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?
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.
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!