Notts County FC
Match Line-ups & Details
for significant matches 2000/01 - 2008/09

Saturday 9th September 2000
3pm kick off at Meadow Lane

3rd tier League fixture
*Then known as Division Two

Notts County 1
Stallard 89

Bristol Rovers 1
Ellington 59

Attendance :- 5,511
Referee:-  G. B Frankland (Middlesbrough)

Notts County
Colours:- Black & white striped shirts, Black shorts, Black socks
League Position:- before match 4th/24, after match 7th/24
Manager:- Jocky Scott

Darren Ward
Alex Dyer *
Richard Liburd
Mark Warren
Ian Richardson
Andy Hughes
Gary Owers
Craig Ramage Sent off 90
Ian Hamilton +
David Joseph ^
Mark Stallard

Sub: Sean Farrell *66
Sub: Matt Redmile +79
Sub: Kevin Rapley ^79

Subs not used: Paul Gibson (GK) and Andy McDermott

Bristol Rovers
Colours:- Blue & white quartered shirts, White shorts, White socks
League Position:- before match 14th/24, after match 15th/24
Manager:- Ian Holloway

Nick Culkin
Scott Jones
Marcus Bignot
Steve Foster
Andy Thomson
Che Wilson *
Vitalijs Astafjevs
Simon Bryant
Lewis Hogg
Mickey Evans
Nathan Ellington

Sub: Mark Walters *90

Subs not used: Brian Parkin (GK), Trevor Challis, Robbie Pethick and Clinton Ellis

Notts had an intense rivalry with Bristol Rovers dating back to the late 1980's (Two County players had been sent off in a violent clash with Rovers on 29/09/1987 and matters came to a head during season 1989/90, see the footnote of the match played on 26/04/1990 for details). At 0-1 in the latter stages of this 09/09/2000 match, Rovers began to indulge in blatant time wasting and with only a few minutes to go, they kicked the ball out of play so that another “injured” player could receive treatment. As part of a gentleman’s agreement, throw-ins resulting from players needing treatment were normally expected to be returned to the side that had kicked the ball out of play, but Notts fans in Z block - where the throw was to be taken from - demanded that the ball should not be returned, County attacked from the throw which directly led to the equaliser prompting pandemonium in the stands. There then followed a shocking tackle on throw-in taker Craig Ramage who reacted badly and got himself sent off (once the ensuing mass brawl between players had calmed down). At the final whistle the Notts manager Jocky Scott kept his players on the pitch to avoid any further confrontations in the tunnel. In hindsight, the infamous events of this match (as well as the crowd problems in the next Saturday home match that saw a Linesman pushed, a steward knocked out by a another fan's punch and the ground then completely submerged under water after a flood) were perhaps the result of demented astrological forces in the cosmos that also brought Albert Scardino and Peter Storrie to takeover Notts days before the fixture with Bristol Rovers was played. Rovers were later relegated that season and would have stayed up had they held out for the two extra points at Meadow Lane. Notts finished 8th, but a fete worse than relegation would soon threaten County's very existence.

Nottingham Evening Post Report

Mark Stallard scored a late equaliser for Notts County as their Division Two match against Bristol Rovers on Saturday 9th September 2000 ended in high controversy. Paul Taylor reports for the Nottingham Evening Post

Stallard scored after Rovers thought a throw-in should have been returned to them. Craig Ramage was then sent off in the ensuing fracas. Notts began the match with a neat passing move which saw Hughes, Ramage, Richardson and Joseph involved to set up Stallard with an opportunity on the edge of the box. The Notts striker could not control the ball and that set the tone for the early stages of the game. Hamilton sprayed a fine ball down the left flank for Liburd but the Magpies soon lost possession and it was the visitors who took control of the game after a short spell of pressure which saw Ward pull off a superb full- length save from Evans. Evans fired a fierce right-foot drive which Ward did well to parry before Liburd recovered to clear the ball off the line. The Magpies defence then buckled under another attack as a miss-timed tackle from Hamilton felled Astafjevs on the edge of the six-yard box. Referee Frankland had no hesitation in awarding a penalty to Bristol. Ellington stepped up to take the kick but the young striker looked less than confident and he miss-hit his shot wide. The Notts keeper looked to have had it covered but let the ball fall harmlessly wide as he saw it was off target.

Notts did fight their way into the game with some determined tackling and hit back with two efforts from Owers. The Notts skipper failed to test Rovers keeper Culkin from long range as Notts pressured through their first corner of the match. He came closer moments later as Culkin was punished for holding on to the ball for longer than eight seconds. The referee awarded a free kick just inside the penalty area and an intricate set play between Hamilton and Ramage fed the ball to Owers on the edge of the area. His fierce drive was charged down by the Rovers defence before it could test the keeper. As the first half progressed the game developed into an end-to-end battle with both sides spurning good opportunities to take the lead. Hughes would have been disappointed to get a corner as he attempted to find Stallard in the middle. Hs ball was intercepted at the last moment as the Notts striker bore down on the Notts goal. From the resulting kick Notts continued to pressure and were a little unlucky after some more good work from Hughes. The Notts midfielder fed a superb cross field ball to Stallard on the edge of the penalty area and the Notts striker took one touch before lofting a careful volley over the advancing keeper Culkin but was left with his head in his hands after seeing the shot cannon back off the underside of the Rovers bar. And on the half-hour mark Notts were only denied by a superb save from the Rovers number one as Hughes’ free kick, given as a result of a push on Joseph, found Stallard at the far post. The Magpies top scorer planted a firm header towards the top corner of the Bristol net but Culkin threw himself spectacularly to his left side to palm the ball to safety.

As the match went on passions continued to build up which eventually saw Warren and Ellington booked. Notts enjoyed a short spell of pressure as Joseph and Stallard combined to win yet another corner, Notts’ fifth of the first half. But it was Rovers who benefited as they broke quickly through Ellington, who had looked dangerous throughout, as he charged clean through down the middle of the pitch. Ward raced off his line to the edge of the area and did enough to distract the Rovers striker and the teenager could only clip the ball wide of the target. A rampaging run from Hughes saw Joseph fail to control the ball in the centre of the penalty area. Liburd again fed Joseph, though on this occasion his attempt to square the ball back to Owers did not carry enough power and allowed the Rovers defence to clear.

Rovers kicked off the second half but it was Notts who looked the more determined of the two sides. Joseph and Stallard looked to be showing a good partnership in attack with the French striker feeding the ball into the path of Stallard’s run. He beat two men before unleashing a low drive which deflected into the keeper’s arms. Hughes again continued to threaten, this time cutting into the middle and feeding Liburd down the left where the Magpies wingback whipped a dangerous ball into the middle. The Rovers defence was unable to clear but Stallard also failed to get the vital touch at the far post. Rovers gave warning that they were still a threat as Evans broke through the middle. He fed Ellington but Warren was able to get in an important challenge. Another good combination between the Notts front two saw Joseph beat one tackle before squaring the ball to Stallard who danced through two challenges and found himself in an excellent position ten yards from goal where only his hesitation cost him a goal. Instead of shooting with his left foot Stallard attempted to pull the ball back on to his right boot, allowing keeper Culkin to close him down and make the save.

But Notts paid the price for another piece of hesitation as Dyer failed to make the clearance at the back and allowed Evans to take possession and break through unchallenged on the Notts goal. Richardson put in a vital challenge on the Rovers striker but he could not stop the ball from breaking to Ellington who kept his composure to slide a low shot underneath Ward and inside the near post to give Rovers the lead. In a bid to change things round Notts boss Scott introduced Farrell off the bench in place of Dyer and switched to a 4-3-3 formation. On 88 minutes Notts County gained a controversial equaliser. With Rovers defender Foster needing treatment, the Rovers players put the ball out of play. After two or three minutes the game was resumed but instead of returning possession to the away team, Notts played on from the throw-in and the ball quickly broke to Stallard who scored.
This left tensions high and within one minute of the restart of the goal Ramage was sent off for retaliating under a challenge from Bignot who was booked for his part in a fracas which saw most of the 22 players involved in a bout of pushing and shoving.

Notts County defender Alex Dyer today played down the controversy surrounding Mark Stallard's equaliser against Bristol Rovers on Saturday and declared ‘hopefully in a few weeks it will all be forgotten'. Furious Rovers manager Ian Holloway has demanded a replay, following Stallard's 88th minute strike, which came after Notts failed to return the ball which Rovers had kicked into touch to allow treatment to an injured player. The Magpies scored direct from the resulting throw-in to earn a 1-1 draw, prompting furious scenes at Meadow Lane. But Dyer — and manager Jocky Scott — have hinted that Notts were not the only guilty party during the incident and have asked that the situation be laid to rest.
"They will be feeling bad now, I just hope that Rovers can forget about this," said Dyer. "There was a lot of bad feeling at the end because of the manner in which our equaliser was scored. But there was more to it than the fans will realise. I am not sure the lad was as badly injured as he made out. He was certainly one of the first players to fly after the referee after we had scored. I think the fans in the County Road stand realised this and were baying for Craig not to give Rovers the ball back. There is certainly no way that there should be a replay. That would not solve anything. The only way to change such a situation is to look at the rules, not just about returning the ball, but about the whole issue of treatment to injured players. At the end of the day we did not break any rules. What we have to hope is that come February, when we go to Rovers, the whole thing will be water under the bridge. But I suspect it won't."

Furious Rovers manager Holloway was eventually ordered onto the team coach at the end of the match by a police officer, as a heated debate ensued with a handful of Notts supporters. "It was totally out of order, I will happily put my point on the line if it means we can restore order," said Holloway. "If we play a replay and we lose I will accept that, but I would rather take that risk. Why can't we be gentleman and talk to the FA? I will offer them my point and then let football win." Notts boss Scott wisely kept his players on the pitch following the game, to avoid any further confrontation in the tunnel. "I would have felt hard done by if the boot was on the other foot, yes I would. I do feel some degree of sympathy for them," he said. "And unfortunately this will be the main thing that people talk about in the match, but I do not want to be drawn on it too much. All I will say is that the lad went in for a 50/50 challenge with his feet and he ended up rolling around holding his chest, make of that what you will. There was more to this than people will realise." The match ended with Craig Ramage being dismissed, after he reacted badly to a disgraceful challenge from Marcus Bignot. "He has made a rash decision and lashed out, which is not always advisable," said Scott. "But if he has to be sent off then so does the other lad, it was an awful tackle."

Monday 1st January 2001
1pm kick off at Meadow Lane

3rd tier League fixture
*Then known as Division Two

Notts County 2
Liburd 17
Richardson 57

Stoke City 2
Gudjonsson 2
Cooke 80

Attendance :- 9,125
Referee:- Graham Laws (Whitley Bay)
Corners:- Notts 5 Stoke 5
Shots on target:- Notts 4 Stoke 5
Shots off target:- Notts 9 Stoke 8
Bookings:- Brough, Allsopp (Notts), Thomas (Stoke) - all fouls

Notts County
Colours:- Black & white striped shirts, Black shorts, Black socks
League Position:- before 10th/24, after 9th/24
Manager:- Jocky Scott

Darren Ward
Richard Liburd +
Richard Holmes
Nick Fenton *
Anders Jacobsen
Ian Richardson
Gary Owers
Michael Brough
Andy Hughes
Danny Allsopp
Mark Stallard

Sub: Mark Warren *76
Sub: David Joseph +83

Subs not used: Paul Gibson (GK), Shaun Murray & Paul Bolland

Stoke City
Colours:- Red & white striped shirts, White shorts, White socks
League Position:- before 5th/24, after 5th/24
Manager:- Gudjon Thordarson

Birkir Kristinsson
Nicky Mohan
Wayne Thomas
Clive Clarke *
Ben Petty
Graham Kavanagh
Brynjar Gunnarsson
James O'Connor
Bjarni Gudjonsson +
Peter Thorne
Andy Cooke

Sub: Rikhardur Dadason *72
Sub: Henrik Risom +90

Subs not used: Carl Muggleton (GK), Lewis Neal & Kyle Lightbourne

Nottingham Evening Post Report
By Paul Taylor

Prior to the match, many fans will have been entertained by an article in the programme which took a glance into the future and Notts County's Premier Division fixture against Arsenal at Highbury on Boxing Day 2003. It talked of thousands of gleeful Magpies supporters making the journey down the M1, as Jocky Scott's side attempted to out-do Manchester United by claiming a domestic and European treble for the second year running. More importantly, it predicted a Third Division relegation battle for Nottingham Forest. Even Mystic Meg would not dare to make such lavish Predictions. But while Notts County will never challenge the likes of Manchester United for the crown of England's top club, such conjecture is not as big a joke as it once was. Continuing the theme of Predictions, if Jocky Scott had parted the mists in his crystal ball and seen his side going into 2001 on the back of an eight-match unbeaten run, with 11 points tucked in the back pocket from five games against sides who will be among those pushing for promotion, he would have been a very happy man. But though the stats are impressive, it perhaps tells a bigger story that Scott's mood was again tainted with a certain disappointment following the final whistle yesterday. For, while his side have picked up impressive results, their performance levels have probably deserved more. At Rotherham, Scott's side certainly deserved more than a 3-3 draw for their display, while, to a lesser extent, the same could be said yesterday. Hence the reason for Scott's disappointment at the final whistle. Though Stoke had chances of their own - and Richard Holmes had been called upon to clear one effort off the line - the Magpies Players trudged back to their cars under a cloud of frustration last night. Referee Graham Laws was perhaps influenced by the 3,000 or so Stoke fans in the kop stand when he declined Notts claims for a penalty after Danny Allsopp had been obviously felled by Wayne Thomas. While Richard Liburd, Allsopp and Anders Jacobsen also failed to make the most of well carved out opportunities.

From a positive point of view, while the strike partnership of Allsopp and Mark Stallard may be going through a barren spell in terms of goal-scoring - with neither managing to find the net in five matches - they continue to pose a considerable threat to opposition defences with their running on and off the baIl. Certainly both played a key role in creating the chance for Richard Liburd to fire his fourth goal of the season. While Ian Richardson's towering header provided Notts' first goal from a set Piece in some time. On top of this, Scott will have seen two of the younger members of his squad make a claim for a regular place in the starting line up. Michael Brough and Richard Holmes' inclusion in the starting Iine-up may have initially come through the injury problems Notts have at the moment. But when the likes of Craig Ramage, Ian Hamilton and Andy McDermott return to fitness, they will face a battle to regain their places. All of this only goes to show that Notts are a side on the way up. The Magpies have not yet forced their way into the play-off zone Scott targeted for the new year, but they must be one of the leading lights in the Division Two form table. Unfortunately, talk of European Cups and Premier Division titles is nothing more than a day dream for Notts County. But to say that the Magpies could be among the promotion contenders come the end of the season, does not stretch the boundaries of the imagination. More than that, on this form, it is a realistic prospect.

Key Moments
2 MINS: Gudjonsson finds room 25 yards from goal and hammers a bearing drive at Ward. The keeper gets a hand to it, but sees it loop over him into the net.
5 MINS: Stallard battles his way through three defenders and forces Kristinsson into a good save.
17 MINS: Brough slides a Perfectly weighted pass to Stallard on the left. He fires a low ball across the face of goal to Liburd, who slides the ball in at the far post.
23 MINS: A Holmes cross from the left takes a deflection off Mohan, which steers the ball towards Liburd, who just fails to get the vital touch.
27 MINS: Kavanagh spots Ward off his line and almost scores with an audacious 30 yard free-kick.
33 MINS: Notts are denied a blatant penalty as Thomas hacks down Allsopp.
50 MINS: Owers gains possession 30 yards from goal and fires a thunderous drive which keeper Kristinsson does well to hold.
57 MINS: A corner is flighted into the six-yard box by Hughes and lan Richardson powers home a bullet header.
80 MINS: A cross from the right is deflected into the Path of Cooke, who calmly slots the ball in.

Saturday 20th January 2001
3pm kick off at Meadow Lane

2009/10 Notts County v Rotherham United

3rd tier League fixture
*Then known as Division Two

Notts County 4
Jacobsen 46
Liburd 60
Hughes 78
Stallard 82

Rotherham United 1
Branston 35

Attendance :- 7,010
Referee:- Paul Danson (Leicester) *Changed from ref printed in programme
Shots on target:- Notts 8 Millers 1
Shots off target:- Notts 3 Millers 6
Bookings:- Branston (Rotherham) for dissent

Notts County
Colours:- Black & white striped shirts, Black shorts, Black socks
League Position:- before 10th/24, after 9th/24
Manager:- Jocky Scott

Darren Ward
Richard Holmes *
Anders Jacobsen
Adam Newton
Nick Fenton
Ian Richardson
Richard Liburd
Gary Owers
Shaun Murray
Mark Stallard
Danny Allsopp

Sub: Andy Hughes *46

Subs not used: Paul Gibson (GK), David Joseph, Sean Farrell & Brian Gellert

Rotherham United
Colours:- White shirts with red backs and side panels, White shirts, White socks
League Position:- before 4th/24, after 4th/24
Manager:- Ronnie Moore

Ian Gray
Will Varty
David Artell
Guy Branston
Darren Garner
Kevin Watson +
Stewart Talbot *
Paul Hurst
Mark Robins
Richard Barker
Trevor Berry

Sub: Danny Hudson *11
Sub: Chris Sedgwick +79

Subs not used: Ashley Connor (GK), Brian Wilsterman & Andy Monkhouse

Nottingham Evening Post Report
By Paul Taylor

It may have been the desire to present the sensible face of a football manager, but when Jocky Scott denied that his side could mount a challenge for automatic promotion, there was a definite moment of hesitation. On paper, it is hard to argue with such logic. With 15 points separating Division Two leaders Millwall and Notts County, a glance at the Division Two table would not offer any evidence to suggest otherwise. Saturday's victory, with other top sides also picking up results, did not move Notts more than one place up the table. They are still five points away from even claiming a place among the play-off contenders. But it was not the fact that the Magpies completed the match with another three points that will have sent those among the impressive 7,010 crowd home warmed with optimism. Nor was it the fact that Notts have now extended their unbeaten run to 11 games in the League and FA Cup. It wasn't even the fact that they had defeated a Rotherham side who had previously lost just once in 15 matches. It was simply the manner in which they went about it. It has been suggested to me, by more than one supporter, that if Manchester United had been responsible for two of the goals Notts scored on Saturday, people would have been raving about them for months. Certainly Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore would testify as much. But Rotherham could have been forgiven if, at half time, they had believed an easy three points would be there for the taking. To say Notts County had been less than impressive would be an understatement. They had barely even mustered an effort on goal, while Rotherham had not only dominated possession for long periods of time, but had also created numerous opportunities to score. But they completed the half with only Branston's goal to show for their efforts. Mark Stallard conceded afterwards that the atmosphere in the dressing room at half time was more than a little uncomfortable, as Jocky Scott informed his side "in no uncertain terms" what they had being doing wrong. Almost everything, it would be fair to say.

But, the second-half performance was a total contrast. Richard Holmes, who had looked uncomfortable playing out of position at left back in the first half was replaced by Andy Hughes. And the Magpies never looked back. Certainly Robbie Earle, present on behalf of Tuesday night's FA Cup opponents, Wimbledon, will have returned to London with a rather worrying report for Terry Burton to consider. And while Scott may publicly talk down his side's chances of automatic promotion, he will know that if his side can continue this kind of form they will have every chance of progressing into the fourth round. Privately he will also know that his side do have a chance of turning their season around and at least mounting a challenge for automatic promotion. There may be a lot of ground to make up. But it says much that, with the exception of Walsall, Scott's side have now defeated every one of the top six sides. As Stallard admitted afterwards, Notts County simply have nobody to fear in Division Two. From that point of view, they are capable of pulling themselves into the top two. There are, after all, 20 games left to play in the campaign. And, on Saturday's evidence, anything is possible.

Key Moments
7 MINS: Holmes heads the ball down into the path of Owers, who picks out Newton, but his shot is charged down by Branston.
34 MINS: Rotherham catch Notts napping from a short corner. Garner finds the room to swing in a cross to the far post where Branston jumps highest to head the ball back across goal and in off the far post.
46 MINS: Stallard lofts a ball over the top of the Rotherham defence for Allsopp, whose shot is charged down for a corner. The Millers fail to clear substitute Hughes' cross, which falls to Jacobsen, who makes no mistake from eight yards.
60 MINS: A sublime passing move involving Murray, Hughes and Stallard slices open the defence and gives Liburd the chance to fire into the bottom corner.
77 MINS: Hughes exchanges a neat one-two with Stallard, taking him into the penalty area where he crashes another accurate finish into the bottom corner of Gray's goal.
82 MINS: Rotherham try and catch Allsopp in an offside position, but referee Danson decides he is not interfering with play, giving Stallard the opportunity to loft a looping shot over Gray's head into the net.

Tuesday 11th September 2001
7:45pm kick off at Meadow Lane

League Cup 2nd Round

Notts County 2
Allsopp (pen) 68
Stallard 70

Manchester City 4
Shuker 61
Goater 86
Dickov 92
Huckerby 103


Attendance :- 6,533
Referee:- Andy Hall
Bookings:- Notts - Cas & Owers, City - Tiatto, Dunne, Colosimo & Grant

Notts County
Colours:- Black & white striped shirts, Black shorts, Black socks
League Position:- 10th/24 in the 3rd tier
Manager:- Jocky Scott

Steve Mildenhall
Nick Fenton
Mark Warren
Ian Baraclough
Simon Grayson *
Marcel Cas
Kevin Nicholson ^
Darren Caskey
Gary Owers
Danny Allsopp
Mark Stallard +

Sub: Ian Hamilton *45
Sub: Tony Hackworth +88
Sub: Paul Bolland ^97

Sub not used: Stuart Garden (GK) & Henrik Jorgensen

Manchester City
Colours:- Sky blue shirts, White shorts, Sky blue socks
League Position:- 8th/24 in the 2nd tier
Manager:- Kevin Keegan

Nicky Weaver
Stuart Pearce +
Steve Howey
Danny Tiatto
Richard Dunne
Simon Colosimo
Eyal Berkovic *
Tony Grant
Kevin Horlock
Shaun Goater ^
Paulo Wanchope

Sub: Chris Shuker *56
Sub: Darren Huckerby +80
Sub: Paul Dickov ^90

Subs not used: Brian Murphy (GK) & Gerard Wiekens

Despite the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States earlier in the day, the League Cup 2nd round fixtures (as well as some European Champions League games) went ahead as normal.

Saturday 20th April 2002
3pm kick off at Meadow Lane

3rd tier League fixture
*Then known as Division Two

Notts County 2
Allsopp 14
Nicholson 61

Huddersfield Town 1
Irons(pen) 82

Attendance :- 15,618
Referee:-  H. Webb (Rotherham)
Bookings:- Dwayne Mattis (Town) 66, Leam Richardson (Notts) 69

Notts County
Colours:- Black & white striped shirts, Black shorts, Black socks
League Position:- before match 20th/24, after match 19th/24
Manager:- Billy Dearden

Stuart Garden
Leam Richardson
Nick Fenton
Craig Ireland
Kevin Nicholson
Marcel Cas *
Darren Caskey
Jeff Whitley
Richard Liburd
Danny Allsopp
Paul Heffernan +

Sub: Paul Bolland *70
Sub: Mark Stallard +76

Subs not used: Steve Mildenhall (GK), Ian Richardson, Gary Owers

Huddersfield Town
Colours:- Red shirts, Blue shorts, Blue socks
League Position:- before match 6th/24, after match 6th/24
Manager:- Lou Macari

Martyn Margetson
Jerel Ifil
Kevin Gray
Adi Moses
Gareth Evans
Chris Holland
Dwayne Mattis *
Kenny Irons +
Damien Delaney ^
Andy Booth
Delroy Facey

Sub: Chris Hay *70
Sub: Chris Beech +85
Sub: Paul Macari ^86

Subs not used: Paul Evans (GK), Jon Dyson

Highlights were included on the ITV Sports Channel programme "Football Second".

Magpies Online (Official Site) Report

Notts County secured their Second Division status with an outstanding 2-1 victory over Huddersfield Town at Meadow Lane in front of an audience of 15,618.

Notts opened the attacking in the first minute when Heffernan won a free kick. Caskey’s cross was turned back across the area by Nick Fenton before Danny Allsopp put the ball into the back of the net from 3 yards, but the referee had previously called for an offside decision. There was a slight scare in the Notts box when Leam Richardson failed to clear a through ball to the left wing, but Damien Delaney failed to cut the ball back making it easy for Stuart Garden to collect. On 8 minutes the ball bouncing around the edge of the box fell to Nick Fenton whose 25 yard effort screamed goalwards, but shot narrowly over the bar.Danny Allsopp played a superb pass with his head on 10 minutes to put Cas in a position to cross, but Cas failed to cleanly hit a cross making it easy for Margetson to catch. Huddersfield looked likely to take the lead on 11 minutes when Andy Booth broke in on goal, but a great recovering challenge from Jeff Whitley prevented Booth striking at goal.

The Magpies continued to pressure the Huddersfield defence and when Caskey played Liburd in on goal on 13 minutes, Liburd made no mistake in picking out Danny Allsopp at the back post, the young Aussie firing the ball into the back of the net with a clinical header.

Paul Heffernan broke down the left and fired a good cross in for Danny Allsopp, but - at full stretch – Allsopp couldn’t apply a finishing touch, Cas’ follow up at the back post being blocked and scrambled clear by the Terriers back line. Notts looked in danger on 32 minutes when Delroy Facey broke forward after a clash with Nick Fenton that left the Notts defender on the floor, but when Facey pulled the ball back to Kenny Irons on the edge of the box, Irons blasted his chance well wide of the goal causing no threat to Stuart Garden. Notts were denied a penalty when Richard Liburd broke into the box and was brought crashing to the floor under the challenges of numerous Huddersfield defenders, but referee Webb waved the Magpies protests away. Delroy Facey caused problems for the Magpies defence again just before the break after beating the offside trap, but Facey drilled his opportunity well wide of the back post under pressure from Craig Ireland.

Half time: Notts County 1 – 0 Huddersfield Town.

The second half started brightly and when Caskey’s early cross found Nick Fenton at the back post, the Magpies looked set to go two goals ahead but Fenton’s volley was tipped wide by a good save from Martyn Margetson. Stuart Garden turned saviour for Notts on 53 minutes when Dwayne Mattis struck a superb effort from 30 yards that looked to be heading for the bottom left corner, but the outstretched Garden managed to palm the ball around the post to keep the home sides lead.Paul Heffernan – who made his Republic of Ireland under 21 debut earlier this week – broke through on goal after an excellent through ball from Danny Allsopp, but once in the area, Heffernan was robbed of the ball by a superb last minute challenge from Jerel Ifil.

On 61 minutes Kevin Nicholson secured the Magpies Division Two status when he broke forward from his own area before striking a superb 30 yard effort into the bottom right corner to give the home side a 2 goal lead.

Notts continued to pressure and almost extended their lead to 3 when Danny Allsopp’s drive rebounded to Marcel Cas, but his follow up from 10 yards was beaten away by Martyn Margetson. Huddersfield managed to grab a goal back on 81 minutes when Notts conceded a penalty following substitute Paul Bolland pushing Delroy Facey to the floor. Kenny Irons stepped up to blast the ball straight down the middle of the goal and into the back of the net. The visitors almost levelled in the dying seconds of the match when Ade Moses blasted a volley towards goal, but Moses’ effort was cleared off the line by the head of Leam Richardson.

At the end of February 2002, with 10 league games remaining, County appeared to be destined for relegation. We were next to bottom in 23rd and 7 points adrift of safety having taken just 2 points from the last available 30. Then, on 2nd March, Notts finally recorded their first home victory of 2002 and embarked on an incredible turnaround, 5 wins in 6 saw the Magpies climb out of the drop zone. Yet, the final pair of away fixtures were both lost to promotion chasing sides QPR and Cardiff, defeats which left Notts still in need of a point to guarantee safety on the final day. County were now one place above the drop with Bournemouth still able to catch them - If Notts lost at home to play-off placed Huddersfield, and Bournemouth were to win at already relegated Wrexham, the Magpies would go down. The biggest league crowd since the re-building of Meadow Lane had been completed nearly eight years earlier turned up to offer their support and, in light of recent home form, supporters were confident that Notts would get a result - but finger nails were being bitten off as early as the 7th minute as news came through that Bournemouth had gone 1-0 ahead at Wrexham. Another 7 minutes later, Danny Allsopp's superb headed goal calmed the nerves. County looked safe when Kevin Nicholson's solo effort found the net on 61. Over at the Racecourse Ground, the Wrexham fans made sure that the Bounemouth players were aware of the 2-0 scoreline at Notts and the disheartened Cherries then conceded an equaliser on 72. Huddersfield pulled a goal back at Meadow Lane from the penalty spot on 82, but Wrexham scored again on 89 to lead Bournemouth 2-1 and County's 3rd tier status was now secured. Notts fans had responded well to the challenge of "The Great Escape" from the moment it had first gathered momentum after an away win at Peterborough, the following home fixtures against Bristol City, Bournemouth and Blackpool had all drawn crowds of at least 7,500 (well above the average) and the buzz that supporters experienced on the final day of the season on the back of 7 wins in 10 left them with great optimism for the next campaign. Sadly the hopes and dreams of a resurgent Notts in 2002/03 were quickly shattered, the 'Great Escape' only served to delay the inevitable as Chairman Albert Scardino failed to secure long promised investment and plunged the club into administration during the summer - a predicament in which Notts would remain for a record 14 months, almost resulting in expulsion from the Football League and eventually leading to relegation in 2004.

Saturday 9th November 2002
3pm kick off at Meadow Lane

3rd tier League fixture
*Then known as Division Two

Notts County 2
Liburd 63
Caskey 85

Mansfield Town 2
Lawrence 43
Christie 90

Attendance :- 10,302
Referee:-  Jeff Winter (Stockton-on-Tees)
Bookings:- Notts - Cas & Ramsden, Stags - Lawrence, Corden & Christie

Notts County
Colours:- Black & white striped shirts, Black shorts, Black socks
League Position:- before match 18th/24, after match 19th/24
Manager:- Billy Dearden

Stuart Garden
Kevin Nicholson +
Simon Ramsden
Danny Stone
Jon Ashton
Jeff Whitley
Marcel Cas
Michael Brough
Paul Bolland *
Paul Heffernan ^
Mark Stallard

Sub: Richard Liburd *30
Sub: Darren Caskey +56
Sub: Danny Allsopp ^64

Subs not used: Steve Mildenhall (GK) & Duncan Jupp

Mansfield Town
Colours:- All yellow with a blue hoop across the chest
League Position:- before match 24th/24, after match 24th/24
Manager:- Stuart Watkiss

Kevin Pilkington
Matthew Gadsby
Tony Vaughan *
Jamie Clark
Mark Lever
Lee Williamson
Liam Lawrence
Wayne Corden
Craig Disley
Colin Little
Iyseden Christie

Sub: Neil MacKenzie *89

Subs not used: Jason White (GK), Dion Scott, Daniel Holyoak & Daniel Bacon

Notts hadn't lost to Mansfield in the league for 39 years and had won all of the previous 5 league encounters. Stags, promoted the previous season, were rock bottom and Notts were also struggling having gone into administration at the start of the campaign, but over 10,000 turned out for a Notts/Stags clash for the first time since the 1970's and they witnessed a memorable Nottinghamshire derby. County thought they'd won it with a late Darren Caskey free-kick, but Stags equalised at the death. Notts manager Billy Dearden was furious with Christie's goal; "The lad was five yards offside ." Stags boss Stuart Watkiss was also unhappy; "We should have had two penalties."

Wednesday 29th October 2003
7:45pm kick off at Stamford Bridge

League Cup 3rd Round

Chelsea 4
Hasselbaink 14
Gudjohnsen 36, (pen) 65
J. Cole 87

Notts County 2
Barras 27
Stallard 85

Attendance :- 35,997
Referee:-  Rob Styles (Hampshire)
Bookings:- Chelsea - Veron, Notts - Mildenhall & Baldry

Colours:- Blue shirts, Blue shorts, White socks
League Position:- 2nd/20 in the top tier
Manager:- Claudio Ranieri

Marco Ambrosio
Glen Johnson
Mario Melchiot
Celestine Babayaro
Robert Huth
Jesper Gronkjaer +
Damien Duff
Juan Sebastian Veron
Eidur Gudjohnsen
Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink *

Sub: Mario Stanic *45
Sub: Joe Cole +70

Subs not used: Neil Sullivan (GK), Wayne Bridge & Frank Lampard

Notts County
Colours:- Black & white striped shirts, Black shorts, Black socks.
League Position:- 22nd/24 in the 3rd tier
Manager:- Billy Dearden

Steve Mildenhall
Tony Barras
Steve Jenkins
Ian Baraclough
Paul Riley ^
Nick Fenton
Ian Richardson +
Darren Caskey
Simon Baldry
Paul Heffernan *
Clive Platt

Sub: Mark Stallard *65
Sub: Kevin Nicholson +80
Sub: Paul Bolland ^86

Subs not used: Stuart Garden (GK) & Tony Hackworth

Highlights were shown in the ITV London area (ITV Midlands only showed a goals report)

Notts, still in administration at the time, against super rich Chelsea.

Notts' FA Cup Results
Saturday 8th January 2005
3pm kick off at Meadow Lane

FA Cup 3rd Round

Notts County 1
Scully 2

Middlesbrough 2
Doriva 54
Job 76

Attendance :- 13,671
Referee:- Peter Walton
Booked:- Notts - Bolland 30 (Unsporting behaviour), 'Boro - Doriva 41 (Unsporting behaviour)

Notts County
Colours:- Black & white striped shirts, Black shorts, White socks
League Position:- 20th/24 in the 4th tier
Manager:- Ian Richardson

Saul Deeney
Kelvin Wilson
Mike Whitlow
Chris Palmer ^
Rob Ullathorne
Matt Gill +
David Pipe
Tony Scully
Paul Bolland
Glynn Hurst
Gavin Gordon *

Sub: Shaun Harrad *49
Sub: Stefan Oakes +85
Sub: Matty Williams ^85

Subs not used: Andy Petterson & Shane McFaul

Colours:- All Red with a white chest hoop
League Position:- 6th/20 in the top tier
Manager:- Steve McClaren

Mark Schwarzer
Ugo Ehiogu
Michael Reiziger
Chris Riggott
Franck Queudrue
James Morrison *
Stewart Downing
Guidoni Junior Doriva
Ray Parlour
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Joseph-Desire Job +

Sub: Danny Graham *46
Sub: Boudewijn Zenden +86

Subs not used: Carlo Nash, Gareth Southgate & Tony McMahon

Saturday 6th May 2006
3pm kick off at Meadow Lane

4th tier League fixture
*Then known as League Two

Notts County 2
Martin 86
Baudet (pen) 89

Bury 2
Mattis 41
Youngs 81

Attendance :- 9,817
Referee:- G. Laws (Tyne & Wear)

Notts County
Colours:- Black & white striped shirts, White shorts, White socks
League Position:- before match 21st/24, after match 21st/24
Manager:- Gudjon Thordarson

Kevin Pilkington
Nathan Doyle
Mike Edwards
Julien Baudet
Rob Ullathorne
David Pipe
Liam Needham *
Dan Martin
Chris Palmer
Eugene Dadi +
Steve Scoffham ^

Sub: Lewis McMahon *59
Sub: Daniel Chillingworth +70
Sub: Stef Frost ^70

Subs not used: Shaun Marshall (GK) and Brian O'Callaghan

Colours:- All sky blue
League Position:- before match 17th/24, after match 19th/24
Manager:- Chris Casper

Kasper Schmeichel
Chris Brass
David Challinor
John Fitzgerald
Colin Woodthorpe
Lewis Gobern
Brian Barry-Murphy
Dwayne Mattis +
Ian Ross ^
Jonathan Daly *
Matthew Tipton

Sub: Tom Youngs *64
Sub: Paul Scott +80
Sub: Thomas Kennedy ^84

Subs not used: Aaron Grundy (GK), Marc Pugh

After an encouraging start to the season, County had badly lost their way and in February dropped to lower-mid table by which time the majority of the squad knew that they would be out of contract at the end of the season and wouldn't be offered a new deal. The players appeared to cease caring and, after a run of home draws and away defeats, they suddenly found themselves in an unlikely battle against relegation as the teams at the bottom picked up more points than would normally be anticipated. It turned out that any one of seven clubs could join Rushden & Diamonds in demotion to the Conference on the final day - Notts and their final fixture opponents Bury being two of them. Unthinkable as it seemed, Notts were one of the more likely candidates to go down - If Stockport County and Oxford United (both playing at home) were to win their final day of the season fixtures, Notts (who had only won once since January) would probably be relegated if they failed to beat Bury. If Notts were to actually lose whilst Oxford won and Stockport merely avoided defeat, then Notts would definitely go down. It had become a genuine horror movie, in that the threat of certain death had literally come out of nowhere whilst Notts had been proverbially relaxing on a Spring afternoon picnic. Prior to kick off, a frail Jimmy Sirrel was brought out onto the pitch and handed a microphone to remind the crowd of the part they had to play in ensuring that Notts won and survived. There were not as many supporters in the ground as there perhaps should have been, but those that were responded well. Sadly the same could not be said of the players as an utterly hopeless team in black & white shirts tip-toed like foolish dare-devil children on the verge of an abyss that would have terminated the club's football league lifespan of 118 years. When Notts fell 1-0 behind shortly before half-time, Stockport were still holding table toppers Carlisle 0-0 and Oxford were drawing 1-1 with automatic promotion chasing Leyton Orient. It was now becoming desperate and by the time Bury made it 2-0 with 9 minutes to go, Notts were seemingly just one goal away from doom (Another goal for Oxford at that stage would have placed County in the dreaded bottom two in the 'As it stands' table). But there was to be another twist, two late goals for Notts lifted them above Stockport on goal difference. With Notts still playing injury time, BBC Radio Five confirmed that Stockport 0 Carlisle 0 was now a result. When the final whistle blew at Meadow Lane, Notts were safe - regardless of whether or not Oxford could find a late winner.

Nottingham Evening Post Report


WITH the pitch a sea of black and white, and everyone turning to salute the smiling Notts County players in the directors' box, you could have been forgiven for thinking this was a promotion party. It may have looked that way to somebody stumbling across Meadow Lane on Saturday. But far from it. It was an outpouring of pure relief from the Notts fans. It was the realisation that their club - for ten minutes at least - were one goal from dropping out of the Football League and into the Nationwide Conference. At 2-0 down, it appeared out of their hands and if Oxford had taken the lead against Leyton Orient, the Magpies would be down. But two late goals earned a draw for Notts and in the end, results elsewhere went for them. But people were in no doubt. At some point during that second half against Bury, Notts were staring non-league football in the face. And that is what triggered those scenes at the final whistle. It was joy that the unthinkable did become a reality.
Notts finished the season in 21st place with 52 points - the same as last season - and only one win in the final 16 games. But with five minutes remaining and Notts trailing by two goals, cries from the home fans had been "you're not fit to wear the shirt" and "there's only one Jimmy Sirrel." They came after the legendary manager had taken to the pitch minutes before kick-off and received a standing ovation from more than 8,500 fans. It lifted the roof before he took hold of the microphone, and addressed the home faithful, to remind them that this was the biggest game in the club's history. And he urged them to get behind the team.They did and the difference in atmosphere at having almost 10,000 fans in the ground was there for all to hear. It was electric. But despite their best efforts to stay behind the team, with the minutes ticking by their patience finally ran out. However, if anything, the players responded to that. They realised they could be the ones blamed for taking away the club's status as the oldest Football League club.
And with four minutes left, the ball dropped to Dan Martin inside the six-yard box and he kept his composure to fire past Kasper Schmeichel. Suddenly the ground erupted; the players sprinted back and were eager to restart. The 88th minute goal had coincided with manager Gudjon Thordarson throwing Julien Baudet up front as an extra striker. He was not going to wait for other results to save him: he wanted Notts to do it. And within a minute of the goal, Schmeichel spilled the ball and Chris Palmer nipped in and was brought down for a penalty. Palmer celebrated as if he had just clinched the World Cup for England, dancing wildly and jumping around behind the goal. But there was still the small matter of tucking away the penalty. Julien Baudet - who is still to sign his new deal and may leave in the summer - later admitted he was nervous as he placed the ball on the spot. But you could not tell as he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way after the celebrations had died down. And the fans' reaction said it all. A mass pitch invasion followed as suddenly Stockport and Oxford both had to win and were drawing at the time with just over a minute remaining.
Before that Bury had gone 2-0 up in a story that mirrored the season. After Notts squandered chances, Dwayne Mattis headed in from a corner late in the first half. Notts conceded a second with just eight minutes left, substitute Tom Youngs getting in behind the defence and tucking it past Kevin Pilkington. However, this time there was no surrender. The stakes were too great. And the Magpies fought back like they had done many times in the first month of the season when they were top of the league.
Oxford then conceded a last-minute goal and Notts held on for the five minutes of injury time to leave them three points clear of the drop. It does not look that close when you view the table now but rest assured Notts almost dropped into the footballing wilderness. That is what sparked a second pitch invasion at the end. The relief. And with fans blocking the tunnel, the players made their way up to the directors' box to say thank you. They were cheered and mobbed as fans took their shirts and shorts as mementos. But as they made their way back down, you could see the relief in their faces. They knew how close it had been and that, over the season, they had not been good enough. But the fact is Notts have survived, and Thordarson can now build a new squad for next season. It will be his own squad as well. And with Notts now set to operate on money in, money out basis with no debts, they can achieve something next season.
The hope is that when they stand in the directors' box this time next year, the cheers will be for promotion or a play-off spot. Not avoiding the embarrassment of dropping out of the Football League by a whisker.

Julien Baudet admitted he felt the nerves before taking the penalty that earned Notts a draw. But despite the relief, he felt sorry for the Magpies fans that they had to watch their club scrapping for its life. He said: "It came down to the last game and down to the last minute. We went 2-0 down and put ourselves in a bad position. However, credit to the lads and fans because we dug deep and got the result in the end. But that was a nerve-racking penalty. I like taking penalties, was confident and knew where to put it. I am delighted for the team, staff and Notts County. At the start of the season we set the standard very high and I am delighted (to have stayed up), but I am gutted for the supporters because this tight situation should not be happening."
Kevin Pilkington said he never wanted to go through the turmoil of almost dropping out of the Football League ever again. The Notts goalkeeper, who signed a one-year extension to his contract before kick-off, said it was a nightmare afternoon. "That was tight. It was horrible and I don't want to do that again," he said.

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