So near but yet so far in Supporters Club Tournament

The Supporters' Club's Football team were unlucky to be knocked out at the semi-final stage of the Semi Final Stage of the Stanley Hearmes Cup last Sunday.

The annual competition is a tournament between Supporters' Club's Football Teams and is organised by Coventry City Supporters' Club.

The Notts side, a mixture of experience and youth, contained many of the players who had played in the competition last year. The tournament, held in Coventry, was based at a different venue this year so even the players who had been here before were not quite sure what to expect.

The squad was determinate to enjoy the day but at the same time they were taking the competition seriously. Arriving in style by coach (thanks to Premiere Travel) and wearing shirts and ties, the players had a professional outlook.

Notts were in Group B and had a daunting start as their first game was against current holders Leyton Orient. The O's always bring a strong side and have won the trophy for the last two years - usually going tthrough the whole day unbeaten.

The Magpies started well but were soon a goal down. However, they regrouped and stuck to the game plan and were rewarded when Scott Thraves grabbed the equaliser.

The joy was short lived, however, as the O's showed exactly why they do not lose many matches. An outstanding move resulted in Orient taking the lead again with a minute to go and they followed this up with a spectacular free-kick in injury time to win the game 3-1.

It was a harsh lesson for the Magpies and they would have to sharpen up if they were to be successful later in the day.

Burton Albion were next up,and for those who were at Gigg Lane the day before, it was a case of deja vu as the Pies took the lead in the first minute - just like Lee Hughes and Co did on Saturday at Bury!

For Lee Hughes read Connor Scott and he soon doubled his account as Notts dominated the game. Albion grabbed a goal back but a third for Notts, this time from Chris Fox, secured the points for The 'Pies.

Notts needed to win the next game to ensure their passage through the group stage and it was hosts Coventry City B who stood in their way.

The Pies set about the task superbly and raced into a two goal lead thanks to a Liam Start double. His second was a tremendous 20 yard strike that gave the keeper no chance.

Connor Scott then decided to take over, grabbing a hat-trick, and James Odell's goal was the icing on the cake for his own superb performance.

Notts were through and faced last season's runners up, Peterborough United, in the Semi Final.

Peterborough, were a big strong side and had not conceded a goal all tournament. Notts keeper Phil Rippon was soon called in to action in what was becoming a physical game. Notts though soon began to get a foothold on the match and started to create their own chances.

Tragedy struck on the stroke of half time when a pacey counter-attack from the Posh resulted in Notts fullback Sam Carnill putting a cross into his own net. Despite the outcome, it was a tremendous finish Sam!

The Magpies threw everything at Posh in the second half and the Peterborough goalkeeper had to make three outstanding saves, including one from an almost perfect header from the Pies' own shot stopper Rippon, who had gone up for a last minute corner. Connor Scott also went close as he tried to add to his tally and put him in the frame for the tournament's leading scorer.

It was not to be and Notts were out but they could hold their heads up high. Peterborough went on to win the competition ensuring a new name on the trophy.

Liam Start, who was celebrating his eighteenth birthday on the day, was named Notts County's Most Valuable Player.

The players would also like to thank the small small group of fans who came along to support the team...especially Josh Carter. Thanks Josh!!