lunedì 28 aprile 2014

Colin Slater: "What a week"

Dear Friends,

It has been a good week for Notts County. 
Watching the two games was a very tense experience for all of us, because the margins were so narrow. 
It was only by 1-0 (a headed goal by Jimmy Spencer) that Notts beat Crawley on Easter Monday. His first half goal gave them an early advantage, then they had to defend very spiritedly in the second half. 
The same was just as true Saturday. 
Alan Sheehan (your "Italian Magpies" Player of the Season) popped up on the edge of the penalty area and produced a lovely strike, low into the corner of the net, for a 9th minute goal. 
That relieved the tension around the stadium but it did not deter Swindon Town who made a real fight of it. 
After an unfortunate mass brawl late in the game two Swindon players were sent off but when they won a set piece in nine minutes of added time they sent their goalkeeper up field, looking for an equaliser. 
It worked to their disadvantage when Notts cleared the ball, Campbell-Ryce went sprinting towards the Swindon goal, gave the ball to McGregor and he tapped the ball into the empty net. 

Notts are now out of the bottom four, 19th in the table on 49 points. 
They will only be absolutely safe from relegation if they secure a point at Oldham next Saturday. Stevenage and Shrewsbury are already relegated and Carlisle have virtually admitted to having no chance of staying up. If this assessment is right the final place is between Crewe, Tranmere and Notts. 
What a roller-coaster of a season we've experienced! 
It will be worth it if we're able to celebrate retention of League One status next weekend - it's going to feel like a long wait before the next, and final, game. 

All that said, I realise Juventus have a very important week coming up, with a Serie A fixture on Monday evening and the second leg of the Europa League semi final against Benfica on Thursday. I join you in hoping for good success in both. 

Very best wishes to all.