Magpies rocked by Shakers

By Richard Brown
Last updated : 22 November 2004

Well, our little fairytale beginning to Richo’s stint in charge is over, call me pessimistic, but maybe it’s for the better.

There’s no use getting ahead of ourselves after home wins against Woking and the Shrewsbury Town, is there? You’d be a fool to think otherwise too.

McFaul: Crocked
Ian Richardson - appointed temporary Magpies boss a little more than a fortnight ago - named himself in the starting XI at the very first opportunity in the absence of captain Mike Whitlow, in the back line of the 3-5-2 (or 5-3-2 if we’re getting picky) that's been his favoured formation of late.

Things were none too pretty right from the off, Saul Deeney – named between the sticks for the eighteenth time of his Notts career – came galloping out to close down the run of Dave Nugent, only to hack down the Bury man directly outside the box and earn himself a deserved booking. The resulting free kick amounted to nothing.

Dave Flitcroft came close soon after for Bury, but was only able to drag his shot just wide.

Notts, however, continued their sluggish introduction to the Northwest, with chances few and far between. Chrissy Palmer, featuring in a more central role, saw the Magpies’ only early chance breeze wide of the mark.

The visitors were soon back to their old tricks though, when, on 22 minutes, they fell behind to a sloppy – yet highly controversial – Chris Porter opener.

Although a strong argument was afoot as to whether the goal should have stood or not, Porter ploughed through the fragile Notts defence to poke a weakened effort beyond the grip of Deeney, who could only claw the ball into the net. 1-0 Bury.

Surprisingly – albeit against the run of play – Notts could so easily have found themselves back in front almost immediately, let alone within sight of an equaliser!

Glynn Hurst, our supposed master-class marksman, missed, first, with his foot – rattling his shot onto the Shakers cross-bar – before heading wide from point-blank range, much to the despair of the 400 strong County contingent.

A goal from either of the two above Notts opportunities and the outcome of the contest may well have been very different. Not least for the fact that Bury would have failed to keep a clean sheet, but also for the sheer possibility of the game having opened up in favour of the Magpies.

Unfortunately, neither found the net – and so the fact remained, Notts were as good as defeated.

Hurst again came close soon after, but his best effort of the contest was saved superbly by the former Forest man, Andy Marriot, between the sticks before the half time whistle closed proceedings.

HALF TIME: Bury 1-0 Notts County

Notts, who coincidentally came out long after their hosts, were not to be in the game to the speed of Bury, who again took the game to the Magpies.

If there looked no way back before, then our worst fears were confirmed when Notts failed to effectively respond from their likely half-time excursions deep in the belly of the monster that is Bury FC.

Hurst: Was it something I said?
With Notts low on inspiration through the absence of Stef Oakes – even after the wake-up call of two Bury breakthrough's early in the second half – changes looked imminent.

A basic lack of passion, width and muse it seemed almost inevitable that there was only one man for the job… and so Matty Gill was the man instigated to ring the changes. Strange.

As far as the football was concerned, that was it. From there on in, the ridiculous ruled supreme.

In the 77th minute, that theory was very much proven. A Magpies corner found Shane McFaul, who – before running headlong into a challenge – looked to find Hurst on the edge of the area to deliver a lethal blow, but was hacked down in the most unceremonious of fashion – yet it looked nothing like a foul, just an awkward mess.

McFaul, lying stricken on the ground, was as good as ignored by the so-called ref Mike Pike who played on, suffocating the 18-year old midfielder of much needed medical attention, even warranting the calling of two club doctors to the pitch.

When the ball finally teetered out through one device or another, the immediate decision – pretty obviously really – was to send off Glynn Hurst without hesitation. Sarcasm aside, I think Hurst probably said something he shouldn’t. Glynn, you radical you.

Amongst all this, McFaul found himself despondent on the ground and remained so for the next five minutes, before being carefully removed from the field of play on a spinal board. Bosnian wonderkid Fahrudin ‘Faz’ Kudozovic replaced the injured youngster.

With very little way back into the match, Richardson – possibly starved of common sense due to the clashing interests of player and manager coming into play for the first time – went forward himself instead of piling on the more likely a figure of Chris O’Grady to help chase the game.

With nothing to lose, O’Grady remained grounded. And so the match petered out into nothingness. Bury disappointing indeed. Ha ha, get it?

FULL TIME: Bury 1-0 Notts County

Rich in good food and good company (well, one out of two isn’t all that bad), the long journey home looked ever more painful following this latest defeat which sees the Magpies lie twentieth in League Two.

All I can now hope is that this the first slip-up of the Richo era will serve as an opener to eyes and minds to the possibility – should finances permit – of a more permanent, and sure replacement.

The above remains to be seen.

More reaction to come.

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