Magpies continue to falter as season ends

Last updated : 27 May 2009 By Rob Davies

04/04/09: Notts County 1-2 Chester City

Was this really the same team that started the campaign so well?

In just a few months, Notts had gone from a vibrant, passing side to one that were well-beaten at home to the worst side in the Division. Mike Edwards' 88th minute header failed to disguise the worst home performance of the season - no mean feat - as Notts fans, players and management thanked their luck for the points deducations imposed on others sides.

Notts: Pilkington; Picken, Edwards, Johnson (Tann), Clapham; Hamshaw, Thompson, Butcher, Weston; Facey, Forrester (Forte).

11/04/09: Rotherham United 2-1 Notts County

Ian McParland and BBC Radio Nottingham's Colin Slater hailed a superb Notts display after the final whistle, but it was yet another defeat against a side comfortably above the Magpies in League Two despite starting the season on -17 points.

County should have been ahead in the first half but missed chances proved costly and Mark Hudson scored for the hosts against the run of play shortly before the interval. Ruben Reid doubled the advantage in the 69th minute before Jonathan Forte pulled one back for McParland's side but it proved too late.

Notts: Pilkington; Picken, Tann, Edwards, Clapham; Hamshaw, Thompson, Butcher; Forte, Facey, Weston.

13/04/09: Notts County 0-2 Grimsby Town

The Magpies continued their hugely embarrassing end to the season as, having lost to the Division's worst side at home previously, they fell to defeat to Grimsby - the second worst - at Meadow Lane.

Notts were denied by a string of good saves from former loanee Wayne Henderson in the first half, but were well beaten by the Mariners in the second. Goals from Rob Atkinson and Danny Boshell giving the visitors win, while McParland once again refused to make any enforced substitutions until his side were already well beaten.

Notts: Pilkington; Picken, Edwards, Johnson (Canham), Clapham; Hamshaw, Thompson, Butcher, Weston; Facey, Forte.

18/04/09: Morecambe 1-0 Notts County

McParland: Under fire
A fourth successive defeat for the Magpies, as a 72nd-minute goal from Mark Duffy was enough to give playoff-chasing Morecambe all three points.

Notts started the game with a different system but ultimately it was groundhog day as missed chances cost them and, once again, very little change from the bench when Plan A failed to succeed.

Notts: Pilkington; Picken, Edwards, Hunt, Clapham; Butcher, Thompson, Strachan (Hamshaw); Forte, Facey, Weston.

25/04/09: Notts County 0-3 Dagenham & Redbridge

There was talk on the NCM messageboard of protests against the board at the club's final home game of the season, but they failed to truly materialise despite matters on-the-pitch continuing to worsen.

A fifth successive defeat was always on the cards and, despite a well-deserved ovation for Michael Johnson - playing in his last game of a long and distinguished career - the mood soured somewhat when the players were booed by a section of support during a much undeserved lap of honour.

Notts: Pilkington; Picken, Edwards, Johnson (Hunt), Clapham (Forrester); Hamshaw, Strachan, Thompson, Weston; Butcher (Fairclough); Facey.


02/05/09: Wycombe Wanderers 1-2 Notts County

After weeks of tepid defeats, McParland finally opted to experiment with his line-up and his team responded by beating one of the Division's promoted sides.

Wycombe needed only a point to secure automatic promotion, but Notts were in fine form and John Thompson's 30th minute opener was no more than they deserved. An offside-looking Dave McCracken equalised in the 52nd minute, but Thompson popped-up right at the death to deliver a fine 25-yard left-footed finish which ensured the season ended on a more positive note for the Magpies.

Notts: Pilkington; Picken, Edwards, Hunt, Clapham; Hamshaw, Thompson, Strachan (Richards), Weston; Canham (Facey), Fairclough (Tann).


Host to a very important meeting
Trust-elected John Armstrong-Holmes remained as Chairman after an unprecedented Special General Meeting at Meadow Lane.

A protest-group entitled Care About Notts - CAN - had called for a vote of no confidence in the Chairman and the other Trust-elected Director on the board, Eric Kerry, but after emotional speeches from either side and gagging orders imposed on CAN prior to the meeting, Armstrong-Holmes came home with just over 57% of the vote.

McParland began his summer clearout by telling Richard Butcher, Adam Nowland, Gavin Strachan, Adam Tann and Jamie Forrester their deals would not be renewed. Credit to Strachan, who enjoyed an excellent game at Wycombe three days after being given the news.

The Notts boss, though, did hand new one-year deals to Steven Hunt and young striker Ben Fairclough after the pair impressed in the season's final game at Adams Park.