FA Cup Second Round Memories - Part Two



With Hans Backe in the dugout and the Munto finance debacle just at the point where it began to unravel, Notts travelled south to promotion rivals Bournemouth in desperate need of FA Cup progress. At first this one was uneventful, with a drab first half only lit up by Cherries forward Brett Pitman, who turned sharply before firing a low shot past Kasper Schmeichel and into the far corner. As half time came, the heavens opened, and the wettest half of football that NCM has ever seen ensued. By the time Lee Hughes' volley somehow squirmed through the grip of rookie goalkeeper Thomas, puddles began to appear all over the pitch and Notts' winner soon afterwards, from Craig Westcarr, saw the winner have to skip through a couple of shallow reservoirs before firing home. With Eddie Howe's side struggling to adapt to the farcical conditions, time ticked away, with Notts securing a third round tie against Forest Green Rovers. They saw off the non-league side at Meadow Lane, before a stunning replay victory at Wigan Athletic after squandering a two goal lead at home. The run eventually came to an end at Fulham, with Roy Hodgson's side winning 4-0 infront of 5,000 travelling Notts fans.


Twelve months later, and with both sides having moved up a level, Notts again met Eddie Howe and Bournemouth in the second round of the cup, on a Tuesday night after the original fixture had fallen foul to heavy snow in Nottingham. Having beaten Gateshead in the first round under Paul Ince, Notts controlled this game from start to finish, taking the lead when Krystian Pearce powerfully headed home Neal Bishop's cross. Lee Hughes doubled the lead when he collected a Tom Ince cross, turned his marker and bent the ball past the goalkeeper, before Notts sealed the win on the stroke of half-time. Ince Jnr. raced away down the left before, in a moment immortalised on Youtube, putting the hapless Stephen Purches on the floor with a series of stepovers before drilling in a cross that deflected home off defender Warren Cummings. Bournemouth did get some consolation late in, Steve Fletcher heading home, but it was Notts who would go on to defeat Sunderland in round three before taking Manchester City to a replay. 


Notts finally put to bed their poor recent record against non-league clubs in the second round last season, by edging past Sutton United on a freezing cold Sunday evening in South London. This time live on ESPN, Martin Allen named a strong side as he looked to overcome a side flying high in the Conference South and boasting two of the Havant side who had beaten Notts in goalscorer Tony Taggart and goalkeeper Kevin Scriven. Sutton were strong early on and twice forced saves out of Stuart Nelson, before Jeff Hughes carried on his goalscoring form by flicking home a misplaced shot by Karl Hawley. The game hinged on a moment in first half injury time, when Sam Sodje felled Craig Dundas to give Leroy Griffiths a chance to level things from the spot. Nelson came out on top though and Notts saw the game out, with Hughes adding his second late on after Sutton saw Karl Murray sent off for a second yellow card.