Masters: The Final

Last updated : 14 July 2005 By Matthew Taylor

The final itself was a bit of an anti-climax as the big match (the 5-0 hammering of Forest) in most people's eyes had already gone. County had by now got the masters record for longest time without conceding a goal, which now stood at forty-six minutes.

The match got off to a great start with Notts still brimming with the confidence gained from dispatching Forest with such ease. The veteran Magpies got off to a good start, testing the Leicester keeper with a stinging shot.

Notts then took the lead after three minutes when Dean Thomas perfectly measured a chipped lob over the head of Leicester’s Dale Belford.

Thomas: Put the Magpies' in front
Leicester were trying for an equaliser but couldn’t get through the defence, or if they did all shots were of a poor standard. That was until two minutes until half time when Lee Philpott calmly slotted home past Steve Cherry from the edge of the area to break the Magpies record-breaking fifty minutes without conceding a goal. For the rest of the first half there were no clear-cut chances.

It wasn’t until two minutes into the second half when a Leicester corner was taken by Tommy Wright allowing Philpott to get his second of the game, turning in from a narrow angle. Now the onus was on Notts to get back into the game, but try as they might Notts couldn’t get through the Foxes defence with Belford saving any attempts that came his way.

Notts’ task was made even harder ninety seconds from the end when Paul Groves' powerful strike from the edge of the area beat Cherry and found the top corner.

Leicester knew that their name was on the trophy and decided to play out time by keeping the ball. The American style hooter sounded for the final time of the evening to draw the entertaining spectacle to an end.

As Leicester received their winners medal and a tub of Jaffa cakes each the supporters all rose to their feet to applaud the teams, in what was a very entertaining event.

Notts may have lost the final to Leicester, but in every sense of the word the Magpies had the moral victory of their supposedly superior rivals from across the Trent.

All we can hope is that the current team was watching and that they show the same gutsy determination that even in their mounting years the ex-pro’s showed why they stormed up the league how they did. And, you never know, it may just be an omen for next season.