Liddell joy for Notts as the Latics' promotion wagon rolls on.

Last updated : 02 January 2003 By Rob Davies

JJB Stadium
We should have played Wigan this time last year but that was called off due to snow. Today, I sat paranoid in front of teletext hoping this New Year’s Day clash would not succumb to the heavy rainfall that came down last night.

Fortunately, or unfortunately if you want to look at it the other way, the match went ahead on a less than perfect pitch at the JJB. You can certainly tell that they play rugby on it!

Just to give you an indication of the pressure that was piled upon Notts right from the first whistle, Wigan did not even have a goal kick until the 17th minute and Notts’ first corner followed soon after.

Most fans that had travelled up from Nottingham realised that this was never going to be an easy game. But, with Wigan unbeaten in 18, and won the last 8 without conceding a goal for those 8 games (which is something like 720 minutes of football), the stage was there for a ‘giant-killing’ of sorts.

The Magpies just about coped with the incessant pressure from the Latics but needed Steve Mildenhall to produce a string of brilliant

Got the first goal
saves (including a 1-on-1) to stop it being an embarrassing scoreline – and that was even before half time.

Instead it was 1-0 at the break. Tony Dinning got Wigan’s first goal right on the 45 minute mark when Notts only had to hold out for the 1 minute of injury time to go in at 0-0. Jupp lost possession to Nathan Ellington, he then struck a shot, which hit the inside of the post, and Dinning was there to put in the rebound.


The second half was just the same as the first. Wigan kept piling forward in droves. The

Jason De Vos
neat passing and one touch football would have been a joy to watch if it had not been for the fact that I was supporting the opposition!

Jason De Vos made it 2-0 to the home side on 57 minutes as he powered a header into the Magpie’s net.

Notts very nearly got themselves back into it minutes later but Ian Richardson’s header flew wide of Filan’s goal.

It was then made 3-0 (I would have put "Wigan sealed their win with a 3rd goal" but I don’t think that their win was ever in any danger whatsoever!) on 73 minutes through Andy Liddell. He struck a 20-yard shot, which went straight into the bottom corner of the goal.

Notts were pretty bad in this match but really they could never match the quick Wigan side.

"Spoiled the party"
There was really only one thing left for Notts to do… and that was, to some extent, spoil the party. With just seconds left of normal time, Stallard was put through and he lobbed home keeper, John Filan, to end Wigan’s run of clean sheets.

If Notts were going to score, it was almost certainly Stallard who was going to get it out of the front two.

The returning Danny Allsopp partnered Stall up front. Allsopp never really looked bothered and with the few chances he had created for him he either ran straight into some waiting defenders or lost possession before help arrived.


Well, that’s something I suppose, I got my preview score prediction right for a change!

Some people might say it was embarrassing but I wouldn’t quite go as far as that. It was bad but we were playing a team who are top of the league so I think we would have done well to win with any performance.