Notts County supporter and Nottingham University student James Constantine continues his diary...
To start this week’s blog, I’d like to firstly say a big thank you for all the positive feedback I’ve received for my first Notts County blog, long may it continue! As another week kicks in here on University Park, essay deadlines are looming ever closer and I seem to be accumulating more and more books by the day. With the increased workload however, comes the greater need for a break, and this week lays on an enticing couple of games before an FA Cup tie to set County up nicely for the chilly Winter.
I’ve yet to discover whether writing an essay on the 16th century Reformation is more stressful than listening to County on the radio. Slater & Co seem to have an incredibly addictive way of sending listeners through all the emotions and back again and at some points, it would be far less stressful with my head in a book than listening to County. I was therefore overwhelmingly relieved come 5pm on Saturday when Notts were able to maintain their incredible away run. Who better than Hughesy, probably the best striker I remember seeing at Notts, to bring about two smart goals to rescue a point in Scunthorpe. Having scored five goals already this season, the legend continues to thrive and although playing in a more reserved role, he will be invaluable across the long football season. Never will I forget the 20-yard goal he struck in April 2010 that led us to snatch the League 2 title against the very team who had held a 14-point lead at the top of the table.
With only Neal Bishop and Lee Hughes surviving from our rollercoaster 2009/10 season, Notts continue to press forward in search of promotion to the Championship. For me, the week ahead is such a vital one to really assess how capable of that we are. An away trip to Preston North End on Tuesday will be an extremely difficult game given their fantastic run of form seeing them beat the likes of Stevenage and holding a point against table topping Tranmere. It has to be said, any points taken from this game would be positive and no doubt us radio listeners are in for a bumpy ride. Similarly, the match against Di Canio’s men on Saturday, one in which I hope to attend, will be a thrilling contest. With League 1 starting to take some shape, four points from our next two games would be a great achievement and with a winnable tie against Rotherham United at the start of December, Notts look set to go into the Christmas period with it all to play for.
As well as the footballing aspect however, it was great to hear about the success of the Legends day hosted on Sunday. It reminds me that Notts County are also a family club and the connection between the fans and the club is something to be greatly admired. To be able to bring the likes of Tommy Johnson, Mark Stallard and Jackie Sewell to the lane together is one thing I can enjoy at Notts, without the nervous shakes of a match day commentary or wishing my head was in a Reformation book.