Bolland strike fuels Notts' late fight back

Last updated : 30 October 2002 By Rob Davies

Just a little fact to wet your appetite with before I start the report. The referee (if you could call him one!) has refereed 10 matches in his first season on the league referees list. But – here comes the interesting bit – only 2 (yes 2!) of those matches have resulted in home wins. Now unless there is some kind of coincidence there then I would say that it sounds a bit weird. The match last night brought to an end a sequence of 5 straight AWAY wins where he had officiated.

If we’d have known that fact before the match then we might have been ready for the amount of inadequate and ‘game changing’ refereeing that was going to be on show from Mr Boyeson.

The match started 15 minutes late, at 8pm, to give some people a chance to get through the heavy traffic in Nottingham City Centre caused by a bad accident on Ladybay Bridge. Maybe that was a wise decision because there was a final crowd of 4,797 at The Lane to witness the Magpies extend their unbeaten home league record to 3 games. They drew 1-1 with a reasonably solid Swindon side, who are also stuck at the bottom despite a good first few games.

When the game finally kicked off it was evident quite early on that the Robins were a strong side who could prove to be difficult to handle in certain positions and with individual elements of their game.

One of those who posed risks to the Magpies defence was Eric Sabin who went close on a few occasions. Simon Ramsden, who looked to be carrying an injury, had problems keeping up with his pace and this enabled the Robins to get a lot of dangerous crosses into Notts’ box.

Notts did have chances of their own during the first half most notably from Danny Allsopp, who still didn’t seem up to his best, and then Mark Stallard, who’s shot resulted in a Notts corner.

On 23 minutes Swindon had their best chance of the match when they had a ball cleared off the line from a dangerous corner. It looked to have been saved by a mixture of Garden and Nicholson. Either way they didn’t score.

Only 6 minutes after that, Heffernan was brought don’t twice in the Swindon box but none of those fouls convinced the official to award the Pies a penalty. Was this something to do with that fact I ask myself?

Just 2 minutes later Notts were kicking off again as Robin’s leading scorer Sam Parkin’s shot found the bottom corner.

Most people focused the blame on the ref but from what I saw the Notts players were too busy complaining about the penalty incident and weren’t alert to threat that Swindon were mounting.

2minutes later Ramsden finally succumbed to his injury and was replaced by Danny Stone

Notts went into the break feeling very hard done by and 1-0 down.

In the second period Swindon seemed to have been revitalised by the goal they had got and threatened quite a few more times before Billy opted for a change of tactics putting Stallard up front and dropping Allsopp back to midfield.

Notts started to get going soon, after Cas replaced Allsopp. He caused Swindon some problems down the right but was sometimes hampered by letting the ball bounce before controlling it.

After about 63 minutes Notts really pushed the accelerator pedal and managed to get an equaliser from Bolland who finished a flick on by Mark Stallard who had collected Cas’ volley into the box.

After that Notts were full of confidence, only being tested by Swindon once or twice again before the end. The Pies could and should have easily won the match as they missed easy chance after easy chance.

The most memorable one was when Heffernan first had a header somehow saved by the keeper then a Town player blocked his goal-bound re-bound.

All in all it was a good point and if Notts can play like they did in the last 25-30 minutes then they will claim a few more points!

I'll be keeping a close eye on the that Referee's matches and to see if that 'trend' continues!