Lee Hughes was THREE minutes away from leaving Notts County
LEE Hughes was just THREE minutes away from leaving Notts County.
The striker's loan move to Port Vale fell through because the League Two club did not complete the paperwork until 5:03pm so the Football League rejected it, even though it was just past the 5pm deadline.
The Magpies were ready to let him leave Meadow Lane on loan until January – and have even signed Scotland international Chris Iwelumo on loan from Watford until the new year to replace him.
But Notts boss Keith Curle found out Hughes was on his way back to the club while he was taking training yesterday morning ahead of their League One home game against Swindon Town today.
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While Hughes starts a three-game ban, Iwelumo, 34, will make his debut against the Robins and is ready to make a big impact at the club.
"Hopefully I will bring a bit of experience and a few goals," he said.
"We're sitting eighth in the table, we're not so far off it, and hopefully we can kick on and really challenge."
After playing 38 games for Watford in the Championship last season, Iwelumo has been frozen out at Vicarage Road since Gianfranco Zola took charge this season and has played just seven league games.
He admits he would be open to a permanent move to Meadow Lane if his loan switch proves successful.
"I'm here until January 1 and hopefully it can be a positive spell for me and the team and that's something we can talk about closer to the time," he added.
"This is like a breath of fresh air really because the last couple of months have been hard.
"I was out of the frame (at Watford) and I'm like any footballer – I want to be playing.
"I live 30 minutes from here as well so it's fantastic.
"I was travelling to Watford every day from Newcastle-under-Lyme so it was four-and-a-half to five hours in the car every day and I wasn't playing, which I don't think was worth it."
How the day unfolded: Page 39