Home Hoodoo finally broken

Last updated : 19 October 2002 By Nicki Gill
Today was a little bit different for me today as I was the mascot, which was a special birthday present.
Before the game I was expecting probably about as much as some of you from the Magpies after the dreadful performance at the McAlpine last week.
But history was on my side, for once, as the last time Notts started a season as bad as this they won, on my birthday, against Bury, 2 seasons ago. Also my brother was the mascot for the first game of that unforgetable record breaking Championship Season.

So after meeting the players I led the team out on to the pitch for the start of the game. I was walking out with another little boy, who was none other than Marco Gabbiadini's nephew, Charlie!

The first half was very much improved compared to last week (like that would
be very hard to improve on anyway!) with both sides having chances but most
falling to Notts. The most memerable one was when Stallard had a shot saved from about 6 yards out when the easier option probably was to score. Heffernan, starting his first match since the 'Pies lost to Oldham in early September, was through on goal with Stallard not far behind. He squared the ball to Stall whose shot was saved by the Cobblers keeper.

Throughout the first half Notts looked the most convincing of the two sides
with some neat passing football being played.
New loan signing Jeff Whitley went straight into the side as Captain, and
looked like he had never been away from the team he left after pulling off
the 'Great Escape' at the end of last season.

I can see him soon become one of - if not THE' - fans favourite before much longer. Personally I couldn't remember that much about him from last season, but he soon reminded me. Caskey will do well to get his place - let alone the Captain's arm band - back off Whitley now, even after just one match if he carries on like he did today!
Notts went into half-time with the same score as they started the match on.

The second-half was much the same as the first with Notts carrying on where they left off.

It didn't take long for Notts to be rewarded for their efforts with a goal
for Mark Stallard on the 50 minute mark.
Ramsden sent a brilliant ball to Stallard on the edge of the area where he
fired home past Harper in the Cobbler's goal, much to the delight of the
Notts faithful!

When Notts take the lead, the same question always comes into my head - "Will we be able to hold on to it?" Quite often the answer is 'No' but this time it was thanks to two outstanding saves from 'Scotland's Number 1' that we held on to the advantage for nearly 30 minutes.

Firstly he saved a shot that looked to be over the line following somewhat of a goal mouth scramble. Then, he made a fantastic save from Jamie Forester, who's 25 yard volley looked to be heading into the top corner of the net, but Garden threw himself full-length (or possibley further!) to tip it round the post.

The equiliser came on 79 minutes when Derek Asamoah's low shot found the corner of the net.

Northampton had barely chance to drum up enough people to get a chorus of 'You're not singing anymore' echoing around the Kop before Notts fans were
chanting the same straight back at them!

Paul Heffernan scored to put the lads back in the driving seat at 2-1 on 83 minutes, when he scored one of his typical goals - receiving a pass before weaving through the opposition defence and slotting the ball home.

I am always glad when Heffernan plays because he is one of those players that I think will always score when he has chances, he never stops chasing lost causes and actually looks like he wants to win the game - which is more than can be said for some of the others occasionally!

o, final score a very well deserved 2-1 victory for the 'Pies. I thoroughly
enjoyed my day as mascot and would now like to think of myself as something of a good luck charm - just a pity I can't fork out the £120 every week!
Now lets see if we can carry it on next week when we face Chesterfield!