Notts Rock The Robins

Last updated : 16 February 2003 By Rob Davies

Who would have thought that after last week Notts could turn in a performance like that? Admittedly Bristol City weren’t the good side they usually are and as their league position suggests but it shows what Notts can do if they work at it.

Craig Fagan and Michael Brough in action
Billy Dearden said during the week that he wanted 6 more wins to try and be sure of survival in Division 2. One less to get after today which makes it slightly easier on us, but there is still a long way to go as just a few results going wrong could see us bottom – it is too close for comfort really.

Dearden chose not to include any youngsters in the starting XI, but instead had Willis Francis and Shaun Harrad on the bench. He also made some changes to the team that lost 3-2 to Mansfield. Simon Ramsden was left out and Paul Bolland was played at right-back. Allsopp was missing because of his injury and Heffernan and Michael Brough started in place of those two.

Danny Coles misses a chance for Bristol City
The first half was a pretty dull affair really with neither team really creating any chances for themselves.

Ian Baraclough shot over for the Magpies before Steve Mildenhall denied danger-man Scott Murray (although, thankfully, we didn’t really see a lot of him this afternoon).

Half time came pretty quickly without anyone taking the lead in the first half. Both teams weren’t playing to their

Paul Heffernan on the attack
potential, especially Bristol City and you could definitely see why they haven’t won for 9 games. The Robins will need to buck their ideas up if they intent to stay in the Play-off places until the end of the season.


The Magpies came out in the second half, looking like they had a point to prove and consequently set about doing it.

Stallard celebrates
It took just 6 minutes for Notts to make their mark on the second half. Mickey Bell held Mark Stallard in the City area as he attempted to get past the Bristol defender. Referee, Mr G Hegley, wasted no time in pointing to the spot. After a delay, while various Reds players were booked for trying to argue their case with the officials (not very successfully I might add!), Stallard stepped up and confidently stuck the penalty to the keeper’s right hand side.

The pressure continued on the City goal as Notts pushed for a second goal to extend their lead.

Notts’ best move of the match was the one that created the second goal. Half the Notts team was involved in the move that lead to the goal. Stallard, Caskey and Liburd were all involved before the ball found itself to the right hand side and Paul Bolland. He crossed the ball in for Richardson to head back across goal where Paul Heffernan produced a superb driving header to put the ball in the back of the net.

Had it not been for the Notts keeper it could have finished all square at the end of the game. Mildenhall produced at least three fantastic

Baraclough and Doherty battle for the ball
saves in the second half to keep the Magpies 2-0 up. Mildy first denied Lee Peacock with a brilliant reaction save right on the goal line.

Another memorable one was near the end when a City player was basically clean through on goal but Mildenhall was there to save.

Later on in the game, Paul Heffernan should have been awarded a concrete penalty, which was even more obvious than the pull on Stallard. The man in the middle dismissed the appeals from the fans and players and left Dearden fuming on the touchline.

Bristol City pushed Notts back in the closing stages but the much-

Nick Fenton this afternoon.
improved back line held firm for County.


So Notts came away from this match with 2 things that they really needed, a clean sheet and the 3 points. But as we have said so many times this season, it is no good winning one match and then failing to carry it on through the next few matches.

No one had a particularly bad game today (for once!) and special mentions have to go to Bolland, Stallard, Fenton, Mildenhall and Richardson who in my opinion had the better games.

Next weekend Notts face Oldham at Boundary Park and they

Liburd goes for the ball with Scott Murray
will face a tough test up there, although Oldham’s home form hasn’t been that good of late… so who knows?!