Dire Notts bounce off the dead rubber

Notts narrowly avoided the worst half of football in recent history after an unfortunate own goal gave Preston the lead, unfortunate as it was it didn’t take long to work out this was the only scoring Notts would be doing on the evening;  the opening 44 minutes familiarly not producing a single shot, never-mind on target.
Despite this woeful start Jeff Hughes was unlucky not to score just before half time, his well worked flick came off the bar after a neat bit of build up play with Curtis Thompson, perhaps this late flourish was to try and calm the inevitable half time roasting, I doubt very much it helped…
Truth be told rather than a roasting the Notts players appeared to help themselves to more of the same after returning from the dressing room, “disjointed”, “out of sorts”, “heads elsewhere“, I heard fans describing it around me and I can assure you these where the only the few re-publishable comments,  I called last Wednesdays performance circumspect but to sum up tonight, I’d have to put my hat firmly in the thorny sweary ring.

Massively disappointing then to say the least, especially as the Kop where in reasonable voice throughout despite all this, but that voice will get weaker and weaker with more performances of this nature, spring cleaning comes to mind.

Notts 0 – 1 PNE

Circumspect County Chuck Chase Away

A baffling performance from the Magpies left them with little hope of a rally into the playoffs with another disjointed performance, the hosts can consider themselves very fortunate to have not conceded in the opening half nevermind take the lead, the  Notts goal being the very definition of ‘against the run of play’ a neat bit of build up releasing Neal Bishop who finished aplomb; the reality was this was Notts’ only piece of well crafted football in the half.

Notts needed to win, and questions have to be asked why the decision to play 1 up front was made, perhaps hoping to hold onto the 1-0 this tactic backfired as Orient equalised from a clear penalty; Dean Cox for the visitors fizzed about creating some good openings (probably the best player on the night) but the fizz went to fizzled as both sides had to make do with a point.

Notts 1 – 1 Orient

Crewe can’t take their Cofie

Chris Kiwomyas first home game in charge of Notts started brightly, with new lone centre forward Cofie challenging the keeper from a corner in the first minute, something entirely missing from recent Notts games and home fans where just happy they hadn’t conceded a goal. Alas nobody could predict the following 43 minutes of dire football easily forgotten by all in the stadium until almost the final kick of the half, poor defending gifting Crewe a stonewall penalty converted aplomb, the prospect of a second half looked unwelcome to say the least.

Footballing cliches to the rescue however and a game of two halves it was, Notts making one change upfront Arquin coming on for Mahon and switching to a more orthodox 4-4-2, it worked almost immediately, Alan Judges fierce strike clipping the underside of the crossbar acting as a catalyst for a Notts fightback.

Ghanaian born Cofie grabbed an equaliser for the ‘pies with an absolute rocket of a strike, his homeland would certainly celebrate it as ‘papapaa‘ (best of the best) there where to be no more goals however as the Crewe back line held solid, but frankly you can’t expect to win a match if you only play for 45 minutes.


Notts 1 – 1 Crewe.

Pies make tough work of Old ham

A dominant opening from the Magpies should have seen them comfortably wrap this game up before half time; with chances begging and balls agonisingly whizzing past the Oldham goal mouth it looked after 30 minutes it might be one of those nights, thankfully, it was not.

Bishop and Boucauds effectiveness in midfield was a joy to watch, pulling the strings and releasing players at will, it was the aforementioned Boucaud who started the build up to the games only goal, slotting a sublime ball out to Jamal Campbell-Ryce, the pacey winger beating his man and crossing for the simplest of tap-ins for Enoch Showunmi, the big man, who despite putting in a disjointed performance has a platform to build on, once again admitting in a post-match interview he wasn’t at full fitness.

In typical Notts fashion of recent they weren’t able to capitalise on further chances, and predictably after half time Oldham came out to attack, Notts’ freedom in midfield was no longer present and Oldham nearly equalised following a calamitous fumble from Notts keeper Bialkowski, it was left down to Gary Liddle to make a heroic goal line clearance.

The night ended on a high amidst strong Oldham pressure, Notts substitute Romello Nangel coming off the bench to put in spritely performance for the 5 minutes of injury time, surely earning himself an earlier inclusion in a coming fixture.

Notts 1 – 0 Oldham

Sheffield United shirk after 64 second snowjob

It took Sheffield United a mere 64 seconds to punish Notts’ again woeful defending in an opening period where they can consider themselves lucky not to have conceded further.

Things went from bad to worse in a scrappy first half hour with Zoko given his marching orders for back-chatting after a seemingly harmless tackle; it began to look like the hours of work put in by ground-staff and fans clearing snow leading up to the game had been in vain.

Sheffield failed to capitalise though huffing and puffing when really they should have been going for the jugular, Notts had a handful of chances mostly looking dangerous from set pieces and finally after 80 minutes one lead to a goal, Alan Judge applying a neat headed finish from a free kick to stun the previously vociferous blades fans into silence.


Notts 1 – 1 Sheffield United

MK with a new years 3 point take-away

A shocking opening 15 minutes saw Notts gift the first points of 2013 away, a much brighter second half saw Notts go close on numerous occasions, but the uphill struggle proved far too much.

Notts now are looking down the table, not up.

Notts 1 – 2 MK Dons

Slick Swindon Judged not worthy

A delightful Alan Judge strike was enough to see a strong Swindon side leave with nothing, Swindon had most of the possession pouring on wave after wave of attack, but were kept out by Bart Białkowski making a string of fine saves in one of if not his best Notts performance.

Chris Iwelumo can be happy with his debut seeing him display some neat hold up play and nice touches at a soaked meadow lane.

An entertaining match with good football from both sides was further enhanced by Di Canios emotional responses to yet again a very poor referee.

Notts 1 – 0 Swindon

Christmas comes early for Crawley

A raft of missed chances left Notts kicking themselves for dropping more points at home, the inept finishing was only eclipsed by the officials  in what I would describe as a laughable display, where do they keep getting these clowns from.

Regardless a much improved performance that Notts can build on going forward.

Notts 1 – 1 Crawley

Defensive Donny dominate

Doncaster arrived in Nottingham and showed Notts how to defend, 2 shots on target for Notts, 2 goals for Donny.

Some horrible defending on display from Notts whilst Doncasters backline cruised the 90 minutes.


Notts 0 – 2 Doncaster

Table topping Tranmere take all three

Notts where again left to rue sloppy defending as Tranmere where gifted the winner on 22 minutes and went on to easily see out a match in which they where happy to let the home side aimlessly ping the ball around the back four.

The Pies can feel hard done by when Ash Taylor wasn’t shown a straight red on 55 minutes for a wildly unnecessary challenge on Notts #1 Bialkowski, the stats tell the story though as Notts managed a mere 1 shot on target.

Notts 0 – 1 Tranmere

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