Magpies all set for crucial fixture in quest to climb
NOTTS County's Bartosz Bialkowski hopes for an unforgettable night against Leyton Orient – and not because he can't remember the first game between the two sides this season, but because the Magpies can close the gap on the League One play-offs to five points with victory.
The Polish goalkeeper ended up in hospital with a head injury and concussion when Notts lost 2-1 to The O's at Brisbane Road five weeks ago.
But after being sidelined for four games, he was back to his best against Carlisle United at Meadow Lane on Saturday, making three super saves in the second half to keep a tenth clean-sheet of the season in the league as Notts won 1-0.
And now he is determined to claim another shut-out against Orient at Meadow Lane tomorrow night (7.45pm) to help try and put the Magpies right back in the race for the top-six.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"Results are all that matter," he said.
"We didn't play that well against Carlisle, but we still won 1-0 and it was a fantastic three points – and we have to go out and try to do the same against Orient."
Alan Judge fired the Magpies ahead against Carlisle in the first half and then Bialkowski denied Lee Miller, Sean O'Hanlon and James Berrett after the break to ensure Notts extended their unbeaten league run to five games and kept their play-off hopes alive.
"I cannot remember the last time we kept a clean-sheet so I'm really pleased about that as well as the three points," added Bialkowski, who rated his save from O'Hanlon from just two yards out as his best.
"I decided to go and spread myself and managed to block it.
"We were winning 1-0 and they were going forward trying to score a goal so it was an important moment in the game.
"I'm the last man on the pitch and it's down to me to make saves.
"I was determined not to be beaten.
"I didn't have much to do in the first half, but the second half started with one good save and it gave me confidence.
"It's the tenth clean-sheet for me this season and I want to keep a lot more before the end of the season.
"It was a great goal by Judgey as well.
"If you have got a chance you need to take it and Judgey scored a wonder goal for us.
"People say 1-0 is the best win you can ever get so we're really pleased."
The Magpies' promotion bid looked all over only a few weeks ago, after a really bad dip in form, but Bialkowski insists their blip is over and they can make a late charge for the top-six from tenth spot in the last 11 games of the season.
"We've been unlucky in the last few months," he said.
"We played quite well, but just couldn't win a game, especially at home, but now we've won the last two at home and that's fantastic.
"At the beginning of the season everyone was confident, everyone was buzzing and wanted to win in every game.
"We didn't do that quite a lot, but that's changed now.
"We just need to go out and play our best football and I'm sure we will be fine."