Dear Notts Diary

By Paul Smith
Last updated : 20 November 2006

8.00am: Wake up in my student accommodation in Lincoln, after a night out in the city. A meal with the girlfriend and another couple at fancy restaurant 'Touch' is followed by a night out with the boys. Despite my diet of double vodka red bulls and half a bottle of Rosa, washed down with a couple of pints, I manage to wake up on time, and minus a hangover which is a healthy Saturday bonus, to set me up for an exciting day. God I wish I'd had more than five hours sleep.

Trains... Always keep awful company
9.23am:
Just boarded my train at Lincoln Central Station. Destination: Nottingham Station.

9:25am: Realise I'm sat next to three middle-aged women who feel fit to criticise “everything bad about this country”. In particular students! Surely they notice me with my longish wavy hair, ripped jeans and University text book on the table, sat right next to them! You know the sort, like the one football expert you always get sat in front of you at home games. The annoying voice that states he has done, seen and knows everything. Anyhow I managed to hold my tongue, probably due to severe tiredness.

10am: Two women of the much older generation board the train, and place themselves in that awkward seat, just facing you. The seat that nobody wants to have to sit in… Why won't they stop looking at me? I'm just a student blasting out music through his headphones… that's the point… Ashes, Embrace… what a tune! Come on Notts!

10.30 am: Arrive at Nottingham Station.

10.35 am: Number one bus en route to “home” in Clifton. As I make the journey I go past Meadow Lane. It never fails to raise the heart-rate. Can't wait to see it again, I don't know about anyone else but no matter where you are in Nottingham, providing you are within sight-seeing distance of the hallowed stadium, you just can't take your eyes off it, nor help smiling… ooh what is this red monstrosity?

11am: Back at my Clifton home to catch the last hour of Soccer AM.

Noon: My dad rolls out an old highlights package he'd saved for me from ESPN Classic, featuring Notts' 1-1 home draw with Chelsea - Rachid Harkouk the Notts goalscorer. Usual tales of the good old days transpire, but I can't help but note some contradictions in him. Now the most pessimistic of supporters around, my dad, a loyal fan of forty years I must add, usually says “Too many set-pieces, too much long-ball...etc…” Well to be honest I don't see much evidence that suggests otherwise in your era dad! I suppose I must be a bit jealous, I missed out on those successful times…only three hours left!

1.45pm: Just leaving. Be at Meadow Lane in twenty minutes.

2.05pm: Arrived. Myself, my dad and my brother Phil. Pick up a program, grab my Derek Pavis student ticket, mushy peas and chips, alongside a coke, and listen in to Colin from my seat to hear the team news. Both new signings on the bench? Hmmm… Bit sceptical. No Dudfield? Bit harsh. Nevertheless, I'll stick with my winning prediction.

3pm: Kick-off.

3.15pm: We are still trying to determine which of the seven dwarves the referee is…angry, sleepy or dopey?

3.40pm: Notts take the lead. ‘Parky' lashing home to great joy. Dad's criticism's of Mendes fall on deaf ears. “Where's your Harkouk gone? Where's your Harkouk gone?!”

Half-Time: What is that young goalkeeper doing? Is he a goalkeeper or a striker? Stop running out of goal you greedy sod. Nipped down for a sausage roll, all gone, likewise the mushy peas. The catering facilities in the DP are in decline… get the old woman back behind there!

2nd Half: Pipey…Beast. Lee goal, Llewellyn goal… Notts take the points at 2-1!

X Factor... Essential viewing

5.20pm: Arrive home extremely happy, knowing Notts are four points inside the playoffs, and only three points of third. Hearing of Mansfield's defeat, aswell as my Town, Lincoln's thrashing, helps my mood even further, allowing me to settle down to a night in front of the fire and the television…. Leona to win (The X Factor for those who hate reality TV!)

Just a quick note…this is my expenditure today on following the team I love…Luckily Dad helped!

Train Return: £7.55

Bus Fair: £1.30

Program: £2.50

Ticket: £9

Chips and Peas: £2.10

Cola: £1.20

Total: £23.65.…well bloody worth it!

Notts. County Match Reports

Sky Bet League Two Sat 18th November 15:00

Notts County 3 - 1 Cheltenham Town

Last game - Match Centre


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