A day in the life of an NCM reporter

The day had finally come - 8am on the morning of Mansfield v Notts when NCM would be reporting from Field Mill on Charlie McParland's first game in charge.

Fresh with optimism and excitement of reporting live from the game - it couldn't get any better for the NCM boys.

Straight in the shower and down to Weatherspoons where our day would begin.

Two bacon baps for Drapes and a traditional breakfast for Moss - Love it!

Next stop was Lincoln High Street.

Pick up the newspapers and down to Ladbrokes for a selection of bets. Still half asleep but never too early for a dabble.

What did wake us up was arriving at Lincoln Central Train station. Peterborough fans piling out of the station in great voice.

Posh fans piled into Lincoln
It was derby day in Lincoln too and we soon perked up when we knew what we were in store for on arrival at Mansfield.

But, along came our first hurdle of the day - the ticket machine. 60-year-old men and technology just don't go together.

After waiting close to twenty minutes to forge our way to the front of the queue following an old man palaver, we were away and off - on our way to Nottingham.

But it wasn't until Newark Castle when the party begun.

Birds everywhere, balloons everywhere, glorious scenes had us smiling. It was party time on Central Trains.

Packed to the rafters, but we didn't care, the sun was shining and it was match day.

Now for the change at Nottingham and we were given a timely reminder that Notts were playing away from home.

A middle aged man spoke in depth of his affair on his wife - a bizarre Notts fan, but it broke up the journey.

Here we were - the unique town of Mansfield (enough said!)

Run down streets, there was nowhere to hide but Burger King. Meal two of the day and what a meal it was. Five minutes flat in and out - there was work to be done.

Next stop was the press box itself.

One o'clock and there we were in our seats - surely the best in the house - and setting up for what we hoped would be a classic derby day.

Along the press box... Spot Slater and Loakes?
Field Mill was extremely welcoming as were its staff as the Press Officer ushered us to our seats behind a huge desk with plenty of comfortable leg space and slap bang in front of the half way line. Views don't get much better - despite the location!

Until - ultimate disappointment hit - no internet.

Ultimate tragedy seen as we were there to report for a website. After the long trip, our hopes of live text commentary were dashed.

With only one internet port in the house - it was again the lucky Official Site that came out on top over the Mad boys!

We'd come this far and we weren't going to let this spoil our day.

I began the match report while Drapes took on then duties McParland Cam.

After the first forty-five we could have no complaints. Back to 4-4-2, chances either way and so far so good with the clean sheet in tact.

Moss gets to work

As promised an excellent Minestrone soup greeted us to warm us up at the break alongside crusty roll as the hospitality continued to meet its high standards - a huge thank you all round to Mansfield's staff (besides those on the pitch!)

But, as happens time and time again Notts fell away after the break.

Two Micky Boulding goals signalled the end for County.

The result hit Drapes hard while I ploughed on with the report.

Notts fans put brave face on things
Delirious Stags fan all around - Drapes did well to keep his cool, especially when one of them tapped his laptop as he was writing for the site, asking 'what would you do if I pressed this?' His face was a picture!

Next was the interview. I grabbed Billy Dearden while Drapes headed for McParland.

Some interesting words but none could hide what had been a disappointing afternoon for team, and NCM's regulars with no live action.

Players ran out fresh, but it was same old Notts

Even the players seemed frustrated. Weston and Sam debating amongst themselves while MacKenzie seemed rattled by something.

After ten minutes pitch side, it was time to head back.

An awful result but a great day in which Mansfield Town made us very welcome.

We headed back to the station and the day got worse. A late running train from Nottingham packed in like sardines - back in Lincoln barely in time to catch breath before the Rugby World Cup final.