Bishop celebrates his Radford moment after earning County a replay

Notts County 1 Manchester City 1

Meadow Lane

All the wonderful inequalities of the FA Cup distilled into one cold afternoon. Here was the world's oldest club facing the richest; the one with players worth considerably less than £50,000 against City's £152m; the club that watched the prospect of boundless financial riches float off down the Trent last year, against the one whose saviours have stayed around rather longer. And the most deeply symbolic moment came at the end, when that ritual FA Cup shirt-exchange moment arrived. Edin Dzeko and James Milner handed theirs over but didn't wait around to take anything in exchange.

An occasion like this also requires one of those quintessential FA Cup talismen – its own Ronnie Radford – and on a pitch with the properties of a 1972 Edgar Street, Neal Bishop served the purpose as well as he did a job for manager Paul Ince.

Bishop didn't even make it out of non-League until he was 26, and hadn't scored all season until his looping header gave County the whiff of an upset. Having scored just 15 goals in nine years of football, he can comfortably count this as his most precious.

"I'll replay it over and over again," said the 29-year-old, whose peripatetic non-League career took him around Gateshead, Whitby, Scarborough and York before Barnet offered him the big time a few years back.

"It's actually my first goal in about two years. It's a good job I've got a bald patch or it would have gone over the bar," he added.

Of course, the one piece of history which no one can take away from Meadow Lane is the Juventus connection, the Turin club having taken a fancy to Notts County's black and white stripes and copied them.

"It's just like watching Juve," the home fans chanted during the 23-minute spell when their side led. But one of the virtues of having a squad with the depth of City's is the potential it offers for late salvation. Just ask Juventus – a club who twice surrendered leads against City in this season's Europa League group stage and are now out of that competition.

Certainly, the City of old would have capitulated to Bishop's goal, which came just before the hour and just after a heavy Pablo Zabaleta challenge on Lee Hughes sent up calls for a debatable penalty. They had lost to lower league opposition from around these parts – Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United – in two of the previous three years.

The heads don't drop these days, though. There is a winning belief. With a Carlos Tevez back injury keeping him out, it was David Silva who made the critical difference before Micah Richards delivered a game-changing moment: one of those searing bursts of pace that have seen him outstay so many other City academy graduates.

The virtue of the 81st-minute cross that followed from Richards was that the unpredictable surface did not intervene before Dzeko volleyed it into the roof of the net; his first goal since arriving for £27m.

Manager Roberto Mancini said that it would take Dzeko "four or five games" to adjust to the Premier League and County's rumbustuous approach to the occasion certainly seemed discomfiting. For an instant, on the half-hour mark, Dzeko seemed to have found his feet, spinning around Mike Edwards and then shaping to shoot. Defender Krystian Pearce, who is 21 and is now at his seventh club, intervened with a tackle that was of pure Premier league quality.

Ince's front man, Alan Gow, provided yet more evidence that 59 league places between FA Cup sides don't always reveal the full story. He was not fully fit when he won the free-kick that he sent inches wide of Joe Hart's left post in the opening moments.

In a game where the football was more monochrome than the occasion, Richards shone the brightest of all, showing the bursts of attacking pace that have helped him survive while his fellow academy graduates have disappeared, one-by-one. It was he whose driving run down the right delivered the cross for Yaya Touré that Stuart Nelson acrobatically touched over in the first half.

But Mancini's enduring faith with Jo, ineffectual on the left, look as baffling as ever and the side remains a shadow of itself without Tevez, who Mancini expects to be back to face Birmingham away on Wednesday. The headache for Mancini is the pile-up of fixtures. The replay cannot be slotted in before the fifth round weekend, which means that a home tie with Aston Villa must fit around the Europa League commitments.

Mancini was happy to be in the draw, though, and Ince was simply counting the pennies. "We need the money. Sunderland [in the third round] brought us a few quid, and today we had a full-house, all that stuff, we earned a few quid," he said.



Notts County (4-4-2) Nelson; Darby, Pearce, Edwards, Harley; Martin, Bishop, Ravenhill, Westcarr; Gow (Hawley, 70) Hughes. Substitutes not used: Burch, Lee, Thompson, Gobern, Spicer, Burgess.

Booked Edwards, Bishop.

Manchester City (4-2-3-1) Hart; Richards, Boateng, Lescott, Zabaleta (Kolarov, 70); Vieira, Barry; Milner, Y Touré, Jo (Silva, 63); Dzeko. Substitutes not used: Given, Kompany, K Touré, De Jong, Guidetti.

Booked Milner.

Man of the match Richards.

Referee C Foy (St Helens)

Attendance: 16,587.

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'