Once again the loyal Magpie supporters were out in force to cheer their team on, 334 of us were here at the Hive in hope more than anticipation, but we were here because we love the club and will do everything in our power to move Notts County onwards and upwards.
Before the kick off the majority of the fans were huddled in groups debating and giving their opinions on the matters off the field which were causing concern to the majority of the supporters, what with the club in court in early December and our beloved club still up for sale it feels like worrying times ahead, all this did not deter them from getting behind the side as the game started.
It was Barnet who started the brightest with the powerful Akinde and the speedy Luke Gambin causing the Notts defence numerous problems, Notts soaked up the early pressure and started making in roads on the Barnet goal with the lively Adam Campbell supplying the ammunition for the powerful Nadine Oliver who was back after a three game suspension, he did not let the Barnet defence rest with his movement and willingness to run at the Barnet defence and challenge for every ball, with Notts now pushing forward with more purpose now and it was no surprise when on 15 minutes Michael O’Connor swapped passes with Adam Campbell from a short corner and curled a wonderful shot into the top corner of the net to give Notts the lead, now on the front foot Notts should have increased their lead when Campbell swung a brilliant cross over to the unmarked Oliver who’s powerful header just cleared the crossbar, as he put his head in his hands he knew he should have hit the target. That miss was to prove costly for Notts because on 30 minutes Barnet were level, two Barnet players seemed a good yard offside but the flag was not raised and John Akinde used his strength to out muscle Edwards and Dickinson before his shot was saved by Collin but Dembele fired in the rebound to level the scores. A few minutes later Notts were so unlucky not to take the lead again as Oliver’s header beat Stephens the Barnet keeper only to crash off the bar then hit Stephens and rebound off the post into the grateful hands of the bemused and lucky keeper.
Barnet started the second half the brightest but Notts were battling hard to stay in the game and on 62 minutes they changed Campbell for Arron Collins but within 2 minutes Barnet were in the lead as Gambin was left in space as he reacted to a cross from the left to strike a shot that took a wicked deflection to beat the wrong footed Collin and 10 minutes later they were 3-1 ahead as a terrible mistake from Duffy who was playing at right back, in no danger at all on the halfway line his wayward pass went straight to Akinde who in-turn found Akpa Akpro who’s cross found Gambin in acres of space to smash the ball past the helpless Collin. Burke now replaced the tiring Snijders and it was not long before Burke made a impact, he went past 2 defenders before unleashing a powerful shot that Stephens could only parry out and Forte was following up to score. There were 13 minutes left for Notts to get something out of the game, compared to the last few games, Notts were giving it a go and battling to get a result, but the time ran out for Notts and it meant another defeat.
There may be players who are not quite good enough or being played out of position but if they keep battling and trying their best for the team I for one will accept that, what the majority of the fans won’t accept is for players not to give 100%.
With uncertain times ahead for Notts County FC, The Owners, Management, Players and the fans must unite as one to see our beloved club move forward and flourish where we belong.
Melvyn Watson @magpiemel