Notts County entered the month of October without a win in the whole of September, and results didn’t improve when they played Boston United at Meadow Lane.
Joachim scored for the pilgrims within thirty seconds, and David Pipe gave them a two-goal lead with an own goal on ten minutes, giving the pies an uphill struggle for the rest of the match. Notts were helped in the 59th minute when Whelan was sent off for a foul, and managed to pull a goal back in the second minute of stoppage time through a Mike Edwards effort. But it wasn’t enough, and neither was having the Boston keeper sent off in the sixth minute of stoppage time for time wasting, meaning that the rare sight in football that is an outfield player going in goal happened. Although it was only for the last thirty seconds.
Rochdale compounded more misery on the sorry magpies with a 15-minute salvo to leave the magpies reeling. Firstly in the fourth minute Lambert blasted ‘dale ahead, then eight minutes later he doubled their advantage, and after that Cartwright put the game beyond doubt in the twentieth minute. Notts were struggling, and the introduction of loanee’s Tyrone Berry and the return of David McGoldrick did little to change fortunes.
But just when it looked like it could get any worse; the LDV vans match with Northampton Town arose. The fifty hardy souls that travelled to Northampton, and had their tickets paid for by manager Gudjon Thordarson out of his own pocket, saw Notts take the lead in the second minute through Stacey Long. The lead only lasted for ten minutes as Northampton hit back three times and were three goals to one up by the 22nd minute through Mendes and Cross (2). A repeat of Rochdale loomed, but it got worse. Debutante Scott McGleish scored twice in the final eight minutes after Lewis McMahon had pulled a goal back for Notts on 57 minutes. The final score, 5-2, raised questions about the magpies defence that had looked so strong at the start of the season.
The formation was changed for the visit of Carlisle to the lane, with Thordarson opting for a 3-5-2 system to stop the shipping of goals into Pilkington’s net. The tactics worked and Notts kept a clean sheet for the first time since Macclesfield at the start of the month. However the ‘pies still looked lacklustre in attack as they failed to score, and provided a poor showing going forward.
The winless run finally came to an end finally against Bury. A rejuvenated Glynn Hurst raced to get a perfect hat-trick scoring a left foot, right foot and header on 35, 45 and 56 minutes to give Notts a comfortably looking 3-0 advantage. However, County know how to make their fans suffer and allowed Bury to pull two back to ensure that the final ten minutes was a nervy one. Nevertheless they held out to record their first victory since the local derby against Mansfield on the 29th August.
This new found impetus was taken to Aston Gate for the first round FA cup tie with Bristol City. Notts carried on where they left off at Bury, by defeating the league one club 2-0. New signing Adam Tann scored on the stroke of half time, and Julien Baudet scored a screamer on 67 minutes that earned him a special mention on Soccer AM for being “Lovejoy-esque”. The resulting draw for the second round wasn’t too kind as it gave Notts a trip to either Torquay or Harrogate.
After two good away victories, Gudjon Thordarson was keen for his side to perform as well on home turf, and the chance came against Cheltenham. Notts started with a lacklustre approach, but did more than enough to subdue the Robin’s, but they made the break-through in the 34th minute when Wilson made use of a Pilkington-less goal to tap into an empty net. Not deterred however, Notts pushed on and were rewarded in the 45th minute when referee Leake awarded the magpies a penalty that Julien Baudet duly dispatched to ensure that honours were even at the break. Notts came out the better side in the second half, and the pressure they put on the Meadow Lane end paid off on 56 minutes when Andy White headed against the bar and Mike Edwards put away the rebound to give Notts the lead.
But with thirteen minutes to go Notts imploded and allowed Jamie Victory to level the match, and former magpie Grant McCann struck a superb left footed effort to earn Cheltenham the victory, and condemn County to defeat. After a mini-run of three unbeaten Notts must now look forward and ensure that the last match was only a blip and make sure that it’s not another two months before a win...
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