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Born in Stockton-on-Tees, Neal Bishop's journey in football began with Middlesbrough, though he was released by the Teessiders as a teenager. From there, he joined Northern League club Billingham Town and had two spells there either side of a short tenure at Gateshead FC. While in his first spell at Billingham, Bishop once played in a game alongside his brother Craig and father Rob due to a run of eight matches in 15 days towards the end of the 2000-01 season. Bishop continued to ply his trade in the non-league but worked his way up the food chain as he earned the captain's armband at Scarborough, before joining York City and helping them to the Conference playoffs in 2007. In a show of ambition, he rejected a new deal at York and went on to fulfil a lifelong ambition of playing in the Football League by joining Barnet on a free transfer that year. Bishop didn't exactly make the best start at Underhill, being sent off for violent conduct in just his second match at the club, against Norwich City in the League Cup, but went on to make 47 appearances in the 2007-08 season. The following season, he initially handed a transfer request but went on to withdraw it and ended up becoming club captain after Ismail Yakubu was handed the role. In December, Bishop suffered a fractured jaw after being kicked in the face by Ricky Ravenhill, then of Darlington - fate would reunite the two players at Notts County later on in their careers. In May 2009, Bishop's Magpies journey began when he signed a pre-contract agreement to join the club, which was to undergo an adventure of its own in the shape of the Munto "takeover". On the pitch, Notts were a force to be reckoned with as they cruised to the League Two title, with Bishop's tenacious, never-give-up style and strong engine a crucial part of the setup as he made 43 league appearances that season. Despite the off-the-field uncertainty as Munto ended up being a con, the midfielder never let said issues bother him and, as matters were settled at boardroom level in the summer, he signed a two-year contract extension that would keep him at the club until 2012. In League One, Bishop continued to go from strength to strength as he helped Notts consolidate their place in the third tier, being rewarded with the captain's armband by Paul Ince and finishing the campaign with 51 appearances, two goals, the Player of the Year award, and a new two-year deal at the Lane. Bishop's finest display for Notts came in the fourth round of the 2010-11 FA Cup as the Magpies welcomed Manchester City to Meadow Lane. Just before the hour, he headed home the opener against the Citizens from Alan Gow's corner kick, and for a while, Notts fans were dreaming of a huge upset. Sadly, the match ended up as a 1-1 draw when Edin Dzeko struck a late equaliser, which meant a replay at the City of Manchester Stadium where the hosts upped their game and claimed a 5-0 win. Given that Man City's eventual FA Cup win marked their first trophy in 35 years and was followed up with a Premier League title win the following season, one can't help but wonder how the trajectory of English football may have differed had Bishop's goal been the winner. There was yet more time for a grandiose contribution from Bishop - he was County's captain when the team took on Juventus in their new stadium inauguration in September 2011, a season where the Magpies came within a whisker of making the League One playofs. The 2012-13 campaign would prove to be Bishop's most fruitful one from a scoring perspective, bagging seven goals, but sadly it would also be his final one at the Lane. In an interview with the official Notts site ahead of his departure by mutual consent in June 2013, he said: “It’s an emotional day. "This club has been a major part of my life for four years and I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing about my time here. It’s been the best part of my career. “The club are heading in a different direction and there are a number of changes this summer and it just seemed the right time. “I’ve had meetings with the Manager and the board and I’ve given my reasons and I’m really grateful to Jim Rodwell and the Trews who have been very understanding and helped me. “It’s been fantastic. From the rollercoaster of the first season, the cup runs, captaining the club at Juventus and leading the lads out everytime, representing the club was a massive honour. It’s probably my proudest moment in my life. “The fans have been absolutely fantastic with me. I’d like to wish them all the best and thank them. I can’t speak highly enough of them.” Bishop subsequently joined Blackpool, then in the Championship, in August of that year, penning a five-month contract that was extended to take him until the end of the 2013-14 season. Following his spell at Bloomfield Road, he joined newly promoted League One side Scunthorpe United in June 2014, where he continues to ply his trade today. We at PON are delighted to have had the privilege of seeing Neal Bishop in Notts colours at the peak of his powers and contributed countless quality moments to the team, which is why we are delighted to include him in our Notts Alumni list of illustrious Magpies of years gone by. Share your thoughts about this Notts Alumni article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. 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Name: Notts County Meadow Lane fireworks against Blackpool, Saturday 29 April 2017 Category: Pride of Nottingham Date Added: 2017-05-03 Submitter: Chris Notts County decided to hold a firework display ahead of their final home game of the League Two season against Blackpool on Saturday. With the players lined up on the Meadow Lane pitch not far from the touchline in front of the Derek Pavis stand, they had their backs turned to the display on the centre circle. And right at the end, loud explosion from the cannons startled both sets of players, some of whom visibly flinched - cue much amusement from the crowd. Visit us on: Website: http://prideofnottingham.co.uk/ Community: http://prideofnottingham.co.uk/community/ See the firework display for yourself - credit to Nick Holmes for the footage! Notts County Meadow Lane fireworks against Blackpool, Saturday 29 April 2017 Why not subscribe to PrideofNottinghamTV?
Notts County decided to hold a firework display ahead of their final home game of the League Two season against Blackpool on Saturday. With the players lined up on the Meadow Lane pitch not far from the touchline in front of the Derek Pavis stand, they had their backs turned to the display on the centre circle. And right at the end, loud explosion from the cannons startled both sets of players, some of whom visibly flinched - cue much amusement from the crowd. Visit us on: Website: http://prideofnottingham.co.uk/ Community: http://prideofnottingham.co.uk/community/ See the firework display for yourself - credit to Nick Holmes for the footage!
Who was your man of the match for Notts County against Blackpool?
Notts County have ended their programme of League Two home fixtures this season on a winning note after a 1-0 win over Blackpool at Meadow Lane on Saturday. Centre-half Richard Duffy's fourth goal of the season was all that separated the two sides as he headed into an unguarded net on 34 minutes after Blackpool goalkeeper Sam Slocombe had kept out Jorge Grant's free-kick. Pride of Nottingham was at Meadow Lane for the game and spoke to a number of fans - as it was the last home game of the season, we asked them a number of "review" type questions, such as who their favourite player has been this campaign, how many home games they've been to and so on. Here is the video, embedded from YouTube, for your enjoyment. Share your thoughts on the video, the questions, and the game on Pride of Nottingham's forum.
Notts County have ended their programme of League Two home fixtures this season on a winning note after a 1-0 win over Blackpool at Meadow Lane on Saturday. Centre-half Richard Duffy's fourth goal of the season was all that separated the two sides as he headed into an unguarded net on 34 minutes after Blackpool goalkeeper Sam Slocombe had kept out Jorge Grant's free-kick. Here are the highlights from the clash against the playoff-chasing Tangerines from the official Notts YouTube channel. Share your thoughts about the highlights on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
Richard Duffy has echoed Kevin Nolan's comments in being delighted about Notts County's winning home finish on Saturday. The Magpies fans, who have put up with a lot of grief this season, were treated to a victory in the club's last home game of the season, a 1-0 win over Blackpool. Duffy, the club's stand-in captain as Michael O'Connor recovers from injury, named several players who he thought stood out and admitted the dressing room is happy at present. He told the official Notts side: "Haydn was superb today. He did everything and more. If you hang a ball up for him, hes going to eat everything up. He's just getting better and better. "Everyone put a shift in. You wouldn't say we had a bad player. Carl Dickinson was someone who maybe got a bit of stick earlier in the season, but since he's come back into the team he's been superb. "To finish the way we have, especially at home, is pleasing. The fans turn up and expect you to perform to your best and we weren't doing that. "But since the new manager has come in we have done that, picking up some good wins against teams who are pushing for promotion, as you've seen today. "We've finished on a good note at home and it's a happy dressing room." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
Kevin Nolan has claimed that Saturday's League Two fixture at Meadow Lane between Notts County and Blackpool could have gone either way, but is happy to have capped off their home programme on a high note. The Magpies edged the encounter 1-0, Richard Duffy scoring on the rebound after Jorge Grant had forced the Tangerines goalkeeper into a save from a free kick. Nolan told the Notts website after the game: "I don't think it was a great spectacle and it could have gone either way. "We haven't played well but we've come out with a 1-0 win and a nice clean sheet, which I'll enjoy just as much as I did the Colchester game the other week. "Hopefully we can finish on a high next week at Newport, which is going to be tasty because they've got to win to stay up and we want to go out with a bang. We're looking forward to that now." When Nolan took the reigns at Meadow Lane they were just one point adrift of safety, but since then he has steered them to 16th in the fourth tier. And after guiding the Magpies to a win on their last home game of the season, Nolan said he was thrilled to send the Black and White Army away from Meadow Lane happy. "This showed how far we've come," Nolan said. "The fans are coming out in force and it would be magnificent if we can keep sending them home happy week in week out. "When we first came in home crowds were only about 3,000 some weeks, so to get where we are is a great achievement from everyone. "Alan Hardy and all his backroom staff deserve so much credit because their hard work has come to fruition, making it easier for us on the pitch." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
Notts County have wrapped up their home fixtures for the 2016-17 League Two season with a 1-0 win over Blackpool at Meadow Lane on Saturday. The first chance of the game came in the second minute when former Tangerine Mark Yeates curled wide of goal. Blackpool then came close to taking the lead when Adam Collin spilled what ought to have been a routine claim, but the defence cleared just as Mark Cullen looked set to tap home. The lead, however, came the way of Notts when Jorge Grant's free kick was palmed by Sam Slocombe into the path of Richard Duffy, who headed into the empty net. Stead almost doubled County's advantage when forced a terrific stop from Slocombe, which denied him his 15th goal of the season. Both sides continued to trade blows in the second half, with Collin keeping out a Neil Danns cross-shot that was sneaking in, and also held a late Brad Potts header as Blackpool searched for an equaliser. Ultimately, however, the Magpies held on for the win, which ensured that Kevin Nolan has only lost one home game since taking the reins at Meadow Lane. Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
The first fixture between Blackpool and Notts took place on 28 November 1896 at Raikes Hall, and finished 3-2 to the Lancashire side. A total of 58 games have taken place between the two sides, with Notts winning 19, Blackpool winning 24, and 15 draws. The last fixture came earlier this season, on 12 November 2016 - a humiliating 4-0 defeat for Notts at Bloomfield Road. Football had developed in Blackpool by 1877 when Victoria FC were founded as a church club with a ground in Caunce Street. This team disbanded a few years later but some of its members are understood to have merged with old boys from St John's School to form a new club called Blackpool St John's. But the two factions remained disunited and, on 26 July 1887, at a meeting in the Stanley Arms public house, the members resolved to wind up St John's and form a new club to represent the whole town called Blackpool Football Club. Blackpool's most notable achievement is winning the 1953 FA Cup Final, the so-called "Matthews Final", in which they beat Bolton Wanderers 4–3, overturning a 1–3 deficit in the closing stages of the game. During that post-war period, Blackpool made three FA Cup Final appearances in six years and, during the 1950s, had four top-six finishes in the Football League First Division, their best position being runners-up to Manchester United in the 1955–56 season. In 1953, four Blackpool players were in the England team against Hungary at Wembley, causing the Daily Mirror to declare that "Blackpool are playing Hungary today", though England lost in a famous defeat. Since the 1950s Blackpool's fortunes have varied, and when they won promotion to the Premier League, at the end of the 2009–10 campaign, Blackpool became the first club in English football to have won promotion from every division of the Football League via the play-off system. Blackpool's least successful period was officially in the 1980s, particularly when, in the 1982–83 season, they finished 21st in English League football's lowest tier, their lowest-ever League finish. Team news Matt Tootle faces a race against time to be fit for Notts County's final home game of the season against Blackpool. Tootle missed the defeat at Luton Town with a hamstring injury and should he not make it Josh Clackstone is likely to continue in his absence at right-back. Midfielder Mark Yeates will hope for a recall against his former club while Alan Smith, Curtis Thompson and Jonathan Forte are also vying to be in Kevin Nolan's starting line-up. Captain Michael O'Connor has been ruled out for up to nine months after sustaining a knee injury against Portsmouth and requires surgery. Blackpool are just missing long-term absentees Jim McAlister and Jamille Matt. McAlister broke his leg in early February while striker Matt has a hamstring tear that could rule him out for the remainder of the campaign. Ian Black, Kyle Vassell and Bright Samuel are all options for boss Gary Bowyer if he decides to freshen things up, although his team have not conceded in their past three games. The Seasiders are currently sixth in the League Two table and their goal difference is so superior to their rivals that four points from their final two fixtures should ensure they enter the play-offs. Share your thoughts about this match preview on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.