Last updated : 16 November 2002 By Rob Davies

Out at the first hurdle

I should really count to 10 before I begin writing (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – that’s better) otherwise there will be more expletives in this report than there was muttered on the terraces after the 4th goal went in.

Notts deserved everything they got (absolutely nothing) and I can say that Southport probably wouldn’t look out of place in division 3 on that showing, although Notts did help them look good.

Gives us the lead
After the big build up from the Southport announcer the fans were ready for an action packed game at a sunny but fresh Haig Avenue.

Notts had chances before they finally went in front on 8 minutes through a strike by Danny Allsopp when a Stone cross couldn’t be cleared by the Port defence and it fell to Super Dan to fire home.

The Pies were quite comfortable at 1-0 although the Sandgrounder’s attacks were looking increasingly dangerous as they identified Stone as Notts’ weak link. Time after time they came down the right hand side and got a cross in.

Garden made some good saves to stop Southport equalising.

Then came one of the big talking points. Caskey made a strong challenge on a Port player who then retaliated.

Dismissed from the action: Again!
Caskey appeared to raise his hand as though to hit him. After much discussion between the referee and his linesman, and a few more pushes and shoves among the players, the man in the middle showed Caskey the red card – one yellow for the tackle and one yellow for the retaliation.

Caskey sees red
This was the catalyst that sparked the Southport comeback really.

Shortly after, Allsopp got his second of the game, which kicked off chants of "We’ve only got 10 men" from the Notts fans. After that it just went down hill very steeply!

Then just about on half time another error from Notts ‘Weakest Link’ gave Port the chance to pull one back – they took it. Steve Pickford put it in the net.

At half time, I was still pretty optimistic; Allsopp could still get a hat-trick and it wasn’t possible that we could chuck it away – or was it?

Well it was, just 15 minutes after the restart Southport were rewarded for their pressure.

Notts never got back in the game. We kept lumping the ball up for someone who we were hoping would be there on the end of it – but they weren’t.

16 minutes from the end, the Sandgrounders took a deserved lead when substitute Peter Thomson fired past Garden from 6 yards.

Cannot cross
Notts had plenty of chances to grab an equaliser. We got to the edge of their box and didn’t want to shoot, and as a result had the ball taken off us. We couldn’t cross either, Marcel Cas being the main culprit of that. It wasn’t even as thought their keeper was 7 foot tall. He resembled more of a local school kid who had been given a shirt 2 sizes to big and told to get on with it.

Deserved the win
Southport sealed their win in the 89th minute. I admit I sarcastically cheered when it went in, then picked up my things and headed for the exit of the terrace with many other disgusted County fans – not even waiting to see the minutes of injury time that were added on. I’d had enough.

I for one won’t be stopping up until 1 am to watch Notts make a fool of them selves on NATIONAL TV. At least when the circus is looking for some new clowns, they’ll

Notts on the TV
know where to come.

Ah well, at least we can concentrate on the league – and we’ll need to if we keep playing like that every week.

Just one more (positive) thing before I go and throw myself off Trent Bridge; when Duncan Jupp came on for Danny Stone he looked like he could be a good signing, putting some nice attacking ball through for Allsopp.