In happier times...

Last updated : 05 May 2009 By Rob Davies

09/08/08: Bradford City 2-1 Notts County

If there was such a thing as a postive defeat, this was it. Faced with a daunting opening day trip to title-favourites Bradford City, Ian McParland's side gave a creditable performance in-front of over 14,000 supporters and could count themselves unfortunate to travel back to Nottingham empty-handed.

Six players made their Magpies debuts - including strikers Delroy Facey and Sean Canham, signed just two days earlier - but it was a familar face in Richard Butcher who netted County's goal, after Peter Thorne had earlier put the Bantams into a two-goal lead.

Notts: Pilkington; Beardsley, Edwards, Johnson, Mayo; Hamshaw, Butcher, Nowland, Weston; Facey (Canham), Forrester.

12/08/08: Notts County 1-0 Doncaster Rovers (Carling Cup)

The Magpies followed up a decent opening-day display with a stunning victory over Championship side Doncaster Rovers.

Myles Weston came off the bench to deliver a performance of immense promise and net a spectacular extra-time winner that gave Notts a deserved win, made all the more special by the absense of a number of first-team regulars.

Notts: Pilkington; Beardsley, Tann, Edwards, Mayo; Butcher, Smith, MacKenzie; Weir-Daley (Weston), Facey (Canham), Fairclough (Hamshaw).

16/08/08: Notts County 0-0 Darlington

Weston: Carling Cup hero
Notts were unable to match their Carling Cup exploits at home to a Darlington side who themselves harboured strong ambitions of promotion.

Weston returned to the starting line-up after his mid-week heroics but other star performers - such as Jay Smith and Neil MacKenzie - were omitted as McParland stuck with the side that lost at Bradford, with mixed results. Michael Johnson struck the bar for County but a draw was probably the fair result.

Notts: Pilkington; Beardsley, Edwards, Johnson, Mayo; Hamshaw, Butcher, Nowland (MacKenzie), Weston; Facey, Forrester (Weir-Daley).

23/08/08: Luton Town 1-1 Notts County

A second successive draw for the Magpies, who continued to produce football far superior to that witnessed in the previous campaign.

Notts' free-flowing football impressed at Kenilworth Road, but it was the home side - reeling from an imposed 30-point deduction - who took the lead, before Jamie Forrester netted his first Notts County goal from the penalty spot.

Wingers Matt Hamshaw, Weston and on-loan full-back Jason Beardsley were among those who caught the eye as the Magpies claimed a deserved point.

Notts: Pilkington; Beardsley, Edwards, Johnson, Mayo; Hamshaw, Butcher, Nowland (Smith), Weston; Facey, Forrester.

26/08/08: Wigan Athletic 4-0 Notts County (Carling Cup)

Notts' unbeaten start to the season came to an abrupt end at the JJB Stadium, as an under-strength side were dealt a lesson at the home of the Premiership side.

Henri Camara scored twice for Steve Bruce's side, with Butcher, Spencer Weir-Daley and Canham all missing chances to net for the Magpies.

Notts: Hoult; Beardsley, Tann, Edwards, Mayo; Butcher, Smith, MacKenzie (Hamshaw); Fairclough, Facey (Canham), Weir-Daley (Weston).

30/08/08: Notts County 2-2 Shrewsbury Town

Notts produced one of their best home League displays of the campaign against early pace-setters Shresbury but were left cursing their luck after the visitors twice came from behind to claim a somewhat fortunate point.

Captain Mike Edwards gave Notts a deserved half-time lead, before Dave Hibbert equalised shortly after the interval. Butcher netted his second of the campaign, but substitute Michael Symes grabbed an 88th-minute equaliser.

There was still time for both Butcher and Facey to miss late chances to give the Magpies the winner they deserved, meaning that - despite a flurry of promising performances and an attractive new style of play - they finished August still without their first League win of the season and were left languishing down in 15th in the League Two table.

Notts: Pilkington; Beardsley, Edwards, Johnson, Mayo; Hamshaw, Smith, Butcher, Weston; Facey, Forrester.

Also in August...

Ian McParland spent all summer trying to sign a big striker and then two came along at once, much-travelled Delroy Facey and highly-rated Team Bath hitman Sean Canham (picture above) both signing two year deals on the eve of the new season.

Teenage goalkeeper Tim Sandercombe had his remaining year on his contract terminated, following the pre-season arrival of Russell Hoult.

Defender Steven Hunt continued his recovery from a groin operation, while midfielder Gavin Strachan said he hoped to be back in training by mid-September, after picking up a hamstring injury in pre-season.

Derby full-back Jason Beardsley saw his loan extended until January after an impressive start to his time at Meadow Lane.

For the continuation of the review of last season, stay tuned to NCM in the coming days.