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
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own