Norris brace enough for the Pilgrims to end Notts' home run.

Last updated : 26 January 2003 By Rob Davies

To be quite honest I don’t know how to begin this report. There’s only so many ways you can write about playing well for half a game and then capitulating in the other half, without repeating yourself.

But I’ll attempt it anyway, because by now I ought to be used to Notts doing it that way – and I’m sure it won’t be the last time they do it either!

Had Notts' first chance
Notts started the game with the same team and formation that completely turned the game as they somehow came back from 2-0 down last Tuesday to beat struggling Stockport.

Right from the off Notts pressured Plymouth and possibly had more chances in that period than they had in the whole game on Tuesday.

In the first minute Darren Caskey had a chance which was well blocked.

Allsopp had a chance shortly after that, but his shot was well saved by visiting keeper Roman Larrieu. The French keeper didn’t really have a lot to do other than deal with the numerous shots from the Magpies in the first 20 minutes or so.

Mark Stallard set up a chance for Kevin Nicholson but the ball rolled

Had the Magpies best chance of the game
across the face of the goal and was then cleared by the Pilgrims.

Possibly Notts' best chance of the half came when another lay off by Stall gave Heffernan the chance to get the first goal of the game. Heff’s powerful shot rebounded off the underside of the crossbar to the dismay of the home fans.

Notts really needed to get a goal in this long period of pressure because once that was over we were going to have to hold out against the Plymouth attack, which wasn’t going to be easy.

The home side had even more opportunities to open the scoring, as a lob from Nicho had to be cleared off the line by Paul Wotton.

A succession of corners followed for Notts and another chance went begging when a header from Richardson, who played on the left of the back four today, was cleared off the line.

The first chance the visitors had of testing Mildenhall came from a free kick 25 yards from the Notts goal. Paul Wotton struck the ball but it was straight at the Notts keeper.

After a couple of bookings for the black and whites, the game went flat and Plymouth started to get on top after soaking up the early pressure.

Then the inevitable happened, the Pilgrims took the lead and Notts were left kicking themselves after missing all those early chances.

A long header forward by Plymouth resulted in a shot by Ian

Stopped the score being 2-0 at half time
Stonebridge, which rebounded off Mildenhall’s left hand post. The ball fell to David Norris who slotted the ball back where it should have gone in the first place and Notts were 1-0 down.

It could have been 2-0 on the stroke of half time but Mildenhall managed to save a 1-on-1 chance with his legs.


What we really needed was an early goal to get back in the game.

There was a quick goal scored but it wasn’t for the home side. Instead, it was David Norris on target again for Plymouth as he capitalised on a mistake by Ireland.

When will Notts ever learn to not leave Ireland on his own at the

Bagged 2 for the Pilgrims
back? Because he simply can’t cope with it.

For the rest of the half it was all Plymouth with very little to shout about for Notts fans.

We did have the occasional chance but they were wasted exactly like the ones in the first part of the game.

I don’t really know what else I can say, but it just about summed the whole thing up when I looked over to the ‘Z block’ about 15 minutes before the end of the game and already half the people had left and gone home. Even the referee blew up 30 seconds early for full time!

Plymouth fans were sent home happy after claiming their first win at Meadow Lane for 44 years.

Fans went home happy
And the moral of the story is… (Apart from don’t leave Ireland on his own at the back)… take your chances when you have them because if you don’t you’ll more than likely regret it later.