My Views on the coming FA Cup game with Southport.

Last updated : 12 November 2002 By Rob Davies

The FA Cup Big balloon
"YEESSSS" I screamed as we drove back home down the M1 a few weeks ago. Why? You may ask. Well, we hadn’t left a match early only to find out Notts had scored, in fact, I was listening to the FA Cup draw live on the radio on the way home from the 0-0 draw at Saltergate.

I was very tense listening to the draw as I knew it would just be Notts’ luck that they would get an away tie to someone like Cardiff or QPR and our run in the FA Cup would probably last a measly 90 minutes.

But instead we’d got a match away to Conference opponents, Southport. I was pretty pleased with this tie, not just because it SEEMED an easy game (which I assure you it won’t be if Notts are involved!) I was looking forward to it because if you draw a non-league team you have a lot more chance of getting your match live on TV – or I reckon so anyway! But instead the Nation didn’t have the honour of the Magpies gracing their screens for 90 minutes; instead we got the next best thing – EXTENDED highlights on Match of the Day. The only problem being that it’s on at just past midnight – looks like a very late night then doesn’t it?

Round 1
The Southport fans seem quietly optimistic from the comments I have read in various places and are expecting a big crowd on the day at Haig Avenue. With, I’m sure, plenty of Notts fans making their way up from Nottingham.

Drawing a non league team had got me thinking a bit about other non-league opponents we have had in recent years.

The last time we played a non-league side was when we played then Ryman Premier league team Gravesend and Northfleet in the 1999/2000 season. This match was postponed so many times that we actually ended up playing it on 8th December and even then we only managed to win 2-1, with goals from Stallard and, now ex-magpie, Andy Hughes.

The time before that was in 1998 when we took on Hendon. After a 0-0 draw at Hendon’s ground in front of a crowd of 1627 we brought them back to Meadow Lane where we booked our place in the second round by winning 3-0.

So really, recently we’ve not thrashed teams but we’ve won eventually, which you would expect us to do.

But I think Southport will provide the Magpies with a sterner test than Gravesend or Hendon as they are flying high in the Conference table where they are 4th, having taken 33 points our of a possible 54 and they are only 4 points off leaders Yeovil Town.

But we’ll wait and see what Saturday brings!

Nicki Gill's pre match thoughts...