It's Dreary, Wet and Dull at Meadow Lane - On and Off the Pitch

Last updated : 23 October 2002 By Rob Davies

Millennium Stadium
'Me personally, I don’t have a real interest in it but I see it as Notts’ only route to Wembley – or Millennium Stadium as it will be for a few years – so it’s nice to do well but its not massively important.

Also it costs the club to open up the ground for the matches. Even if they will only get say 1,000 people at the VERY most turning up in the driving rain and the howling gale, to see Notts lose to some team lingering in the lower reaches of division three.

A wet Meadow Lane
Tonight, however, Notts were up against a team who are leading the second division by 2 points. That team of course are Wigan Athletic who Notts played earlier this season and lost 2-0 after dominating the first half at the Lane.

Dominating wasn’t really a word used tonight unless it was describing Wigan, as Notts slumped to a 3-2 defeat, with Richo and Bolly grabbing the goals.

If someone said 3-2 to me before the game, I would have thought we were in for a pretty exciting game with maybe one team snatching the victory in the last few minutes. I was wrong, very wrong. Wigan fans had booked their tickets for the second round when the teams were only 22 minutes into the game. Yes, that’s right, the ‘Pies were already 2-0 down at that point.

The first goal coming after only 9 minutes through Gary Teale, he then got his second on 22 minutes when he was put through by a quick touch from Andy Liddell. Teale then calmly chipped the ball over the legs of Mildenhall and into the Magpies' net.

Dearden then came running down the steps of the Main Stand to take control of a team that obviously can’t be left alone with Brazil for very long otherwise they start going down hill rapidly. The last time Dearden had to come down to the dug out after we had fallen behind was a the Peterborough home game, and look what happened then, we had pulled a goal back within 10 minutes of him taking charge and went on to equalise.

Three nil up at the Interval
By the half time break Notts had let another goal in and were looking like they really couldn’t be bothered. Well to be quite honest I couldn’t either, I sat through the break wondering why I had even made the journey to watch us not even put up a fight against a strong Wigan side and why I wasn’t at home finishing my English essay that really needed doing.

At half time Allsopp was brought on in place of Heffernan who had taken a knock to the head in the first half, which wasn’t that serious I don’t think.

As soon as the whistle was blown for the second half the ironic cheering started as well every time we managed to find a black and white shirt with a pass.

The Lane last night
We also seemed to show a bit more battle than in the first 45 minutes, Wigan were still peppering our goal with shots but fortunately none found the back of it.

Notts had far more shots but most were either straight at John Filan in the Wigan goal or wide of it.

Notts got a goal back on 63 minutes when a long corner from Nicholson, which actually looked to have gone too far, fell on the head of Ian Richardson for him to claim his first goal of the season.

There was now a lot more belief in both the players and supporters now, but could we do the seemingly impossible and get 2 more goals?

I really didn’t think we could but the task was made easier when with 11 minutes Bolly got his name on the score sheet to make the game a little more interesting for the remaining minutes.

Grabbing a goal
It seemed like Notts were on the attack for the rest of game and even had some penalty appeals turned down by referee Mr Beeby – who was not brilliant… but how many referees are when they take charge of a Notts game?

Notts were left wanting when the final whistle was blown and the 1,020 fans (including the 20 die-hard fans from Wigan) went home disappointed about the majority of the Magpies’ performance.

One thing can be said for sure, the players who were given the chance to impress tonight definitely didn’t take the opportunity to persuade the fans – and their manager that they are worthy of a starting place in the first team.

Oh well… there’s always league!