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THewitt44

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About THewitt44

  • Birthday 08/06/1990

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    Clifton, Nottingham
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    Film, Gaming, Football, TV, Journalism

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  1. Notts County got 2013 off to the worst possible start they could have wished for, as Milton Keynes Dons recovered from their last two home defeats to Walsall and Coventry respectively, to pick up the 3 points at Meadow Lane and cement their position in the top six in League One. There was only one change to the starting 11 that went away to Shrewsbury Town on Boxing Day, as "Magpies" manager Keith Curle was forced to replace Jeff Hughes at left back due to the player picking up five bookings and resulting in a one match suspension. Jeff was replaced at left back by the returning Jordan Stewart, who had just recovered from a Hamstring injury, in what was an otherwise unchanged starting line up and formation (4-4-2) The "Pies" almost got off to the best possible start, when right back Julian Kelly picked out on loan Watford striker Chris Iwelumo with an accurate diagonal pass out of defence. The experienced Scotsman headed the ball down to skipper Neal Bishop who then laid it off to Alan Judge but his resulting effort went over the bar. Milton Keynes then took the lead on 6 minutes with a rather soft goal to concede it has to be said. A free kick on the left wing from on loan Brighton midfielder Ryan Harley was not dealt with properly by the home defence with nobody marking Darren Potter in the penalty area, who was allowed too much space to head the ball past Bartosz Bialkowski and make it 1-0 to the visitors. Terrible defending it has to be said! The "Dons" then doubled their advantage on 13 minutes, with again, more lacklustre marking and defending it has to be said. Daniel Powell, was given too much time and space in midfield, and he was allowed to skip past centre-back Gary Liddle into the box and then prod the ball past Bialkowski into the bottom left corner of the goal to make it 2-0, and give the "Magpies" an unwanted and unnecessary mountain to climb in this early stage of the game. It should, have been 3-0 on the 25 minute mark, when in form "Dons" striker Ryan Lowe, was found unmarked in the box after a good flick on, but his placed effort was well turned away by Bialkowski, before Dean Bowditich followed up with a shot of his own but it went well wide of the mark. As half time approached, Notts did manage to start breaking down their visitors to Meadow Lane, as Lee Hughes centred the ball for Chris Iwelumo who headed it wide from outside the six-yard box, whilst fellow loanee Andre Boucaud produced a long ranged shot that skidded past the left hand side of the post. Jamal-Campbell Ryce, playing on the left wing, was also growing increasingly into the game in the first half, as he delivered cross after cross into the box, and he was unfortunate not to see one of them converted in, especially in added injury time, when captain Neal Bishops header looped over onto the roof of the net. Changes were needed to be enforced by the manager Keith Curle at half time, and he didn't fail to surprise, as he took off forward Chris Iwelumo, who was playing the final game of his loan spell from Watford, and replaced him with joint top scorer Yoann Arquin. The first effort of the second half came from Milton Keynes Dons, as centre-back Shaun Williams lead out a breakaway move from the heart of defence and following an exchange with full back Adam Chicksen, Williams fired inches wide of the bottom left-hand corner from the edge of the box. On the 56 minute mark, the "Magpies" had the perfect opportunity to put themselves back into the game, when Antony Kay, sent Alan Judge tumbling inside the area. Graham Salisbury immediately pointed to the spot, and up stepped Jamal Campbell-Ryce to slot the ball past opposition keeper David Martin to make it 2-1 and give the "Pies" a chance to get something out of the game. Second half substitute Yoann Arquin wasted a golden opportunity to make it 2-2, when Lee Hughes produced a smart pass to send the Frenchman through on the right channel. Arquin then broke into the penalty area after getting past Antony Kay, but his placed shot was saved and turned away by Dean Martin, who reacted well to sharply save down his right hand side. Notts continued to dominate the proceedings in the second half, as the "Dons" were camped inside of their own half, and it seemed as if an equaliser would soon be on the cards for the home side. The Notts faithful thought that came to fruition when Julian Kelly surged past Adam Chicksen on the right wing, and delivered a low cross which Lee Hughes was unlucky to see his effort come back off the crossbar. There was another substitute for the "Pies" on 78 minutes when Jamal Campbell-Ryce made way for Ivorian Francois Zoko, and the former Carlisle frontman almost made an immediate impact, when he ran from the left flank and crossed the ball into the box which found Julian Kelly, who was then able to feed Alan Judge, but the Irishman's firm effort went agonisingly over the goal. Four minutes of added time were introduced by the Fourth Official, as Manager Keith Curle brought on former Leeds United striker Enoch Showumni for Julian Kelly, as Notts County went to four up in attack with Lee Hughes, Francois Zoko, Yoann Arquin and Showumni to try and grab the equaliser. There were a few chances in this added period as Notts threw bodies forward, with Arquin going close with a headed effort, Zoko forcing a save out of Dean Martin, and Centre-back Manny Smith firing wide from close range, but it was not to be, as the "Magpies" fell victim to the Dons at Meadow Lane and saw themselves slip further down the NPower League One table to a mid table 13th position; 6 points adrift of the play offs. However, the "Pies" do have two games in hand, so there is all still to play for as we go through 2013. My Man Of The Match: Alan Judge: Was involved in the majority of our play once again. Ran tirelessly down the wings, created chances and was unlucky not to put himself on the scoresheet. Notts County: Bialkowski, Kelly (Showumni - 90), Liddle, Smith, J.Stewart, Campbell-Ryce (Zoko - 78), Bishop, Boucaud, Judge, L.Hughes, Iwelumo (Arquin - 46) Milton Keynes Dons: Martin, Lewington, Chicksen, Kay, Williams, Potter, Powell, Harley, Bowditch (Smith - 45), Lowe (MacKenzie - 90), Balanta (Doumbe - 65) Attendance: 5,325 (Including 311 away supporters) NPower League One Positions: Notts County: P: 24, W: 9, D: 9, L: 6, Points = 36 (13th Position) Milton Keynes Dons: P: 25, W: 12, D: 6, L: 7, Points = 42 (6th Position) Keith Curle (Notts County Manager): “We gifted them two goals and, home or away, if you gift teams goals you’re going to find it difficult. We created some good opportunities and should have got something out of the game. The performance in the second half showed what we’re about and we’ve got to start games at Meadow Lane like that. I’m as frustrated as anyone and I know that the owners are very frustrated because it does affect us. We just needed that little bit of luck, that little break that you need in the box, but the ball just wasn’t quite falling right for us – but, it will do.” Final Word: I'm rather annoyed at that performance by the team. The two goals we conceded are really soft and could have been so easily avoided had we marked the opposition better and stuck ourselves in more with "meaty" tackles. Win the ball back! & keep the ball on the ground instead of hoofing it in the air! Theres no point in long balls unless we know its going to reach the desired destination. Chris Iwelumo, will be going back to Watford today and even though he has been good in regards to heading the ball down and bringing others into play, I cant see him coming back to the club. I really hope we utilise Enoch Showumni at some point soon! He's a decent striker, who can run, control the ball and head it down, as well as bring others into play. If he can recapture the form he had for both Leeds United and Tranmere Rovers, then we will have a fine player on our hands, so Keith? Please start him at some point along side Yoann Arquin up front. Overall, we did pick ourselves up in the 2nd half and played a little bit better but I just felt we weren't good enough that afternoon and we deserved to be defeated. After looking at the League table, 13th and 6 points from the play offs in 6th, its not ideal, but we can get back into the top six, especially with our two games in hand, so it is thoroughly achievable! I really hope we sign a new striker to replace Chris Iwelumo, as well as sign up Andre Boucaud on a permanent deal from Luton Town, Also, I hope Keith Curle will attempt to sign some young, new defenders in January, but I can dream cant I? Finally, I hope we do all we can to keep a hold of Alan Judge in the January transfer window. If a Championship club comes in offering some ridiculous amount, then fair enough, cash in on him and buy a suitable replacement, but we cant afford to lose him, especially in January and the rest of the season to go, so I prey that the board do all they can to keep Judgey at the club, and whilst they're at it, offer him a new contract! Cheers.. Well, that's it from me this week. I'll be back next weekend with some more reaction from our away League game to Portsmouth. Keep the faith! & Come On You Pies! Thomas Hewitt
  2. Come On You Pies! Happy New Year Everybody! Im going for 1-1 with MK Dons on New Years Day

  3. COYP! Im going for Stevenage 1-2 Notts County (Hughesy and Arquin)

  4. A share of the points was the final outcome between these two teams, as Shrewsbury and Notts County drew 2-2 in a very entertaining and pulsating Boxing Day encounter at the Greenhous Meadow Stadium in Shropshire. Goals scored by L.Rodgers (19min - Shrewsbury), L.Hughes (24min - Notts Co), J.Campbell-Ryce (45min - Notts Co) and B.Bialkowski (81min, o.g - Shrewsbury). The Match Official Referee: Stephen Martin. There were 2 major surprises in the starting 11 for the Magpies, as manager Keith Curle recalled talisman forward Lee Hughes, who was originally ruled out until the New Year due to a virus but recovered earlier than expected to partner Scottish veteran Chris Iwelumo in attack, and former Walsall centre back Manny Smith, who made his first appearance in a Notts shirt after fully recovering from his unfortunate knee injury during the Capital One Cup defeat to Bradford City back in August. There was also a surprise to the formation that Keith Curle opted to employ, as he choose to utilise a traditional 4-4-2 instead of the 4-5-1 formation that Curle had used in every game he's managed during 2012. Notts started the game well and seemed like they would adjust to the new formation with relative ease, with Jamaican winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce and the "Irish Messi" Alan Judge causing problems down both flanks and putting in some dangerous crosses, but it was Shrewsbury who took the lead against the run of play on 19 minutes, when the Magpie defence failed to deal with a Darren Jones free kick that was put into the box, and Shrews striker Marvin Morgan was able to knock the ball down into the path of former Notts County striker Luke Rodgers, who made no mistake to lift the ball over Bartosz Bialkowski and into the back of the net. Their lead, however, only lasted five minutes, as Magpie favourite Lee Hughes marked his return from illness with a typical poachers goal on 24 minutes after a good corner from Alan Judge. The game began to open up after Hughes' equaliser and both sides had their chances to go ahead in the first half, with Judgey going close with a 25 yard strike that Shrewsbury goalkeeper Chris Weale, did well to save, and at the opposing end, Andrew Wildig headed wide after a good cross by midfielder Paul Parry. It was Notts County who would take the lead on the stroke of half time, as Alan Judge went on a mesmerising run inside his own half, all the way into the Shrewsbury penalty box after good work by Jeff Hughes to regain position. The "Irish Messi" hit a low shot that was impressively saved by opposing keeper Chris Weale, but Jamal-Campbell Ryce was there to tap home the rebound and score his fifth goal of the season, to send the Magpies 2-1 up at half time. The game was still very much end to end in the second half, much like in the first, with both teams having great opportunities to score. Jamal Campbell Ryce, narrowly went wide with a low drive from outside the penalty area, and Shrewsbury defender Neil Taylor, almost forcing an own goal after racing onto a long ball, but Bialkowski did well to punch the ball clear. Alan Judge again forced former Leicester City goalkeeper Chris Weale into making an exceptional save to keep out his goal bound free kick that was destined for the top left hand corner. Shrewsbury pushed further forward in the closing stages of the match, and they were rewarded with a flukey equaliser on 81, when Neil Taylor's cross took an unfortunate deflection off of Jeff Hughes and the ball looped off Bartosz Bialkowski and into the far corner of the net to make it 2-2. Notts had a strong penalty shout dismissed during the four added minutes of stoppage time, but it was not to be, as the Magpies bounced back from two straight disappointing home defeats to earn a hard earned point in Shropshire and extend the amazing undefeated streak away from Meadow Lane to 22 games. The Magpies will now have that away run severely tested when they travel to the Lamex Stadium to face promotion rivals Stevenage on Saturday 29th of December. Notts will be looking for revenge after the 2-1 loss at Meadow Lane, earlier in October My Man of the Match: Alan Judge - Tireless running yet again by the tricky midfielder. Caused problems for the Shrewsbury defence, created numerous chances throughout the match, and was unlucky not to score. Shrewsbury: Weale, Grandison, Jones, Goldson, Gayle, Richards, Taylor, Parry (Purdig - 68), Wildig (Hall - 68), Morgan Rodgers (Bradshaw - 72) Subs: Anyon, Jacobson, Purdle, Hall, Woods, Gwilliams, Bradshaw Notts County: Bialkowski, Kelly, Liddle, Smith, J.Hughes, Bishop, Judge, Campbell-Ryce (Labadie - 90), Boucaud, L.Hughes (Showumni - 71), Iwelumo (Arquin - 71) Subs: Speiss, Mahon, Labadie, Bencherif, Showumni, Zoko, Arquin Attendance: 6,474 (603 Notts County fans) NPower League One Positions: Shrewsbury: 19th; P: 24, W: 5, D: 9, L: 10 - 24 points Notts County: 10th; P: 23, W: 9, D: 9, L: 5 - 36 points Keith Curle (Notts County Manager): “We went back to basics and tried to make it as simple as possible for the players. The players needed to be brave and they needed to make decisions, and I thought the performance levels were excellent. You get that bit of luck but I’m a believer that at the right time we will get the luck that we deserve.” Final Word: "Disappointed that we've dropped two points. With all due respect to Shrewsbury, we should be beating teams of that calibre if were serious about promotion this season! Surprised about Curle employing the 4-4-2 formation. It did seem to work but I hope Curle reverts back to his usual favourite 4-5-1. Great to see Hughesy back up front, and scoring goals! He needs to stay in January in my opinion because we need the added competition in attack. Also, welcome back Manny Smith. I thought he put in a solid performance in the heart of defence along side "Mr Consistent" Gary Liddle, though I felt we missed Dean Leacock, Manny did well. Pleased were now 22 games undefeated away from home, but we need to start turning the draws into wins so we can keep up with the top six. Bring on Stevenage! Revenge, number 23 unbeaten away and 3 points would be huge and very satisfying, especially with forthcoming fixtures against play off rivals MK Dons & Portsmouth coming in the New Year, these points are so vital at this stage! "Come On You Pies!!" Thomas Hewitt

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