the 458 travelling Notts fans saw their team shoot towards their end, and the Magpies came at Crawley straight away, Bishop getting a shot in on goal, but the ref had already blown as Bencherif, ineffective in the first half, had fouled Jones.

Ten minutes into the second half, Blyth's ball penetrated the Crawley defence on the counter-attack, but JCR couldn't connect. Just a few minutes later, Bishop went for a very ambitious effort from over 30 years out.

The attack-minded Magpies were at times exposed in defence, and Adams was given way too much space outside the Notts box on 62 minutes, though he couldn't convert.

Five minutes later, Adams was just a tap-in away from giving Crawley the lead, but Liddle did just enough to knock it out of play. Predictably, the first substitution of the day for Notts saw Bencherif replaced by Zoko.

More get-out-of-jail antics ensued on 70 minutes as Hollis hit the ball against his own bar, Notts fans' hearts in mouths.

Blyth was the next to go, Showunmi replacing the on-loan Leicester player, and his impact was immediate, testing Jones with two good attempts on goal.

The final quarter of an hour was frantic, with both sides going all out for the win. Hollis made up for his earlier mistake with some sturdy defending, bailing out Boucaud and making some great tackles in the box to deny Crawley.

JCR was the last player to make way for a benched team-mate, coming off for John Cofie. The loanee made a mistake soon after coming on, losing the ball and allowing Crawley to break, but luckily that came to nothing.

The home team kept threatening, but they seemed to be suffering from the same problems as Notts up front, ie plenty of chances but nobody to convert into goals.

Proctor flashed a header past the Notts goal but Liddle cleared.

The last few minutes saw both teams huff and puff, but the whistle finally blew on a 0-0 draw which, in all fairness, seemed about right, but not before the controversial penalty appeal.

In the grand scheme of things, another draw isn't the ideal result if we're to push for the play-offs, but the travelling Notts fans can be pleased with the boys' performance as a whole, especially Hollis, who surely seems to have made a first-team place his, and really, we were very lucky to survive the waves of Crawley attacks and escape with a point.
UniPie
After a disappointing showing on Wednesday night, Notts have had just 2 full days to prepare for Saturdays away trip to Crawley. With Wednesday looking like 2 points dropped, it seems Notts will be unable to reach the play offs this season. So with this in mind, let us have a look at what tomorrow might install. Notts are 3 places higher sat in 10th over Crawley by 2 points. However Crawley have 2 games in hand over Notts and for a team that has been very quiet all season, Crawley will be looking to join Notts on level points.

Crawley have lost 1 game in their last 5 matches and beat Bury 2-0 in their latest match whilst drawing to Carlisle 1-1 in the match prior to that. Notts’ loss on Wednesday came on the back of a win against Carlisle and a point against Tranmere.

The biggest blow for Notts comes as Dean Leacock picked up his 10th yellow card of the season and will miss tomorrows match. Leacock has certainly been a lynch pin of the Notts back four (or three) and will be sorely missed. This will provide however a chance to Manny Smith who has been suffocated of any game times this season. Of course, this is no certainty as Haydn Hollis put in a solid performance on Wednesday and could be partnered up with Gary Liddle at centre half. Both John Cofie and Julian Kelly are likely to miss out on tomorrows match with a facial injury and hamstring problem respectively.

Crawley could see the return of their top goal scorer Billy Clarke who has netted 12 goals already this season. He did not feature midweek and is likely to be much stronger and fitter in time for Notts’ game tomorrow. Crawley captain Josh Simpson is still absent with an ankle injury and Kyle McFadzean is still absent with a virus that he contracted in November.

Tomorrows match is certainly one in which features many injuries and absentees. Notts, although collecting more points than has been the case this season, have not been performing to a very good standard. It is likely that tomorrow will be a scrappy affair with both teams attempting to grind out a result to better off their standing. Notts still look unable to score and with Leacock missing, the midfield will be oh so vital in protecting the back line, as well as aiding the front pairing.

With all this considered, I am going to predict a draw tomorrow. The speculative score prediction would be 0-0 with Notts looking unable to do anything but defend and Crawley being a middle of the park team who have not been able to break down teams this season. All that said, expect a 4-4 all draw tomorrow…
Joe Jones
We're in the final lap now for the promotion places, and the sprint is on. The reward for those who finish in the podium positions is the opportunity to win a place in the Championship. Notts are one of those teams that are lagging behind the leading pack, but just as it seemed like they were building momentum and maybe, just maybe, would be able to edge into contention, they stumbled against Leyton Orient and the gap may now prove too wide to finish into the play-offs.

Chris Kiwomya once against tinkered with his formation and began the game in 4-4-2, as Haydn Hollis partnered Dean Leacock in centre-back, Gary Liddle moved to right-back and Jeff Hughes was dropped to the bench.

The O's started the game as the brighter side, and within ten minutes had the ball in the back of the net, but Charlie MacDonald was ruled offside.

They continued pressuring Notts, who were barely able to even venture out of their own half and were guilty of losing and giving away possession a number of times. However, Orient weren't able to muster anything more meaningful than long range shots.

A good break from Notts saw Francois Zoko find Jamal Campbell-Ryce, but O's keeper Jamie Jones claimed the ball from the cross.

On 32 minutes, Notts took the lead in impressive fashion. Boucaud, Bishop, Zoko and Judge combined to split open the Orient defence before the skipper curled a great finish past Jones. 1-0 to the Magpies.

Rattled, the O's came back all guns blazing, Jimmy Smith smashing the crossbar shortly after the restart.

John Cofie, the Man Utd loanee, had to be withdrawn on 40 minutes as he suffered a facial injury, suspected to be a fractured cheekbone. Yoann Arquin came on for the youngster.

Dean Leacock came close to doubling the Notts lead, while winger Moses Odubajo fired wide in injury time for Orient.

Zoko was replaced by Jeff Hughes at half time, and the Northern Irishman's pace was instrumental in setting up Arquin early on in the second half, but the forward fired straight at Jones.

After a few half-decent attempts by the home side, Notts then proceeded to undo all their good work so far as Leacock cynically fouled MacDonald in the box. Kevin Lisbie kept his composure in front of the loudly booing Notts fans and fired a cool, calm shot past Bartosz Bialkowski to draw the game level.

The game opened up as both teams desperately chased a winner. Sadly for Notts, some of the issues of old resurfaced, as the forwards struggled to really test the away keeper, either firing wide or directly at him.

Andre Boucaud attempted a powerful long-range shot but it whistled past the right-hand post, while in the final minute, JCR was denied after connecting with a defence-splitting chip by Alan Judge. At the other end, Hollis, having been superb all game, denied Romain Vincelot with a last-ditch block to keep the scoreline at 1-1.

The final whistle finally blew on a frustrating performance which promised so much but delivered only a draw, which leaves Notts in tenth place. There are ten more games to go and Notts are seven points adrift of the play-offs, so you never know what could happen, but there is no more room for slip-ups now if Notts are to better last season's finish and squeeze into the coveted top six.
Chris

PoN on One - #1

By Chris, in Media,

Which club holds the dubious distinction of scoring the fewest goals and conceding the most goals in the Premier League – unfortunately in the same 38-game season?

Dan: I think that was Derby.

Dave: Thats easy (sorry super_ram) - Derby County

Which three English players have each scored five goals in a Premier League game?

Dan: Andy Cole did it for Man U v Ipswich I believe. Shearer must've done & a guess at Robbie Fowler.

Dave: Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, D Burbatov (? not sure on spelling), though I think Defoe may have as well.

Can you name two goalkeepers who moved from Mansfield Town to Notts County and further two who moved from Notts County to Mansfield Town (including loans)

Dan: Liam Mitchell went this season to Stags. I think Darren Ward left us to go to Notts. We had David Grof on loan from Notts. Struggling with the other one. Must be Kevin Pilkington?

Dave: Notts to Mansfield - David Grof and Liam Mitchell

Mansfield to Notts - Darren Ward and, er, I cant remember

Who were the 12 founder members of the football league?

Dan: Blimey that's hard. Preston, Notts, Aston Villa, Sheff Wed, West Brom, Wolves, Old Etonians?, Bolton, Blackburn, Burnley, Sheff Utd, Stoke.

Dave: Back to schoolboy days

Accrington, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton, Burnley, Derby County, Everton, Notts County (You Pies), Preston North End, Stoke FC, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers

Can you name Notts County's current highest goal scorer and by how many goals?

Dan: I think its Les Bradd as I've heard him on Radio Nottingham a few times. Dunno how many he got though, I'll say 250.

Dave: Jamal Campbell-Ryce, 8 goals, leading by 1

Which football club does this stadium belong too?



Dan: Nuneaton

Dave: Tyrell Waite could answer this one, Nuneaton Town (Boro to a lot of fans)

A very close response, question 5 clearly misunderstood poor Dan and I'll word things a little better next time.

Dan: 3 Points
Dave: 4 Points

(I would have given Dave full marks had Pilks been mentioned)

Pride of Nottingham would like to Thank Dan (who must be very busy) for taking part, we'd also like to Thank dave (our resident 2pies) for taking part also, adding Berbatov... honestly you astound me Dave!! Well Done.
Chris

My World - R.I.P Grandad

By Chris, in Media,

When I was little, my brother (older) was always playing football in the garden. I showed very little signs early on of being interested as I preferred playing with toys. I used to spend hours with plastic toy soldiers, these days children don't play enough or go outside but once I did start playing football I quickly fell in love with the sport. I'm hoping my son will also take to the sport, as I think it will do wonders for his confidence. I think it's easier when the people who surround you inspire and draw you into it, which Jake doesn't.

Growing up, I fondly recall my father taking my brother to Derby games. I always wanted to go, it disappointed me that I would always tend to be overlooked. This was something my Grandfather noticed and it's how my love for Notts County started.

Being a young impressionable boy, I mainly liked teams I could watch on television. I used to watch division one games (now the championship).

When I wasn't watching television or playing with my toys, I would be outside playing football with my brother and I quickly became obsessed with playing. Usually towards the end of the week, we would all play outside in the garden and I really thrived being able to play.

My grandfather who was a huge Notts County fanatic would tell me stories, I used to listen with a glee in my eyes and I would always ask him to continue telling me about a story despite there being nothing else to say.

He could tell the most amazing stories, his facts and knowledge were like no other. You could ask a question about the early days which he saw as a boy himself and he would relive it in crystal clear detail.

I'll never forget the kindness, the life lessons he taught me and even now I get upset thinking that he's gone. It's something in honesty I have never got over, he was such an important part of my life and a big role model too.

My early memories of attending games with him always involved around our Wembley trips, he would never allow me or my brother to miss out on going.

I can remember travelling one time in a supporters coach, my grandfather parked his car at my uncles arcade and we waited opposite, outside a pub. This really annoying guy would always make a fuss of my brother and I. My grandfather was an extremely well liked man. Being young however, I hated it when strangers would come up to us and sort of steal our attention.

There's a photo he took,somewhere in my parents house of a goal whilst he and my brother visited a play off final, I think I recall it being against Brighton .

Despite being high up, my grandfather being the person he was, posed with my brother on his shoulders, very fond memory despite not actually being there. I do however flicker back to when we won the Anglo Italian Cup and he did the same thing to both me and my brother, although he was unable to take a photo of course.

On a daily basis he would keep me informed on Notts's news, It was harder when I were little to check on what was going on, no internet and limited resources, it was great being able to bond with my grandfather in this way.

The trips to Meadow Lane were always special, he would always put us first and no matter if he couldn't afford it really, he would still take us.

I used to be fairly confident as a child but I didn't like speaking too much in certain situations. He would often call players so I was able to obtain signatures and I can recall him speaking with Michael Johnson and Phil Turner.

It's a shame I no longer can recall the games that I attended with him, I do recall the Wembley trips but league and home cup ties are virtually just a vague recollection.

My grandfather would collect programmes and thanks to him we have some very old programmes, in fact the earlier one's are no more than team sheets but very rare and special. I've continued this with my son, I collect and ask him to read them to me which he enjoys doing.

Sadly in 05/03/2000 my grandfather passed away at the age of 71, he had believed to be suffering from bronchitis but it turned out to be cancer.

Whenever an occasion would come about that was special, he would guarantee that my brother and I would be there.

The 97/98 season was so special for this reason, I enjoyed having him lift me and proudly hold me in the air like I was the league trophy. On the final game he fell down some steps at Meadow Lane and hurt himself, I tried to help him as I know he would of done me.

The last game I recall going with him was the friendly against Arsenal, he took me for two reasons 1) he didn't think I would see such a team for awhile at Meadow Lane and 2) since I liked them. He spent awhile trying to get Arsenal players in-attendance to sign the programme he bought me and I safely kept somewhere.

I've avoided this sort of thing because it's hard when you lose someone when you're young, in such an unexpected way but I hope he's proud of me. I certainly think my life would have been different had he not been around, so in many ways I have him to thank for so much more than introducing me to Notts County.

He's the proud great grandfather my own children would look up to, my father shares a similar relationship with them as I did with my grandfather.

Raymond Townrow was more than my grandfather, he was my world. I'm thankful that I know he'll be looking after mine and Kate's daughter who we lost so tragically. I take great strength knowing she would have been well looked after with him, so Thank you granddad.
Chris
After a draw against Tranmere Rovers, Notts county return to Meadow Lane where they beat Bury FC 4-1 live on sky sports. Mr Trews notes found in the Carlisle United edition of #themag touches upon the armed forces who were present for charity at Meadow Lane and promoting the good work of Prostate Cancer UK. As always the notes are a highlight with the award winning programme and we're very proud to feature this on our website.

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Meadow Lane for this npower League 1 game against Carlisle United, our first home game since Chris Kiwomya was officially named as manager.

We have some very special guests with us this afternoon, in representatives from the Territorial Army and SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association) promoting the work of our armed forces and helping raise money to help support those that have served for our country.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for the armed forces and the brave men and women who protect our interests and freedom both at home and abroad, so I hope you will make our guests feel most welcome and give generously if you see the collectors around the ground.

We are also promoting the good work of Prostate Cancer UK, the official charity of the Football League for this season. As the most common form of cancer amongst men in the UK, we owe it to our fans to raise awareness of this disease and the treatments and support available to those affected by it.

Lots going on off the pitch then, but of course the reason that we are all here is to see what happens on it and to that end I would like to welcome the players, officials and of course the supporters of Carlisle United to Meadow Lane.

As I mentioned, this is Chris Kiwomya’s first home game since being confirmed as full-time manager and I hope that you will all get behind him as we look to build on the encouraging start that he has made in the job.

I thought that we deserved more from the game at Tranmere on Tuesday night, but if we maintain that level of performance, we will get the rewards that we deserve in the run-in to the end of the season.

Onwards and upwards
Ray Trew
Chairman

Many Thanks to Mr Trew for the notes and the Media Team.
Joe Jones
The sun was shining, the weather was mild, the sky was cloudless today at Meadow Lane. By contrast, the display on the pitch, save for a few bright spells, was overcast and grey, but crucially, Notts County finished the game with three very important points which ensured beaming smiles on the supporters' faces and left the club with a much better outlook for the rest of the season.

Chris Kiwomya, forced to take Julian Kelly's absence into consideration - the full-back is recovering from a calf injury - switched the Notts formation to 3-5-2, slotting Jeff Hughes into the left wing position and shifting Alan Judge to central attacking midfield.

The game began slowly, with a couple of half-chances by Carlisle in the opening exchanges, before Notts threatened in the eleventh minute, but John Cofie lost possession when close to goal.

Francois Zoko, the former Carlisle player involved in the previous move, then set up Judge after beating Frank Simek on the left wing, but the Irishman's chip was caught by keeper Mark Gillespie.

Carlisle had a good chance afterwards, when Gary Liddle blocked Liam Noble's goalbound effort, but afterwards, for a good twenty minutes, both teams were bogged down in midfield and not much happened.

This changed all of a sudden when Cofie picked out Judge, who marauded into the Carlisle penalty box and, catching Gillespie off his line, majestically chipped the ball over the keeper. 1-0, 35 minutes played, the crowd delighted at what they'd just seen.

Neal Bishop threatened five minutes later with a quick breakaway, but couldn't find a player to feed the ball through to. Shortly afterwards, a scramble in the Notts box very nearly led to a Carlisle goal were it not for another great goal-line clearance, this time by Alan Sheehan.

In injury time, Notts nearly doubled their lead, but Zoko couldn't finish a move started by Sheehan, who crossed into the area.

One player who stood out for Carlisle was Lee Miller. Although the majority of the time it was for bad behaviour and baiting the Notts players, he did get a good shot on goal in the 57th minute when a great Bartosz Bialkowski save denied him from six yards out.

Just a few minutes later, Sean O'Hanlon was a dead cert to equalise, but again Bart managed to miraculously keep the shot out, so much so both sets of fans applauded him for his save.

Later on in the game, Notts were under the cosh and needed Bart to bail them out again, James Berrett's fine hit parried behind by the Pole.

The skilled Andre Boucaud, towards the end of the game, unleashed a thunderbolt from 30 yards which smashed against the crossbar and into the crowd, before a fingertip save by Joe Jones and a catch by Notts Joe ensured the ball was back in the keeper's hands promptly. Good honest ball work, no time-wasting and ball-spooning akin to ball boys working for trophy-winning Welsh sides.

The much-maligned Miller finally received his marching orders in the last few minutes, as a headbutt on sub Joss Labadie earnt him a straight red card. His ignominious trudge back to the dressing room was accompanied by the very satisfying chanting of "cheerio, cheerio, cheerio" by the Notts crowd.

Despite some last-ditch Carlisle pressure, Notts were well organised and kept the waves of attacks at bay, and when the final whistle went, it was a cause for celebration as the Magpies earned three desperately needed points, courtesy of the Irish Messi's solitary goal, and managed to keep a clean sheet.

Notts remain tenth on 52 points with a game in hand, eight points off the playoffs, and unbeaten in five with three draws and two wins.
Chris
Carlisle suffered defeat at the hands of Walsall on 26/02/2013, Carlisle have found themselves in poor form in recent games. Notts County come off the back of a draw against Tranmere, which was a game that sounded like we had controlled fairly well. We've taken the time to speak with Dave ahead of our game against Carlisle, the first opposition view in recent times due to being unable to locate an interested party. We hope to continue to feature opposition views when possible.

Firstly, could you tell prideofnottingham.co.uk a little about yourself, such as how long you've been a fan for?

I've been a Carlisle United fan on-and-off since I was a child, although annoyingly I only started going to the games with family the year after our only top flight season. I was an early connector to the Internet, though, and I ran one of the first Carlisle United fansites - Reeves Is Offside Again!

How do you feel about Carlisle United coming into the game on Saturday and what do you think the result will be?

CUFC have been so inconsistent this season that we don't know what to expect from any game, although we do seem to win a few, then have a humiliating defeat, then get a few good results again.

You previously lost to Walsall in what sounded like a very good game, was this a game you were looking forward to?

Not particularly, unfortunately, as my gut feeling was that this was going to be our humiliating defeat, and so it turned out to be.

Could you tell us about Greg Abbott and what your thoughts are of him as a manager?

I think the politest thing I can say is that he is good at keeping his job, but that I've never been convinced about his abilities as a manager.

Please share a high and low point from your memory of supporting Carlisle United?

High points have to be the Wembley finals, and the low points were the seasons at the end of the Knighton era.

What formation do you see Carlisle playing against us and do you generally stick to one formation?

Probably an ineffectual one.......

Will you be travelling yourself to Meadow Lane and how many times have you visited, could you tell us about it?

I won't be there this Saturday, but I have been previously and had a good meal and pint in your supporters area under the stand, chatting with some of your fans.

Who do you consider to be Notts County's danger-man and which of our players would prefer to see marked?

I'll be honest and say that I pay no attention to Association Football other than Carlisle United, so I don't know many players of other clubs. I only watch soccer on TV to be sociable with friends and family.

How many fans do you think Carlisle will bring to Meadow Lane on Saturday?

We always have a strong away following, so I would expect to see at least 400 there.

Are you looking forward to any remaining games and can you tell us why?

I'm looking forward to the last game of the season so that this "nothing of a season" is over. Hopefully we'll avoid relegation, but with Ah'but in charge.......

Where do you think your club will finished at the end of the season along with Notts County?

I think Carlisle will just avoid relegation, but hopefully Ah'but will be gone very quickly and we can look forward to a better season next year. Preferably with better and more ambitious owners, too.....

Pride of Nottingham would like to thank Dave for taking time to answer the question and SadLad for helping find a opposition fan.
Joe Jones
Every Notts fan, young and old, will know about, or at least have heard of, Jimmy Sirrel. The Glaswegian is undisputably the greatest manager in the history of Notts County. Once asked who was the best player in his legendary team of the early 1980s, he nominated his goalkeeper, giving the following reason: "In my opinion, the goalkeeper is the number one man in your team. You start with a point, and if he doesn't lose a goal, you get that. So if you score one, you've won."
The goalkeeper he had in mind was a player he cared about deeply, spending a great deal of money on to bring him to England, as well as investing a lot of time and effort into making him feel welcome and appreciated, in turn becoming one of the top players in that great team. That player was Radojko "Raddy" Avramovic.
Born in Sjenica, a small town in southwestern Serbia (then Yugoslavia), on the 29th November 1949, he began his career at FK Borac Čačak in 1969, before moving to NK Rijeka in 1974, where he established himself, playing 162 games in five years for the club.
Meanwhile, in England, a decades-old rule about restricting the number of foreigners playing in the English league was about to come to an end. Previously, the FA had a rule in place whereby foreigners couldn't play professionally in England, with a couple of notable exceptions such as Bert Trautmann, who served time as a prisoner of war in England before playing for Manchester City.
In 1978, the FA had to remove this rule, when the European Community deemed it contrary to the principles of free movement enshrined in the 1957 Treaty of Rome.
Able to sign foreign players for the first time in 47 years, English clubs began scouting overseas, which saw the likes of Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa come to England.
In Nottingham, Jimmy Sirrel, Notts' manager at the time, toured Europe for two weeks, and in that time spotted Avramovic playing for Rijeka. He reported back to then chairman Jack Dunnet saying he'd found "a goalie who would keep them in the Second Division", and persuaded Notts to part with £200,000 for the Yugoslav, a then record club fee.
Sirrel would put a lot of faith and care into the keeper when he came over to England, aware of the potential issues such as homesickness and acclimatising that may have arisen. Raddy and his family stayed at Jimmy’s house at first until they bought a home of their own. At the beginning of the goalie’s career at Notts there was a social function at which Raddy bought all his new teammates a drink as a friendly gesture. A local Evening Post reporter who covered Notts saw this and wrote a piece about Raddy being a ‘boozer’ and a ‘big-time-Charlie’. The next time that reporter went to Meadow Lane, Jimmy physically got hold of him and had him thrown off the premises and banned from the ground.
Avramovic made his competitive debut for Notts on Saturday 4th August 1979 in the Anglo-Scottish Cup qualifier against local rivals Mansfield, while his first league game was the 4-1 win against Cardiff City on the 18th August.
In his first season, Notts' form was erratic and the club finished in 17th, but the following season was a completely different story, as the club exceeded all expectations to finish second in the league, behind a very strong West Ham side, to gain promotion to the First Division, the top echelon of English football. Avramovic was a key player, taking part in 38 out of 42 league fixtures and keeping sixteen clean sheets.
Rather than finding himself out of his depth in the top flight, Avramovic excelled during the 81/82 season, playing all 42 league games as the club finished clear of relegation in the First Division and registered some impressive results, such as a 2-1 win against Arsenal in October and a 1-0 defeat of reigning champions Aston Villa. Such was his quality that Liverpool legend Ian Rush described how good he was in his autobiography when talking about their game against Notts in January '82.
After maintaining his high standards of goalkeeping once again during the following season, helping Notts survive in the top flight for another year, Raddy left for Canada vith a view to play for Inter Montreal, but then-manager of Coventry Bobby Gould persuaded him to sign up for the Sky Blues, making his debut in a 2-1 home win over Leicester.
He played a total of 24 games - 18 league games and a further six in cup competitions - in his brief spell for the West Midlands club, which saw him lose his first-team place after mistakes against Watford and Stoke, before he returned to Yugoslavia to finish his playing career with OFK Belgrade and to study law.
Avramovic spent some time in Oman before becoming manager of Kuwait, leading The Blue to the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and winning the West Asian Games in 2002.
He then became manager of Singapore, where he enjoyed his most successful spell at the helm, winning the ASEAN Football Championship three times - becoming the most successful coach in the history of the competition - and overseeing the nation's progress to the group stages of the AFC Zone World Cup 2014 qualifiers, a first for the team.
After departing from that role, Avramovic continued his adventure in international management by taking the helm of Myanmar, where he stayed until October 2015.
Whatever his future may hold now, Notts County has always been close to his heart, and likewise, the Magpies fans and hierarchy will always remember him for being a cult hero during one of the club's brightest times led by the club's greatest manager.
Share your thoughts and memories of Raddy Avramovic on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining the conversation.
Joe Jones
Another match day, another bad first half, another good second half, another decent result. Notts' trip to Tranmere saw the Magpies a goal down at half-time, despite a decent performance, but once again turned it on in the second half, inspirational firebrand captain Neal Bishop with the equaliser which led to a frantic finish as both teams desperately tried to win it. Notts started the game with a 4-4-2 formation, Francois Zoko starting up front alongside John Cofie and Alan Judge on the left.

The first chance of the game came on two minutes, as the frankly amazingly named Max Power fired wide for Rovers. Just three minutes later, Michael O'Halloran troubled Bartosz Bialkowski for the first time, the Notts keeper saving from the forward one on one, and another few minutes later, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro had a chance of his own. Tranmere were definitely the brighter side in the first ten or so minutes, although the Birkenhead club suffered an early setback as skipper Andy Robinson fell without any provocation and had to be subbed off.

Jamal Campbell Ryce had a few bad moments in the opening instances, losing possession near the touchline, but he did power a very good cross to Zoko who sadly wasn't able to get a shot in, while Judge's ensuing effort was then wide.

Another Rovers played then took a knock and had to be subbed off, Ian Goodison coming off for Donervon Daniels.

After a fairly even opening 28 minutes, Notts were once again stunned in the first-half, as Abdulai Bell-Baggie fired from deep inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal to gift his side the lead. Bialkowski came out very early, and Bell-Baggie took advantage of this to slide home.

Notts, bemoaning the early loss of the clean sheet once again, nearly equalised from the off, as a cross by Judge was headed on by Neal Bishop and nearly converted by Zoko, while Julian Kelly, who equalised against Bury in the previous game, had another very good chance which was straight at Owain Fon Williams.

The first half ended with the Magpies down on the scoresheet but certainly on the ascendency in terms of pressure and attacking, Tranmere lucky not to have conceded by half time.

The first ten minutes of the second half saw both teams mostly bogged in midfield and creating a couple of half-chances comfortably cleared by the likes of Ash Taylor for the home side and Dean Leacock and Gary Liddle for Notts.

Soon, both teams would spring into life, as Cole Stockton wasted a chance by trying to go solo, resulting in a block and clearance, while a few minutes later, Taylor's effort was bravely saved by Bart.

In response, Jeff Hughes came close with a header in the 65th minute, saved by Fon Williams, while soon after Tranmere caused a scare with their first corner of the game, but Stockton's effort was just over.

Eventually, Notts managed to come from behind once again, as has been the norm over the last couple of games, with a Judge free kick headed into the corner of the Tranmere net by skipper Bishop in the 73rd minute.

Zoko very nearly proved to be the man to put his team in front again a few minutes later, neatly rounding the keeper when through on goal, but wasn't able to finish. On 83 minutes, a delivery by Judge was smashed against the post by Hughes, and buoyed by this action, the game became even more frantic, both sets of fans screaming for their teams to find that all-important winning goal and several players clashing - Power pushed to the Max of his patience and earning a yellow card for his challenge on Zoko - but despite both teams pushing for a goal, the defences were just as driven, and the game finished 1-1.

An away point against a team challenging for promotion may sound like a fair enough result, but judging by the performance and Chris Kiwomya's reaction, Notts definitely had enough quality to win the game, so it may seem like two points wasted. Notts slide to tenth, nine points off the play-offs, but there is definitely a lot to build on, bearing in mind we gave one of the top teams in the division a difficult game, and the new manager has got the team playing good, exciting, promising football again.
Chris

Chairman's Notes - Bury FC

By Chris, in News,

On the back of two consecutive draws with identical score lines, we move onto Bury FC after playing Crewe and Walsall. In recent times we've seen our side play strongly for 45 minutes but often disappointing first halve appearances. The game against Bury was virtually the same, as we allowed them to play direct football and limited our own movements, following up with a wonderful second. In the Bury edition of Mr Trew notes he reflects on our recent performances and caretaker manager Chris Kiwomya who now takes control until the end of the season.

Good evening everyone and welcome to Meadow Lane for this npower League 1 game against Bury that is being shown live on Sky Sports.

We come into this game on the back of a strange couple of performances recently, in which we seem to have been a completely different team in the second half to the first.

I think it would be fair to say that when we’ve been good, we’ve been very, very good though, and I’m hoping to see much more of that from the first whistle until the last this evening.

There has been a lot of speculation about the managerial situation here at Meadow Lane, with Chris Kiwomya appointed as caretaker manager, but the fact is that nothing has really changed, Chris remains in charge whilst we consider our options and that means that he has complete control over first team matters until told otherwise.

I am sure that every supporter has their own ideas on who they would like to see appointed, so whilst we may not be able to please everybody, what I can assure you is that this decision will have been taken after intense consideration of all available options and based on who we think is best placed to take this club forwards.

Back to this evening though and I would like to welcome the players, officials and of course the supporters of Bury that have made the trip down to Nottingham.

It’s always nice for a team to put on a good show in front of the cameras and that’s obviously what we’re all hoping for this evening, so let’s get behind the lads and ensure that we are all doing our bit to show the very best of Notts County both on and off the field tonight.

Onwards and upwards
Ray Trew
Chairman

Pride of Nottingham would like to thank Mr Trew and the Media Team.
Joe Jones
The way Notts's games have panned out recently, the club may consider selling tickets for just the second half. Joking aside, another game of two halves, this time on a Friday evening in front of the Sky Sports cameras, saw Notts play disappointingly and concede in the first 45, before a scintillating second-half display, aided by some lacklustre defending, saw Notts tear Bury apart and score four goals to give the Magpies faithful a great start to the weekend. Chris Kiwomya played a 4-4-2 formation against the Shakers.

Replacing Jeff Hughes and Jacob Blyth with Julian Kelly and Yoann Arquin, a tame opening period saw Notts play cautiously and in their own half, before Jamal Campbell Ryce, on fourteen minutes, threaded a ball to Kelly, whose cross was just too high for Arquin.

The following ten minutes saw Notts assert themselves over Bury, but on 24 minutes, Notts found themselves behind after some hesitant defending was seized upon by Steven Schumacher. The midfielder intercepted Kelly's poor pass and fired a fine shot inside the right hand post past Bartosz Bialkowski.

Not long after, Arquin's attempt was nervously spilled behind by Bury keeper Trevor Carson for a corner, but on the whole, Notts struggled to trouble him much more than that in the first half. There were many instances where the ball would be practically gifted to the opposition with a pass or cross to nobody in particular.

The Notts fans soon voiced their bemusement, and by the half time whistle, after Bury had several more dangerous chances, the boos rang out. Notts were haphazard and shapeless.

Nevertheless, the Notts fans had a quiet sense of confidence that the second half would bring a dramatic change in performance and possibly result.

However, no fan would have foreseen just what was to come.

Kimowya made one change, Francois Zoko coming on for Arquin. Bury started the second half as they finished the first half, confidently and dangerously. David Worrall and Nicky Ajose testing Bialkowski.

However, Notts looked to be playing with more awareness and confidence, and just before the hour, the dangerous John Cofie threaded a pass through to Kelly, who cut inside Ajose and fired into the net, aided by a Joe Skarz deflection.

Buoyed and ecstatic at having pulled one back, the Notts fans celebrated raucously, although the cheers turned to boos as Kelly was booked for his celebration.

Meadow Lane only had to wait about more three minutes before Notts took the lead, as Andre Boucaud's chipped pass was misjudged by Ashley Eastham and Francois Zoko seized on the loose ball to fire into the bottom corner.

The shellshocked Shakers tried desperately to retake a foothold back into the game, but a hopeful attempt by Schumacher was thwarted by Bialkowski.

Now dominant, Notts soon added a third, as another great ball from Boucaud was poorly headed by former loanee Eastham, and Zoko, the substitute, beat Carson and tapped the ball into an empty net.

The fans were truly loving it, and empowered by the increasing volume of the crowd, the Notts players took it upon themselves to attempt a couple of ambitious efforts, Gary Liddle nearly scoring from a 30-yard volley.

Eastham was once again the culprit as he felled Judge inside the box, and JCR fired a confident penalty in front of the Kop crowd to take the scoreline to 4-1.

The frustration soon got to the Bury players, Tom Soares' snarling challenge enraging the crowd and earning him a yellow card.

As the Kop chanted "It's just like watching Juve!", Notts took their foot off the pedal and, despite Bury's forays into the opposition penalty box, they couldn't trouble the Notts defence further, and the game finished 4-1.

This absolutely exhilarating second half display was the perfect start to the weekend for the Notts faithful, and also convinced Ray Trew to give Chris Kiwomya the manager's job on a permanent basis until the end of the season. Notts rise up to ninth, eight points off a play-off place.
Chris

Notts County - View 20/02/13

By Chris, in Media,

This week we ask a series of questions to Natalie and Ben, with a fairly busy week for myself I haven't found enough time to get around to this but I appreciate the interest which we received when we requested fans to come forward. If you are interested in taking part please do let us know, this is something we would like to continue. Many Thanks to Jon and Iain, aswell as Natalie and Ben who answered our questions very swifty. We're very much looking forward to Friday night and hope to see a good crowd! Come on youpies!

Firstly, could you tell prideofnottingham.co.uk a little about yourself, such as how long you've been a fan for?

Natalie: I've supported Notts for over 20 years, done 70 plus grounds watching the Pies.

Ben: I am 16 year old Notts fan and have supported Notts since I was about 11, before this I was not really interested in football at all!

In our last Notts County fan view Vicki mentioned that she had met Jimmy Sirrel. Can you share any similar experiences?

Natalie: I didn't have any similar experiences really.

Ben: I have met most of the players over the last few seasons and I own a signed Sam Sodje shirt from last season which I won through Magpie Player!

What's your thoughts regarding the recent events at Meadow Lane? I.e Keith Curle sacking, High Court Appearance.

Natalie: The sacking of KC was rather premature I think and was unexpected despite 2 wins in 11 games, the high court appearance did not worry me I assumed if it was bad we would have known more about it.

Ben: I am sad to see KC leave, but can’t help but feel if he hadn’t have been sacked, attendances would have remained low until the end of the season. Some Notts fans just never gave him a chance.

Can you share a memory from your childhood and can you tell us who used to be your Notts County hero?

Natalie: Memory from childhood, 1st ever Notts game when I was around 7 years old Vs Liverpool, my Dad took me to the game and I sat in his season ticket seat DP stand and he stood somewhere else!!

Notts hero hmm never really had a hero, I liked Tony Agana for some strange reason

Ben: Lee Hughes and Luke Rodgers were my favourites! Great strike partnership and we won the league. Great season with a great ending!

What got you interested in football and are there any other Notts County fans in your family?

Natalie: My Dad got me into football he has done all 92 grounds watching Notts,he needs Crawley to complete again.My sister and her kids and my daughter are all Notts fans and my Dad.

Ben: My dad took me to Notts when I was about 10, I was reluctant to go at first but as soon as I’d been a few times I became hooked.

Do you have any outstanding football memories from the past and what are your highlights of this season?

Natalie: Football memories the trips to Wembley in the play off final especially gaining promotion to 1st division and the championship winning season 2010.

Ben: My first away game, Chesterfield when we won 3-1 sticks out for me, first time I’d been amongst fans who sang and an all-round quality day. The highlight of this season… well I’m hoping it’s still to come!

If it were possible to bring a past player to the present team who would it be and why?

Natalie: Past player I would bring back would be Tommy Johnson just for his enthusiasm and shooting power and precision.

Ben: So many to choose from, I think the current team needs a prolific striker, Lee Hughes is an obvious candidate but other players that have been in a Notts shirt have gone on to do better things, Brandy, Gow and Bogdanovic all fairly quiet at Notts but now regular goal scorers for their teams. I’d probably bring back Brandy although I would be very happy to see any of these players back!

Do you travel to many away games, previous and this season?

Natalie: I have travelled to many away games hence visiting 70 grounds, not so many this season because of funds, but I do enjoy away games.

Ben: I have been to a few Notts away games, but only the local ones. When I start earning I will try and get to more!

Where do you see us finishing this season?

Natalie: I see us finishing around 12th, but hope to get into the playoffs.

Ben: Play Offs or just outside.

If we could sign another player from a league one team who would it be? (Personally I would sign Paddy Madden)

Natalie: Signing from another league one team would be Dave Kitson, awkward and scores goals.

Ben: Clayton Donaldson, Brentford; Pacey striker who scores week in, week out.

How do you feel about our connection to Juventus and the amazing work that Italian Magpies do?

Natalie: Connection with Juve is unbelievable because we are a small league one club and they are giants and they seem proud to be associated with us which is great!

Ben: QUALITY. I love that fact that we can have some living history at Notts and the Italian Magpies are keeping it alive!

If we don't make the play-offs (as seems likely) what are your hopes for next season?

Natalie: Hopes for next season to be settled and with a settled team, gaining automatic promotion.

Ben: Next season I would like to finish comfortably in the play offs. I'm hoping that we can get a decent manager in and establish a solid starting eleven and get rid of all the dead wood at the club to free up a bit of money. If we can buy some quality in the summer that fits into our style of play, there's no reason why we can't. Enoch is a good example of players bought without thinking about how he would fit into the team. Just seemed all a bit rushed. Hopefully we can get a decent manager in that can build up his team and then next season have a proper run for promotion! You Pies

Pride of Nottingham would like to thank both Natalie and Ben for taking the time to answer our questions, we would also like to thank Iain also for showing interest.
Chris

Italian Magpies

By Chris, in Media,

On the 8th of September 2011 Notts County played Juventus in the opening of their newly built Juventus Stadium. The 41,000 capacity stadium (the first venue to be modernised but downsized) was the host of a special occasion. Juventus could have played a host of major footballing sides, such as the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona or even Manchester United, they decided to choose history, a kind gesture very unlikely in modern football and it's one which has featured proudly in our own 150 years of formation since the amazing opening ceremony.

A year later a group of travelling Juventus supporters decided to pay homage to where they originally got their black and white shirts, back in 1903.

On the 21/01/12 as Notts prepared to play MK Dons, the group
of travelling fans was shown around Meadow Lane. The game ended 1-1, Jeff Hughes equalizing in the 81st minute from a penalty, salvaging the points for Notts County but also giving the travelling supporters something to cheer about.

The following day the 22/01/12 the travelling Juventus supporters decided to form a group called the 'Italian Magpies'. This act, a really humble gesture, has since seen them heavily promote the work of the club.

To the credit of Italian Magpies they've bound the black and white stripes bringing both clubs closer together.

Our supporters and theirs enjoy friendly relations, as Notts County's official Facebook page had been well received with kind comments from the european giants fans. In recent years this has opened the doors to more foreign based support for the club, credit which Italian Magpies can share.

The successful site italianmagpies.com is the place for Juventus and Notts County fans to respectfully share the achievements, as the team write up daily articles based on the current on-goings.

Having celebrated the sites first full year, Pride of Nottingham were lucky enough to be a part of this as we share a close link with them. (Just as Notts does with Juventus)

To current date Italian Magpies share their dedication on
social streams such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. They've recently celebrated a great achievement of reaching 2500 likes, which isn't bad going for a year! A great sign and reward for their efforts. On twitter they stand at 614 followers which is another sign of how widely popular the work they do is.

It's something in recent weeks we've been trying to highlight, as we appreciate the support given to us. We are very proud of our bond, humble and honoured that we have their backing.

As they move forward we hope to be closely behind them, we also wish them all the best for the future and look forward to their return visit.

We praise them for this long running dedication, something we here at PoN hope to be able to do ourselves as plan to visit Juvenus very much so in the near future. If you're unfamiliar with Italian Magpies or haven't liked or followed them please find their respective pages below, including a link to their informative site.

Forza Juve and Forza Notts County, more importantly Forza Italian Magpies!

Italian Magpies | Site - Facebook - Twitter - Youtube
A day like no other - By Notts-Joe

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest league 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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