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Dan Westwell's Top Ten Photos From 2013.14

20 May 2014

The club's official away photographer picks his top ten photos from last season...

1. Who will ever forget this moment at Anfield? Adam Coombes had just scored the equaliser and ran past me. I was about to put my camera down as I'd got him running towards me when I spotted Chris Kiwomya's reaction, so instead of zooming in on him, I panned back out to get Coombes in on the picture as well as the manager. The result was really pleasing and very unique.
2. Bartosz Bialkowski always prays before a game but I never seem to be near him because I do pictures of the fans right up until the players come out and then I go to the dugout to get pictures of the Manager before kick off. At Gillingham we weren't allowed to go and get photos of the Manager so I was still behind the goal after doing fan pictures so I seized my chance and got this. I took it in colour but I think it's more powerful in black and white and with his face in the square part of the netting too makes it even better.
3. Another goalkeeper picture, this time goalkeeping coach Kevin Pilkington. This was taken at Preston North End after his man of the match performance kept high flying Preston at bay for 65 minutes with some top class saves until he was beaten by on loan Craig Davies who scored on his debut. He was called up to the squad late (as you can tell by the name on the gloves) and his performance on that day was superb.
4. I love this as it's just so natural. Without these two, Notts would undoubtedly have been relegated. To get a picture of them both smiling together before the crunch match at Tranmere was brilliant as that's the point where players are 'in the zone' and you don't usually get anything like this. It just showed that the attitude of these two was to always relax and enjoy yourself and the results will come. These two will always be remembered for the part they played in The Great Escape and will forever be etched in the history of Notts County Football Club. I really hope they go far in the game.
5. Notts go 1-0 up at Tranmere after Owain Fon Williams spilt the ball at the feet of Ronan Murray, another youngster whose part in The Great Escape won't ever be forgotten. He calmly finished to make it 1-0 and it looked like it was going to be a good day for Notts. Sadly Rovers scored a late winner to make it 3-2 but Notts had the last laugh on the final day of the season as Rovers went to League Two, 3 points behind Notts.  
6. Jimmy Spencer's goal at Brentford. It was only a consolation but the reason I like it is because I hadn't had time to change my camera to the lens that zooms in and out, so I was on my fixed 300mm and you don't have room to make a mistake when using that. As you can see by the picture, it was a brilliant finish and he'd jumped very high to loop the ball over the keeper and it all happened in a second. I had to judge where he was going to jump and I was really pleased with the picture as he ended up in the middle. This hasn't been cropped, this is how it was taken and that's why it's one of my favourites.
7. Bristol City goalkeeper Simon Moore spilled a shot from Jimmy Spencer, but he recovered in time to stop Gary Liddle from scoring. This surely would have won Notts the game and given them more hope in escaping relegation. Sadly City went down the other end to score and win the game 2-1. I nearly chose the picture of the players walking off at the end as their body language said it all, but I think this is a really nice colourful action picture that shows just how close Notts were to potentially winning the game.
8. I could've chosen all ten pictures from the Oldham game. I like this one because of its importance and while everyone is going mad celebrating with Alan Sheehan, you can see the Oldham keeper fetching the ball out of his goal in the background.
9. While everyone was celebrating Sheehan's goal, I tried my best to get as many celebration pictures of the players AND then of the fans as well. It was extremely difficult because it was a case of pointing my camera and clicking and hoping for the best because then I had to get back taking more pictures of the players celebrating. You get literally 1 or 2 seconds to get what you can. In amongst the celebrations I found this one of these two young lads! When people have commented on this I've told them that it was after Sheehan had scored but people think it was when they heard Notts were in the relegation zone for that 7 minutes that they were. But I can honestly say this was after the Sheehan penalty goal and their expressions make the picture so powerful and I love it.
10. One of the many unwritten rules in photography is that you don't submit pictures whereby the subject has got their eyes closed. I got quite a few pictures of Shaun Derry celebrating, when he was punching the air at the top of the tunnel and when he came over to the fans at Oldham. I did get some of him with his arms up and eyes open like this, but I think this one is so much more powerful. The next frame his eyes are very misty and its clear the emotion of what he'd achieved had caught up with him, but I just think that this is a great one to finish off with as it doesn't need any words as his expression clearly says it all. "We've done it".

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