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Joe Jones
On a warm April's day, Notts County fans were treated with an impressive display by the Magpies players, who defeated top of the table Doncaster 1-0 away at the Keepmoat Stadium in an exciting, edge of your seat clash. Buoyed by an impressive home win against Colchester the previous week, Chris Kiwomya once again selected a mix of established first teamers and youth players. Surprisingly, Krystian Pearce was picked in the starting eleven, the 23yr old not having started since March 2012.

While Tyrell Waite's MOTM performance against the U's ensured his inclusion in the team. Fabian Speiss lined up between the sticks in place of the ill Bartosz Bialkowski.

The first five minutes saw both teams try and suss each other out, with little happening. Before long, however, Notts got the game's first shot on target courtesy of Alan Judge.

Two minutes later, Dean Leacock's side foot attempt from an Alan Sheehan corner went just wide.

On fourteen minutes, Alan Judge was upended by Rob Jones, and for the free kick, he laid the ball to midfielder Joss Labadie. His effort from thirty yards was spectacular, flying into the top corner and leaving veteran keeper Neil Sullivan with no chance.

1-0 to the visiting Magpies, and if Alan Partridge was commentating on the game, I'm sure the old "foot like a traction engine" cliche would have been apt for this occasion.

Doncaster were very haphazard and sloppy in the first half, and didn't give Speiss too much hard work to do. Passes were mishit and their players' ball control wasn't worthy of a team at the summit of the league with two games to go.

Nevertheless, they got some shots in, courtesy of Billy Paynter and Rob Jones, and did actually manage to get the ball in the net, as Dean Furman fired home from close range on 24 minutes, but much to the chagrin of the Rovers fans, literally leaping out of their seats, and the stadium scoreboard operator, who changed the result on the screen the second the ball made contact with the net, the goal wasn't given.

Near the end of the half, a flurry of activity in the Notts box was successfully thwarted, as Leacock blocked a dangerous James Coppinger shot, while Speiss was on top form to deny John Lundstram and Chris Brown. Meanwhile, Jamie McCombe's header was over.

The half time whistle blew on an exciting half, and after the obligatory leg-stretching foray out of the stands, the game restarted with Pearce being upended by Brown in the Notts area.

With all to play for, Doncaster were a rejuvenated team in the second half, and made their attacking intent well known with a dangerous head shot by Paynter and a free kick by David Cotterill.

The Notts defence had to be at the top of their game to repel the Rovers advances, with Speiss punching the ball clear on several occasions and the defenders contributing important blocks - Gary Liddle and Sheehan put their bodies on the line to deny Coppinger and David Syers.

Pearce, the defender who hasn't played for Notts since the start of Keith Curle's tenure, then made a glorious goal-line clearance to stop Paynter's shot. Cue much frustration and anger by the Rovers players and fans, who had heard that Bournemouth were leading Carlisle and, should the results stand, would have pushed them into second.

At the other end, the home team could have been 2-0 down, Labadie's long range attempt this time flying wide of the top-left hand corner on 81 minutes.

The final ten minutes had were do or die for Doncaster, who needed to win to ensure promotion.

Coppinger, Iain Hume, and Jones all tried desperately to soil the Notts clean sheet, but a final titanic defensive effort by the Magpies ensured the final whistle blew on a nerve-jangling game for both sets of fans.

The defeat not only denied Rovers fans the chance to celebrate automatic promotion to the Championship, but set up a tense, dramatic encounter next Saturday away to Brentford, two points behind them.

Even a draw against Notts would have left them in a tricky, albeit healthier, position going into next week's game against third-placed Brentford, as a comprehensive defeat would have seen them swap places courtesy of the goal difference criteria, but now it's as simple as "lose, and you're in the play-offs".

If things go their way, Doncaster could yet finish as champions, but if they lose, then it'll be a case of falling at the very final hurdle, as there will yet be three very difficult and testing games for the Rovers, while Brentford will officially be confirmed as a Championship team at the Yorkshire team's expense.

As for Notts, their season has long been over, but it's great to see the team prove that it can beat anyone on their day, and it capped off what was a lovely sunny day for all the travelling fans. One more game to go, at home to Coventry, and if things go Notts' way, we can finish in the top ten, which would be a nice boost.
Joe Jones
After three losses on the bounce and an aura of negativity increasingly festering over Meadow Lane, fans were given plenty of reasons to be optimistic for next season with a convincing display against Colchester United on Saturday. Prior to the game, guests of honour Giorgio Zunino and the Italian Magpies were introduced to the thousands of fans in the stands, who responded with applause and cheers.

Aside from their commitment and passion, the boys and girls from Italy brought some good luck with them too, As the Magpies won 3-1. Courtesy of goals from Jeff Hughes, Yoann Arquin and youth team star Romello Nangle.

A mix of suspensions and injuries and the lack of either promotion or survival to play for meant that, with a view to next season, some of the young guns were given a chance. Manager Chris Kiwomya began the game in a 4-4-2 formation, giving Curtis Thompson and Tyrell Waite their first starts for Notts and reinstating Haydn Hollis to the starting eleven.

Colchester had the brighter start, winning a corner after three minutes, while Notts had a corner of their own on eleven, which came to nothing.

A minute later, Hughes had the first chance of the game, Jamal Campbell-Ryce's good hold-up play setting the Northern Irishman up, but the effort was well wide.

Moments later, Colchester had a good chance of their own, Drey White drawing a good save from Bartosz Bialkowski. The resulting corner should have been a goal, but luckily, unmarked Jabo Ibehre's close range header was just wide.

Shortly after, JCR was again involved, his powerful shot from 30 yards flying narrowly wide. Prompted by the scoreboard, gasps of "oooohhhh" filled the air.

On eighteen minutes, young Waite delivered a low cross that Hughes just about connected with, on the slide. Colchester keeper Sam Walker couldn't do enough to keep it out and it was 1-0 Notts.

Just before the half hour mark, Alan Sheehan's free kick was nearly converted by Waite, but Walker was first to it.

On 37 minutes, the U's equalised, Andrew Bond's low cross evading Bart and faling to Ibehre, who clumsily helped it over the line.

Joss Labadie, perfoming with renewed vigour following his loan spell to Torquay, played a pass to Thompson, who, beating his marker, tested Walker with a sweet left-foot strike.

Just before half time, a collision between Labadie and Colchester's David Wright held up play for around ten minutes, as paramedics and physios attended to him. The full-back was taken to hospital with suspected concussion.

The half, having had the sting taken out of it by the delay, ended with both teams level, and after the restart, Wright's replacement, John-Joe O'Toole, connected with Brian Wilson's free kick but sent it wide.

Just before the hour, another dangerous Sheehan free kick was met by Leacock's header, but the lack of strength in it meant the chance was saved.

Bialkowski, so often the hero for Notts County, showed just why he is so highly rated with two top class saves, from Bond's volley and later from Garmston's free kick.

At the Colchester end, JCR once again troubled the U's keeper, as his long range howitzer, aiming for the bottom left corner, was palmed away by Walker.

Waite, having played a good game for which he was voted Man Of The Match, was substituted for Arquin, and within four minutes, he was on the scoresheet, having headed in a Sheehan corner.

Significantly, his goal marked the first time a striker has scored for Notts since the Bury game back in February.

Better was to come, though, as Nangle came on for another youngster, Thompson, and as the game ticked over the regulation ninety minutes, Enoch Showunmi delivered a pass which fell nicely to the unmarked forward.

Goodness knows what feelings of overwhelming pressure would have been going through his head in that split second, but as his shot went through the legs of Walker for the decisive final goal, his joyous, passionate, cathartic celebration in front of the Kop said it all, a moment sure to live forever not just in his memory, but the memory of all Notts fans who saw it up close.
Chris

A day like no other

By Chris, in News,

The past couple of days for myself haven't been like any others, it's actually been awhile since I felt this type of excitement. I had been asking the Italian Magpies quite a few times when or if they planned to come over, very much wanted to meet them, and I can now say I have had that pleasure. What an absolute honour for us, to be included and able to share the day is just beyond anything I can write or say. Very surreal! It felt like the whole two days were more than just a gathering, almost family being reunited – Two Hearts and One Soul.

I'm not sure I can give this occasion the credit it deserves, yet I am inspired with ideas and so I will be turning this into a couple of blogs also. I think Nottingham/Italy will be hitting the Facebook severs with how many statuses/image uploads have been made (or should I say will be).

The day for me and Jake started off by catching the bus into town. We had arranged to meet up with Andy Black at the train station as a couple of the Italian Magpies were travelling down.

I felt pretty nervous. I can usually overcome this if I push myself but I think the excitement didn't allow me to do so. I pretty much stayed in the background but was concerned about seeming rude or uninterested, just very overwhelming.

We got to near the Broadmarsh bus station and I noticed Andy, Paul, Lindy and Josh walking. I mentioned to Jake they were who we were meeting up with and he kindly reminded me of a time. I shouted 'You Pies' to Lindy in the Broadmarsh shopping centre as they walked out of Wilkos.

Paul quickly noticed us, and he said hello and I introduced Jake to the group. I'm sure he must have felt a lot like me, if not worse, though both Paul and Lindy were amazing with him.

After meeting up with two travelling Italian Magpies, Max and Phil (His real name isn't Phil), we all walked down to the Jury's Inn where the rest of the group had been staying. Jake by this point was a little more nervous and he was getting a little impatient, as children do.

When everyone was together, it was amazing. The bond was interesting, as an outsider to watch, as you could tell instantly it was a special group of friends who all enjoyed the excitement of such an amazing event.

A quick tram journey to the City Centre, another short walk to Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, several photos taken at this point and a nice look around the pub. The group sat down, we all enjoyed our drinks and the laughter/banter started to come a little more.

Jake by this point was playing games with me, at one point he pretended to be Spiderman and insisted I was the bad guy who he was going to beat up. He can get quite hyper if allowed, though he's a credit to me and my wife (very lucky with all 3 of our children). He wanted to put his “Pride of Nottingham” T-Shirt on and was asking if I would be handing out flyers.

Jake wanted to hand some to the Italian Magpies, though I didn't really like the idea and I was sure, thanks to the kind work of Giorgio Zunino, that each would know about the site. He quickly came out of his shell, laughing and asking me questions.

Andy returned from meeting up with Paolo and his son. Jake by this point was very, very excited about the day ahead and repeatedly mentioned 'Can I say hello to them'. I was already on the verge of doing so myself, however Jakes enthusiastic largely helped and we went across to introduce ourselves.

We finished our drinks and then we had another short walk to the Robin Hood statue where we had many photos taken, Jake being a little poser was disappointed as I wouldn't allow him to go into the photos and I asked him to wait so they had one with all the Italian Magpies without myself or him photo bombing.

Amazing, I might type this quite a few times but all the group were very kind to Jake (I know he'll be proud of this for years to come). Phil kindly gave Jake his “Juve Scarf” and things like this always makes him very happy, He was very grateful.

The journey continued with something Nottingham residents would have wondered what was going on. A large group of Notts County supporters walking to the ground, all very proud and acting as any football fans should – respectful to all.

Once at Meadow Lane the event stepped up to a much higher level, 'special' just doesn't give it credit and I'm afraid I can't explain it.

Walking onto the pitch with the Italian Magpies – One of our proudest memories. Included as friends and a affiliates. Do they ever stop giving? Such loyal, passionate and amazing people who I wished I had gotten to know much better. I have to say I wished I could have come out my shell a lot more, however I enjoyed it and you can tell that they did.

Credit needs to go to Lisa and Andy Black, great hosts and they've introduced the Italian Magpies to the best of Notts County. Lindy, Paul and Josh all credit to the group as-well. The club did fantastic to make this day special, I hope it brings us all closer together.

Juventus doesn't owe a single thing, the Italian Magpies travel for the passion and much to their dedication. I hope the day is documented by the club because each visit does deserve to be remembered in a nice way.

After all the amazing efforts from many, this was exactly the type of “positive” day the club as been in need of for a very long time. We need things to lift the spirit, fans majority amazing, also very warm and welcoming.

People clapping such deserved support! I felt like an imposter and rather feeling I didn't deserve the memory, I still don't but I am thankful.

Thank you to everyone who made Jake feel on top of the world, all the warmth and love. I sincerely hope the Italian Magpies had a great time, feel the warmth and love we all gave. If I am not too selfish, I would also like to mention that I dearly hold on to the future and hope to get to know them all much better.

Italian Magpies – Dear friends of Notts County Football Club.
super_ram

Notts County - 1862

By super_ram, in Media,

I have now written a brief introductory article about football up to the time of Notts formation in 1862 and will continue with more:-i.e. The formation of the F.A. and Football League and come up to date with, hopefully, interesting and informative articles. I enjoy reading about the history, players, and ups and downs of other clubs. I hope other site member do also and will add their own comments to give us all a better insight into football's rich history. Notts-Joe has asked me to write up about the history of football, not just relating to Notts County.

On 28th of November 2012 Notts County celebrated 150 years of existance.

Notts formation came about 50 years before The Titanic sank, 26 years before Jack the Ripper found notoriety. Across the Atlantic the American Civil war was being fought(1862-1865), Here in England, in the middle of Queen Victoria's reign, great things were happening.The lives of people in England were soon to be changed and then the whole world. The phenomenon we call Football was about to explode.

Football was much different back in Dickensian Britain. Games involving ball like objects have been played for centuries. Football evolved as Mob Football and in the Middle ages every town or village would play it's own version, usually on public holidays. A good but watered down example of this is still played in Ashbourne each Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.

There were no set rules and often resulted in injury and damage to property. Many Kings have tried to prohibit football over the centuries, for various reasons, but football in some form would not go away.

The industrial revolution in the 1700's brought about improved methods of manufacture and production It also helped change Britain from a rural to an urban country with rapid growth of populations in cities and towns particularly in Lancashire, Yorkshire and The Midlands.

The workers were now being employed in large factories instead of their own homes and it's not too difficult to imagine impromptu games taking place after work. Public schools also had developed differing styles of ball games. These were often more like Rugby with a mixture of kicking and throwing and encouraged as character building.

The first signs of teams being formed were beginning to be seen and with the coming of the railways by the mid 1800's, cheaper public transport was available.Another revolution was about to take place and NOTTS COUNTY would be at the forefront.

To be continued - Discuss Super Rams Series in the Community.
Chris

Backing the Black & White

By Chris, in News,

The survival of any football league team ultimately falls down to it's fans. If the clubs are fortunate to be in a position where they can spend money, usually at our level or the one above, again it's down to the support. As you fall further down the footballing pyramid it's often uncommon to see cash being spent on players, minus the few exceptions. Most clubs make use of wheeling and dealing, free transfers and of course their own youth system. At Notts County we ourselves realize that our own team is mainly built around free transfers, aside from Judge and Boucaud.

Top name players naturally attract interest with a team full of stars. The likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and of course Manchester United, among many others no doubt will perhaps fail to worry about the concern of support.

When the support is utilized the effects can be noticeable, the combination of passion and dedication can take a team quite far.

We've seen many successful cup runs in recent years, I have no doubt it's a result of optimism and something which encouraged our players to play at their peak or perform at a level good enough to warrant such runs.

Obviously a lot comes down to pre-match training, coaches and even the players themselves , but without the boost, the support, where would they gain the spring in their steps? Any footballer is hardly going to want to fail, It's about getting the most of them and if this is being failed for any reason, doom and gloom is hardly going to have the desired impact.

I've been concerned with the lack of passion for some time. When things are going right, for many, there's still enough for fans to complain about.

I can understand a level of disappointment but when do you draw the line? I'm sure we are all passionate people, all wanting the best for the respective clubs we support but what difference can we make? I feel a lot myself.

No, we can't change how the players perform, this is down to management and their own desire. Often enough, when we go a goal down, well the passion dies with it. I miss the days when a fan would stand up and start chanting, drawing others into singing as well. We used to be fairly good at bouncing back. The term 'bounce back ability' was something I often heard mentioned.

Times during the previous seasons (just not under Paul Ince) I felt confident that we could turn results around. We've been a side that's always been made up of 'team players' and the odd reliable player in the correct area I.E. Lee Hughes.

The thing I'm trying to get at is, nothing is possible unless we all work towards the same goals. If we lose 5-0 on Saturday,God I hope we don't now, but if we do, what's the point in allowing ourselves to go on the downward spiral.

We expect the players to pick themselves up, even pretend that certain players warrant the abuse they receive, but at the end of the day when are we, as fans, going to do the same? If a player or manager was to swear and verbally abuse you for not backing the club 100% you would probably stop attending games.

I can understand the concerns with regards to expense, although I will openly say here that I feel for some it's an excuse to a show a lack of support. It's obviously not always the circumstance but if you find yourself in the situation of not being able to afford something, would you really shout it from off the top of your roof?

Really, I praise the club for putting out attractive offers and I hope that fans will consider renewing or purchasing a season ticket. All the revenue gained will no doubt be spent on the club, so if we're to move forward in the right way, it's about trying to support the club as much as we possibly can. As a family, my Wife and I have to choose which games we can attend all together but there's nothing we like more than watching the club as a whole family.

If I could go with my family, see the smiles on their faces, and believe me it happens even when we're losing. Well it's a good day out regardless of the result. We've witnessed our team play and have shared a memory together. I made similar comments at the home game against Rotherham United in the cup, it's all about the ups and downs.

God forbid if we were to fall on worrying times again, how would we handle this situation again? Life's not about giving up, it's about making the most of it. The future really is Black and White, so if we're going to make a difference lets make it together?

Please do consider backing the club, your support will always be appreciated by the club. Over the years I am sure many season ticket holders have made firm friends, those who attend every now or then will most likely know someone too.

We are a League One team on the up, no longer the League Two side fearing the drop into the unknown and to avoid this we need to believe we can achieve.

If anyone at the football club reads this, I firmly believe in our title and site name. I would be mad to use it otherwise. We might be a small minority at the moment but the difference that's trying to be reached, for me, is clearly noticeable. Lets do this properly!

You can find ticket details here, onwards and upwards as Mr Trew would say.
Joe Jones
Despite a dream start on the south coast, courtesy of Jeff Hughes' early goal, Notts County were undone by three goals as Bournemouth kept their pressure on table-topping Doncaster with a home win. Chris Kiwomya began the game in a 4-5-1 formation, the returning Joss Labadie replacing the suspended Alan Judge in midfield and shifting Hughes to the left, while Enoch Showunmi was the lone frontman. Bartosz Bialkowski was back in goal, having recovered from the illness which kept him out of the Easter Monday defeat against Yeovil.

Notts took the lead within two minutes, as good work from Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Julian Kelly allowed Labadie to get a cross to Hughes, and the Northern Irishman converted with a strong header which beat the keeper Ryan Allsop's save.

The Cherries, shocked by this development, set about trying to claw back the deficit, and just a couple of minutes later, Simon Francis fired a low shot which Bart saved easily, while Brett Pitman's shot on eight minutes went wide.

Pitman and Matt Ritchie would each get another attempt on goal before, on 16 minutes, the latter got on the scoresheet with a goal from the edge of the area, beating several defenders and Bart as it went into the bottom left corner. 1-1, and the Cherries were in the mood for more.

The versatile Marc Pugh was a threat, pinging in several crosses into the Notts area, while Steve Cook and Matt Tubbs got efforts in, and their pressure was rewarded on 26 minutes as the dangerous Pitman found the net with a powerful goal from just outside the box.

The Notts players protested, feeling that Tubbs had handled in the build-up to the goal, but his effort stood, and the Magpies, 1-0 up within two minutes, were now 2-1 down courtesy of the 16-goal hitman.

It was so nearly 17 for the prolific striker, but his 20-yard effort on 37 minutes was wide.

Worse was to come for Notts as Andre Boucaud, booked on 28 for unsporting behaviour, received a second yellow on the stroke of half-time for a challenge, a very harsh decision as it wasn't a caution-meriting tackle. The travelling Notts fans made their feelings well known as the first-half whistle blew.

Cherries defender Simon Francis was booked after committing two rash tackles in two minutes, the first on Hughes - prompting the fans to sarcastically celebrate a decision finally going their way - then on JCR.

Labadie's ensuing free kick was dangerous and seemed to be heading for the top-right corner, but was well saved by Allsop and out for a corner kick.

Bournemouth's Harry Arter produced a fine effort which forced Bart into a full-stretch save to his left, while at the other end, the referee once again incurred the wrath of the travelling Magpies as Showunmi was felled in the Bournemouth box, but no penalty was given. Neal Bishop's in-play attempt was well over.

On 73 minutes, JCR delivered a great ball into the area, but Showunmi wasn't able to get his head to it. It was to be his final effort, as he was replaced by young Tyrell Waite just after.

As the game went into its final ten minutes, Sheehan's floated free-kick wasn't properly cleared by the home defenders, but Hughes couldn't make anything of it, miscontrolling the ball as it fell to him.

The game was finally put to bed on the 85th minute as Matt Ritchie, voted League One Player of the Year the week before, put Notts out of their misery with a clinical finish from the edge of the penalty box into the bottom right-hand corner. 3-1, game over.

Interestingly, the last time Notts were beaten by a two-goal margin in the league before today was against Stevenage on the 5th February, and before that on the 27th October. It's not something that's happened often this season.

Sadly, a combination of a demotivated team with nothing to play for, the same old problems up front, a determined and dangerous Bournemouth containing some of the strongest players in the league with all to play for, and bad refereeing, Notts staff and fans faced a long trip back North with a bitter taste in their mouth. Is the season over yet?
Chris
Bournemouth come into this game with a very impressive winning streak of 5 games, prior to this completely the opposite with a 5 game losing streak. Notts County roll on the back of two disappointing defeats at the hands of Brentford and Yeovil, surprisingly the same score lines. Pride of Nottingham has taken the time to speak with young Bournemouth fan Max ahead of our game against them on Saturday. We hope all traveling fans enjoy the day out and fully get behind the team, lets give Chris his chance and lets support him 100%!

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

I'm a 16 year old student currently doing my first year of A-Levels and have been a Bournemouth fan since I was about 5, my first game being during the 01/02 season. I've seen a promotion, a relegation and numerous average Bournemouth sides so far, but I lived in Toronto, Canada from 2008-2012 so this has been my first season as season ticket holder since the 2007/08 season.

At the start of the season things didn't quite go to plan for Bournemouth, prior to your 2-0 win over Orient what were you thinking?

It was very worrying to be honest. The previous season had been odd, it had started awfully but had picked up and we received new Russian financial investment, but Paul Groves had been placed in interim charge in February after Lee Bradbury was sacked. Groves proved during his spell as caretaker manager that he wasn't up to the job (I think we won once or twice) but our very controversial chairman decided to hire him anyway. We had high aspirations with such an expensive and talented squad, but the opening 11 games were disastrous and the team looked on course for a relegation battle. Personally, I thought we had a group of talented but overpaid individuals who could not work as a team.

Your form greatly improved after the win, having a run of 15 games unbeaten. What would say the turning point was?

For me the turning point was the first home game after Eddie Howe was announced as our new manager, a 2-0 win over Leyton Orient. It was the first of these 15 games but a determination was finally present in the players and they showed their potential. With a club hero back for a second spell in charge, it truly felt like there were good times ahead, although obviously a lot of work still had to be done.

Please tell us about a couple of your favourite away days so far this season?

My favourite away day was our 3-0 win at MK Dons in early February. We were on a good run and had also just signed Matt Ritchie from Swindon, so I think all Bournemouth fans were in a pretty good mood already. I think most people like to win their because it symbolizes everything that is wrong with football is present at that place, but our match was not just another win. We took the lead early on, but on the verge of half-time MK forward Ryan Lowe tried to headbutt our captain Tommy Elphick; a couple of minutes later Lowe jumped in with a two footed tackle (assault would describe it more accurately) and was sent off with Elphick being stretchered off too. The fans were livid but we grabbed a second just right after, and a superb shot from Harry Arter capped off a fine victory in a very important match.

Recently our 1-0 win at Colchester on Good Friday was another important victory in front of a good travelling support nearly matched my day at MK. We also came into this match on the back of a decent run of form and we knew that 3 points would be significant as we aim for promotion to the Championship. While Colchester's ground is another soulless place, it was a comfortable win for us and many Colchester fans calling us "disgraceful" and "cheats" after the game made winning even sweeter.

How is Matt Richie settling at the club and how important of a signing as he been so far?

On the face of it, it would be easy for opposition fans to view Ritchie as being overrated due to his lack of goals and assists so far. However, a defensive injury crisis forced him to play left-back for his first couple of months here, and he filled in superbly for a small right-winger. Since moving back to his natural position, he has already scored once and set up a couple of goals, showing how much there is still yet to come from him. It also helps that we took a player of his ability away from our promotion rivals, Swindon Town.

Brett Pitman like Eddie Howe, seems to bring the best out of Bournemouth. 15 goals so far, another impressive return. Why do you think this is?

Brett is a very unique player, and despite his goalscoring record, the kind of player many still somehow manage to criticize. He has an odd style that sometimes makes him seem rather lazy and unfit, but he's the kind of player that can be anonymous for an hour then pop up with a wonder goal. He has his form once more here and Eddie Howe knows how to bring the best out of him, proven by his goal scoring record with us in League Two. Lewis Grabban plays up front alongside him, running the channels allowing Brett to stay in dangerous areas constantly, and his finishing ability allows him to score a lot of goals.

Back when were both in League Two, how different would you say things are now for both clubs?

It's almost impossible to compare both clubs to when they were in League Two. When we were in that division, we had literally no money, often having to play our assistant manager on the bench and we weren't allowed to sign any players. Our success was totally down to a squad with brilliant team spirit, many of whom went on to play at a higher level. Now we have one of the most expensive teams in the league, higher crowds, and a new training ground- it's almost a different club.

I can't say I'm an expert on Notts County, but I do remember the Munto Finance group and Notts receiving significant financial backing during that campaign and ultimately winning the league. Personally, I think Notts have built off of that promotion well and certainly established themselves as a solid team at this level. While I'm sure many of yours fans would like to be further up the table, I wouldn't be surprised to see The Magpies challenging for promotion in the near future should they find the correct manager.

Currently sitting in 2nd place, do you feel Bournemouth can grind out the result required to finish in an automatic place?

Automatic promotion is more than attainable, but the League Table is slightly deceiving right now as a few teams have games in hand on us. We only face one team challenging for promotion in our remaining games, which so far has worked in our favour. The team has proved it can grind out those difficult 1-0 wins, when some teams would concede devastating last minute goals. There is a certain professional ethic present in the squad when they take to the pitch, and while I do think this team can finish in the top two, it will require us to win most if not all of these games and other teams to drop points.

Eddie Howe return to Bournemouth, he seems to get the most out of your squad. What are your views on Eddie as a manager?

I do not have anything negative to say about Eddie as a manager. Each season he has been in charge here he has achieved something spectacular; in 200809 he saved us from relegation, in 2009-10 we won promotion, when he left in 2011 we were in the top 6 of league one and this year he has taken us from 21st to 2nd place. He comes across as an intelligent man in his interviews and clearly loves the club, I'm not sure Bournemouth fans would swap him for any other manager. His only fault is that his two loan signings (Marcos Painter and Dan Seabourne) have been terrible!

Which Notts County do you consider to be a threat and which single player would you like to see marked successfully?

I didn't go to the reverse fixture and have to base my judgements off of highlights and reputation, but Alan Judge often seems to be involved or scoring goals, and he was also nominated for League One player of the year. He seems to be a tricky, dangerous player who could definitely pose us a threat come Saturday. Another player who has captured my attention is Jamal Campbell-Ryce who caused us numerous problems at Meadow Lane and has been a good player for years now, but Judge is the man I hope we can keep quiet.

Who are your danger-men and who would you say poises Notts County the most risk?

We aren't necessarily a team built around one or two 'star players' as practically all eleven of our starting eleven on Saturday play an important role. Brett Pitman is obviously scoring a lot of goals right now, so I'd say he's the man for Notts to keep an eye on. However Matt Ritchie is very dangerous when on the ball, and he scores most of his goals from outside the box, but his determination to whip in a cross whenever he receives the ball is what can cause a defence a lot of problems.

Can you tell Pride of Nottingham about the facilities around the ground and Bournemouth in general?

The location of our ground is rather unique for a football ground in this country. It's not great for pubs or restaurants around the ground, but those can be found within a 5-10 minute walk in nearby Boscombe. Boscombe isn't in the immediate area but it has pubs and restaurants making it often the choice of away supporters. The plus side of our location is that it's conveniently located just off the road entering the town, but it's by a large park and houses making it more appealing than other new builds in the middle of an industrial estate. Bournemouth does have a reputation as a place 'where people go to die' but it's a nice place to live, I'd say go to the beach but unless you fancy strong winds and freezing water I wouldn't go there!

Pride of Nottingham would like to Thank Max for sharing his views and comments, he kindly took time out from his holiday to answer them. #Passion!
Chris

My take on the fans forum

By Chris, in News,

I eagerly looked forward to the fans forum, I felt it was the perfect chance for things finally to come into perspective and focus to the concerning matter of 'support'. Usually I would have missed this, I wouldn't want to sit alone through an event like this and I was very grateful for Jurgenpie allowing me to tag along with him. I feel as always it's proven to me how naive I am, as my eyes widen further to what was a pretty disappointing night for me. I enjoyed the company but the night could be so much more, which I feel should have been the aim.

The night started off with a question pointing out the absence of the players, I agree to a point but I don't feel all of the players should have been there. Key players, anything more would have turned the night into a complete witch hunt. Another question raised was the concern of the Sirrel stand being empty, which isn't the case as the away fans are seated in the stand but I felt a little sorrow when I thought of the fond memories I have of sitting in that stand myself with my Grandfather, who I believe would understand that it makes no sense to spend money filling a stand, when we can't fill two others.

Chris put himself across rather well, I liked his answers and his passion. I believe we as fans need to make a turning point ourselves and some things we need to respect will not change. It's for us to make the stands a place to be heard but with very little reason I don't see much changing but I personally try.

The pitch for me has become an area to blame, the pitch is poor but football is being played and if we can be beaten on it, well we can win simple as that. The fact is the players need to learn to raise their game, they need to get used to it.

Ambition seemed to be questioned with words of 'backing'. I think any potential striker will look at many different aspects and unfortunately Notts County isn't always going to be their number one choice.

It's important that any players who do come are given a chance, they need to prove themselves although far too many players receive negative comments far too early on. Walsall for example have unproven strikers and have supported them, it helps them and give a much needed boost. They aren't struggling, the case for me is Arquin can be a very important player if we look to play to his strengths.

Admission prices should be met with deals and the club is doing very well with this, regards to my opinion and I am very glad to see the increase of a free childs season ticket bought with an adult season ticket. I will be taking up this option myself, the fan yesterday who said he had two children and couldn't afford it. Well I have three, my children love attending games and I have to choose who I can and can't attend with. As a family club it's all about 'families' and deals should be made to keep attracting them, as a regular guy with no general background it could be lost in the future but a family who live and breathe Notts County clearly have it in their blood.

Students are a great option, although not as attractive for me, as they may simply move on and attract lifestyles away from the city. I think things need mixing, creativity with admission fees is the answer and knowing the market more wisely would greatly benefit the club.

Performances, well this comes down to many things and it includes morale. At this point in the season we sadly won't see the best of all the players and I feel we should, though morale is a funny thing and it's all down to getting the best out of the players. I don't feel Chris fails to motivate them, I personally think it's a big ask for an unexperienced manager but he's a role model for any player to look up to.

Top Spenders, isn't exactly the answer. You need the right balance of cost and value, I think we have a few too many players increasing our budget compared to some of the smaller clubs and sadly the mentioning of a top six budget gives some fans high expectations, we deserve to be placed where our budget falls and this isn't football.

Gary Lidde, I've been a huge fan of him and he is underrated in my opinion. When we saw the return of Manny I took to the official facebook page and commented on how he should return back to midfield, it was greeted with abusive responses and negativity. If Gary enjoys playing at the back fair enough, though I do feel it's worth giving him the chance to shine as he does in defence but back in a more forward position, after all we see him making the runs often enough and him pushing up from defence.

I would also like to note, I would be disappointed for us to move on from Meadow Lane even if we had the money. Making the ground smaller isn't the answer, just because Juventus do something quite successfully, along with a few other clubs doesn't mean it's our answer.

Yesterday I left the fans forum a little disheartened, probably rudely to those I was with which wasn't my intention. I walked (on crutches) to the city centre wondering why I bother, why I try to make a difference and why I should continue but the answer is I love the club my grandfather introduced me to.
Chris

PoN on One - #3

By Chris, in Media,

In this edition of "PoN on One", Pride of Nottingham has taken time to ask two members to battle out for the crown. At some point, we will face the winners together if this interests them and we can also see a return for the unlucky contestants too. As a community it's always nice to have a fun way of interacting with each other, so it's nice to see two friends and two members compete for their pride. TonyHateley takes on Magpiejul, lets find out who has won the third edition of this feature. If you would like to take part please let us know! Come on you pies!

Q-Les Brad Is Notts record goalscorer with 137 goals but who is in second place?

Tony: I was in two minds about this either Tommy Lawton or my all time hero Tony Hateley. I am going to plump for Big Tony Hateley.

Magpiejul: Lee Hughes

Tony Hateley with 114 goals

Q-Who managed Notts immediately before and after Jimmy Sirrel?

Tony: Jimmy was in charge for two different times and I seem to remember after one of them Howard Wilkinson took charge

Magpiejul: Jack Wheeler

Before-Billy Gray, after-Ron Fenton.

Q-In which season were Notts unbeaten at home?

Tony: That would be when Big Sam was in charge I think, was it 1997-1978 season?

Magpiejul: 1970.71

1970/71-19 wins,4 draws-4th tier champions.

Q-What is the official name of West Ham United's home ground?

Tony: I thought it was Upton Park but it's probably had a new name but I won't cheat and look it up, so my answer is Upton Park (probably wrong)

Magpiejul: Boleyn Ground (Upton Park)

A-The Boleyn Ground but it is also known as Upton Park.

Q-Name 2 teams known as The Hatters?

Tony: Luton Town is definitely one, is the other one Stockport?

Magpiejul: Luton Town & Stockport County

Luton Town and Stockport County due to millinery connection.

Q-Where did Chris Kiwomya begin his career, being their leading scorer in season 1991/92?

Tony: This is going to have to be a complete guess, I'll just pick a team at random and say Bolton Wanderers.

Magpiejul: Ipswich Town.

A-Ipswich Town.

Again very interesting to see the answers, very close and credit to both contestants.

Tony: 2.5 Points

Magpiejul: 4 Points

(Tony You haven't been playing attention in class!!, Magpiejul very well done to you!!)

Pride of Nottingham would like to Thank both Tony (Pretty much considered a legend around PoN) and Magpiejul for taking the time to answer, feature and be part of this. Thank you very much!
Joe Jones
Another matchday, another poor performance, another 90 minutes in which no Notts forward has found the net, another defeat. Notts County lost 2-1 at home to a Yeovil side gunning for the play-offs, courtesy of a first half rebound goal from the highly rated Paddy Madden and a free-kick by Matthew Dolan. Chris Kiwomya, looking to build on the strong finish his side had against Brentford at Griffin Park three days earlier, chose to play 4-4-2, dropping Jeff Hughes and picking Enoch Showunmi alongside Yoann Arquin.

Within 10 seconds, Angelo Balanta attempted a long range drive, but Fabian Speiss, in for the ill Bartosz Bialkowski, caught easily.

Notts' first shot came from Showunmi, whose volley was well over.

A lively first ten minutes saw several chances traded by both sides, Yoann Arquin threatening with a header on ten minutes.

After this lively period, a bit of a stalemate ensued with both sides struggling to control the ball or even string more than two passes together, which made for tedious viewing, it has to be said.

On 42 minutes, the Notts crowd enjoyed their team's first serious attempt on goal, as Showunmi's header looked to be in, but Glovers keeper Marek Stech pulled off a sensational save to parry the ball to his right and away from danger.

In first half injury time, just as the fans began leaving the stands in a vain attempt to miss the queue for the bar (there's always at least a dozen people in that queue well before the half-time whistle goes!), Dolan's shot at goal was saved superbly by young Speiss, but unfortunately the talented Madden was at hand to fire the rebound into the net.

The second half saw Notts try and apply pressure on Yeovil in a bid to come back on level terms, and were rewarded on 49 when Alan Judge was fouled in the area by Dan Burn and was given a penalty. The pint-sized Irishman stepped up and converted from 12 yards to make it 1-1.

Now, disappointment in football comes in many forms. Conceding again shortly after equalising is on that list, and Notts fans, veterans of practically every type of footballing disappointment on the big long list, got to experience that when Yeovil were gifted a free-kick just outside the Notts box, and, with Speiss distracted by two Glovers players haranguing him on the goal-line, the Somerset team scored from their free-kick. 2-1 down just three minutes after equalising.

The rest of the game would see some of the flaws in Notts' gameplan made evidently clear. Just before the hour, an assault on the Yeovil goal saw the ball trickle to substitute Jeff Hughes, who, from two yards out, saw his shot sensationally miss the goal.

On 65, the ineffective Arquin was replaced by young Academy player Tyrell Waite, who made a difference straight away with his dynamic, confident runs.

Judge, who tormented the Yeovil defence all afternoon long, was unjustly deemed to have dived in the opposition box and given a yellow card on 72 minutes.

The rest of the game would see Notts struggle to break down the Yeovil defence and get any more meaningful shots on target to trouble the keeper, none more so that late on when Showunmi was clear in front of the Yeovil goal and who delivered a header which was saved so easily by Stech, it looked more like he was on the same side as him and was passing the ball back to the keeper.

As the whistle finally went, the only cheers in the stadium belonged to the travelling Yeovil fans, who scraped back into the play-offs, while for the Notts faithful, a season which promised so much in the early stages has delivered so little, and frankly, it cannot be over soon enough.
Joe Jones
A very similar story to other games this season saw Notts County start well, struggle midway through, then get back into the game just a bit too late to leave Griffin Park with no points. The manner in which the losing goal was conceded, however, was a first, as an error from Bartosz Bialkowski gifted the Bees the lead, before being replaced by Notts legend Kevin Pilkington at half time because of injury. Chris Kiwomya, in his first match as permanent first team manager, picked a 4-5-1 tactical formation.

Yoann Arquin replaced Enoch Showunmi up front to play the Bees, who began the game in fourth place and enjoying a 8-game unbeaten run at home, including against Chelsea.

Notts started the game brightly, a chance by Andre Boucaud going over as a Brentford defensive header fell to him. On six minutes, Bradley Wright-Phillips fired a dangerous shot which ricocheted against the post and was cleared by the Notts backline. A good chance, it proved just the spark to kick start the Bees fans' singing and chanting.

On eight minutes, A cross by Jake Bidwell fell towards Tom Adeyemi, who headed over. Two minutes later, Clayton Donaldson, the Brentford striker, saw his ball whizz towards goal.

Shortly afterwards, Toumani Diagouraga and Jonathan Douglas got shots from the edge of the box, Notts players throwing themselves at those balls to thwart the players.

On twenty minutes, disaster struck as Bialkowski, one of Notts' best and most consistent performers, made a howler to gift Brentford the lead, as Diagouraga fired a weak sidefoot shot which trickled past the keeper.

It proved to be all Brentford once they withstood the early Notts barrage, and after a wayward Alan Judge shot from distance, Brentford threatened again, Shaleum Logan and Sam Saunders causing havoc in the Notts half. Sheehan then fired wide around the 30 min mark.

By the 35th minute, Brentford had taken their fourth corner, a high ball into the box, but that came to nothing. Donaldson, BWP and Douglas kept pushing forward and harassing the County back line, getting speculative shots and headers in.

Notts managed to break into the Brentford half every so often, Jamal Campbell-Ryce getting a decent cross in which the keeper parried away.

In an amazing twist, Bart was subbed off at half-time because of injury, and with Fabian Speiss not in the team for the same reason, Kevin Pilkington came on for his 150th Notts appearance.

Notts began the second half much in the same way as in the first half, with zest and vigour, and got some early chances in. Judge, one of our outstanding players in the first half, sent a great ball to Arquin, but his shot was flaccid and didn't trouble the keeper.

The Magpies came into the game more, and played some good possession football - save by a slip by Judge which Boucaud helped clear - but the pendulum would swing both ways, and before long, Brentford were bombing forward. In the 55th minute, the threatening Logan was superbly tackled by Jeff Hughes.

By the sixty minute mark, Brentford had settled into their groove again, and the likes of Douglas and Wright-Phillips had several more chances.

In the 62nd minute, the formation was changed to 4-4-2 as Showunmi came on for Hughes, in a bid to provide more firepower.

Pilkington, on 63, thwarted 17-goal dangerman Donaldson, his legs keeping the score to 1-0. Even Colin Slater couldn't hide his nostalgic pride at commentating on that piece of action.

In rapid succession, Brentford got three more corners to add to their tally, cranking the pressure up on the beleaguered Magpies. In contrast, Notts were on zero at that stage.

BWP put the apparent final nail in the Notts coffin as his shot beat Pilkington and bounced off the woodwork. Nothing less than they deserved after withstanding the initial Notts pressure, in both halves, to maintain their stranglehold over Notts.

However, Notts got a chance to pull one back, as Judge was fouled in the box to win a penalty just a few minutes later. In the 73rd minute, JCR's penalty was saved, but Judge struck on the rebound to make it 2-1.

Two goals in just a few minutes took the temperature of the game to higher levels, with both teams upping their tempo.

The penalty taker for Notts was then substituted on 75 minutes in a bizarre exchange, as he made way for Zoko when it looked like Arquin was coming off. A brave substitution for Kiwomya saw three strikers up front, in a bid to push for an equaliser.

A spat between BWP and Gary Liddle on 77 was testament to the increased efforts by both teams, desperate in their respective attempts to restore the two-goal cushion and to equalise. Donaldson had another chance shortly after.

Finally, on 81 minutes, Notts finally got their first corner of the game, which very nearly went in from Showunmi's header, but was cleared off the line. Sadly the subsequent pinballing into the box came to nothing, as the big forward missed his second attempt.

Buoyed by their goal, Notts pushed forward, Judge firing an effort from thirty yards on 82 minutes.

Sadly, Brentford managed to hold on to their lead, Notts' spirited fightback proving too little too late. The game finished 2-1, Notts' faint glimmer of play-off hope surely extinguished for good this season, leaving them eight points away from the play-offs with five games to play.
Joe Jones
Notts County have confirmed the appointment of Chris Kiwomya as permanent first-team manager.

The 43-year old, whose career progression has been impressive since joining the Magpies as development squad manager only last year, has signed a three-year deal at Meadow Lane.

Ray Trew's decision to appoint Chris Kiwomya is explained on the official website: Link

What are everyone's opinions on the Notts board's decision? Is it a good, shrewd move by Ray Trew, putting faith in an internal appointment, or should he have opted for a more experienced, proven man? Is it motivated by footballing reasons or financial reasons? Should he have waited until the end of the season to make his decision or was it good to confirm his signature now?

Pride Of Nottingham is supportive of Ray Trew's decision and eager to see how he handles the final few games of the season, and crucially, what kind of transfer activity he will preside over in the transfer window; hopefully we can strengthen our team in the right places while keeping the spine of what is a very talented squad. Come On You Pies!
Joe Jones
The youth academy is many a football club's pride and joy. There is nothing quite like seeing local youngsters working their way through the ranks, from the youth team up into the first team.

Notts County's academy has seen some good local players in the starting eleven in recent years, most recently Haydn Hollis, Fabian Speiss and Greg Tempest. One thing that Notts County cannot offer at the moment, however, is top flight or European football, and sometimes, an exceptionally talented player may feel the need to progress in his career by playing in a higher league.

Players of this calibre leave with the club and the fans' blessing, and seeing home-grown talent playing at the highest level is something that fills Notts fans with pride.

One such player is Kelvin Wilson. Born in Nottingham in 1985, the youngster made his debut for the Magpies on April 17th 2004 away at Hartlepool United which the team, reeling from financial troubles and with relegation imminent, lost 4-0.

The eighteen-year old made a further two appearances as Notts' disastrous season came to a close, scoring an unfortunate own goal to seal Brighton's play-off place on May the 1st.

The following season in League 2 saw Wilson sign a two-year professional contract and break into the first-team squad, playing 41 times as Notts consolidated their place in the division. He also played and scored in the League Cup clash against West Ham.

Such was the youngster's talent that boss Ian Richardson had to play down reports that Premier League clubs were keeping tabs on him after an impressive performance against Swindon in the FA Cup in December.

The following season, Wilson was again praised by new manager Gudjon Thordarson, saying he would have liked him "to see with us for some time" and confirmed he had been offered a contract extension after the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United were reported to be after him.

Forming a good partnership with Julian Baudet, Wilson was again singled out for praise in September after the Magpies' brilliant start to the season, but he couldn't prevent Notts from freefalling down the table in the following months.

In March 2006, Wilson decided to join Preston North End on loan with a view to signing permanently. The Lilywhites ended the season well, qualifying for the play-offs, but were beaten in the semis by Leeds United. Nevertheless, the youngster signed a three-year deal after his Notts contract ran out.

In total, Wilson played 78 times for Magpies, while for Preston, he played a total of 27 games before Nottingham Forest came calling.

The lure of returning to his hometown, and playing for the club he supported as a kid, proved too much for Wilson, who signed a four-year deal with the Reds. Preston received £300,000 for the player.

His debut season in 2007/08 proved to be very successful, as Forest were promoted from League One in second place and kept 24 clean sheets, a testament to his great defensive abilities.

Things turned sour for Wilson, however, as he became the subject of a transfer battle between Forest and SPL giants Celtic in 2011. He signed a pre-contract agreement to join the Bhoys in January 2011, but he insisted he wanted to hook up with the Glasgow team straight away rather than wait until the end of the season. Forest were reportedly unhappy with this statement, and through falling out of favour with the hierarchy and picking up injuries, he didn't play for the club again. His last game for the Reds was against Ipswich in January.

Wilson had to wait until hooking up with Celtic for his successive game, a friendly against the Central Coast Mariners in July, while his competitive debut came against Hibernian in the opening match of the SPL. He played a very good first competitive game and helped the Bhoys to a 2-0 win, making two crucial interventions to deny Hibs.

He played a total of 21 appearances for Celtic in his first season, including his first European game, against Atletico Madrid, and his first Old Firm game, where he struggled against Rangers and was on the receiving end of a 4-2 beating.

In the close season, there were talks that Wilson was unsettled, having lost his first-team place amid some mediocre performances, and that he was heading to Ipswich, but he remained at Celtic, where things were to turn around for him rather quickly.

The departure of Glenn Loovens to Real Zaragoza and Thomas Rogne's persistent injury problems gave Wilson the opportunity to earn his place back into the first team, and he seized his chance with much improved performances, namely the Champions League play-off match against Helsingsborg.

Better was to come from the defender, though, as the Bhoys were up against Barcelona, arguably the greatest club team in the world, in the group stages.

On October 23rd, he had one of the finest games of his career, proving a thorn in Lionel Messi's side as the Spanish side registered a narrow 2-1 win. Two weeks later, the SPL team went one better and stunned the Blaugrana at Celtic Park, beating them 2-1, Wilson playing a crucial part in the historic victory, and better was to come as Celtic made it into the second round of the Champions' League, drawing none other than the team whose history is intertwined with Notts County, Italian giants Juventus.

Sadly, Celtic couldn't conquer the Turin titans and went out, but all those linked with the club could hold their heads high, none more so than Kelvin Wilson, who completed the amazing journey from the Notts County academy and the Magpies' first team in the bottom rung of the Football League to shutting out the best team in the world, containing arguably the finest player of all time.

Not that this journey is over by any means. Wilson continues to excel for Celtic, who look set to retain the SPL title this season, and was touted for a possible England call up in March 2013 after impressing national team manager Roy Hodgson.

Though the defender didn't make the Three Lions squad, at 27 he still has quite a few years ahead of him, and he is in the form of his life and always improving, so who's to say he won't make the cut in future?

Whatever happens, as a Notts County fan I am proud to see a home-grown local player proving himself at the highest level, and here's hoping he goes to achieve much more in the game!
Joe Jones
Notts County once again had Bartosz Bialkowski to thank for earning his side a point at freezing Swindon, the Polish keeper proving he is a cut above with several outstanding saves as the Magpies battled their way to a 0-0 draw against the promotion-chasing Robins. Chris Kiwomya lined up his team in a 4-5-1 formation, handing the young Greg Tempest his full league debut on the left wing. Enoch Showunmi was the lone striker. At the back, Haydn Hollis was swapped for Julian Kelly, while Gary Liddle lined up alongside Dean Leacock.

Liddle took a knock in the second minute as he went up for an aerial challenge, which caused the game to be halted for a few minutes as he received treatment, but luckily he was able to continue.

The home team, in good form, threatened early on, and in the tenth minute got their first chance in after Notts failed to clear, Gary Roberts volleying his shot into the stands.

Liddle proved he was definitely still with it as he denied Andy Williams with a great block. The rebound, by Simon Ferry, was wide.

It was all Swindon in the opening stages, as Williams got a head on Alan McCormack's cross which was desperately scrambled clear.

The first semblance of a chance for the Magpies came from a set piece, as Neal Bishop was fouled. Alan Sheehan blasted well wide, however.

Not long after, a cross from Sheehan caused panic in the Robins box, but Bishop couldn't finish, and received a hit to the chest for his troubles.

On 34 minutes, Nathan Thompson had a shot on goal, but Bart responded greatly. Just three minutes later, Tommy Miller's free kick was also stopped by the Pole.

The half-time whistle finally blew, much to Notts' relief, as they were being over-run by the Robins.

In the second half, Liddle was lucky not to concede a penalty after he clashed with Williams, while Bart saved from Ferry's header on 50 minutes.

Swindon showed why they were near the top of the league with some great football, and kept getting shots in. Alan Navarro and substitute Louis Thompson were next to try their luck.

Just before the hour, Tempest was replaced by Yoann Arquin, Kiwomya switching to 4-4-2 as the Frenchman lined up in attack alongside Showunmi.

The switch proved beneficial, as Notts started to push forward and threaten the Robins. First a Sheehan free kick was helped on by Showunmi and hit by Bishop, a chance thwarted by Darren Ward's block, then Alan Judge tried a twenty-yard howitzer which was only just parried over by Wes Foderingham.

The resulting corner saw more chances come Notts' way, as Showunmi was very unlucky not to score with a powerful header, but this was deflected, and Arquin couldn't finish from the rebounds.

The final quarter of an hour of the game saw the balance of play shift to the home side, as Adam Rooney, McCormack and Collins all tried their luck. Bialkowski, however, delighted the Notts fans and frustrated the Robins faithful with some more world-class saves.

As the full-time whistle loomed, Notts had the chance to sucker-punch Swindon and steal all three points, but incredibly Hamza Bencherif, on for Showunmi, didn't go for goal, choosing instead to pass back to provider Arquin. And so the opportunity was lost.

The whistle finally went on an exciting and tense game which saw Notts ride their luck for most of the game then not make the most of a crucial chance in the dying stages.

Notts remain in 11th place, seven points off the play-offs.
Chris
Tomorrow Saturday 23rd of March, Notts County will make a trip to Swindon Town who are currently 3rd in the table. The County Ground will hopefully not fall victim to the weather that we are seeing, as the snow is starting to flurry down. It's pretty cold out in Nottingham, so it would be interesting to hear what it's like currently in Swindon. Notts come into the game having beat Scunthorpe United with a Dean Leacock goal sealing all 3 points in County's favour, all surrounding the club will say it's a nice returning gift for his team and fans.

Swindon Town themselves having picked up three vital points at Yeovil Town last Tuesday, will hope to return to home soil collecting a further 3 more points by continuing their form against Notts county.

Their manager Kevin MacDonald has urged The Robins to keep backing the team as Notts County visit the County Ground.

Notts County will visit Swindon Town with very little risk, the expectations seen regarding the play-offs would surely now be seen as a miracle, so it's important that the lads just go out hoping to have fun and claim victories on the back of improved performances.

Tommy Miller's fitness is currently being monitored after he picked up a suspected calf injury, with Louis Thompson returning after being on international duty with the Welsh under-21's.

Jamal Campbell-Ryce has a knock, who is likely to miss the game. Right back Kelly continues to struggle with his calf injury which has seen him miss the past couple of games.

Both sets of fans really need to get behind their respective squads, it will be a very good occasion for the 'Wheelbarrow Song' to be repeatedly sung and I personally hope to hear all Magpie supporters firmly getting behind the team and silencing the home crowd.

Previous results might leave us asking questions, it's now we stay loyal and help to build for the upcoming season.

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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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