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Jamal Lowe vs Notts County | The Commentary Classics Series

"Nonchalant, fantastic, brilliant! Pompey will be promoted at this rate!"

8 June 2020

Ellis Hampton

Pompey fans will always have fond memories of Meadow Lane, especially the 4,500 that saw their team get promoted at the famous old ground.

A 3-1 win over Notts County sealed a long-awaited return to the third tier for the Blues, and virtually the entire travelling contingent spilled onto the pitch to celebrate.

While the post-match celebrations lasted long into the night, Jamal Lowe's second goal earlier in the afternoon represented a single moment of pure elation.

The man on the mic that day was Niall McCaughan, whose Express FM commentary complemented the euphoric scenes perfectly.

"Sometimes in those moments, especially when you’re commentating as a fan, the adrenaline takes over and you forget what you actually said. It just happened so quickly; in a flash Michael Doyle managed to see the ball and Jamal Lowe was in. The moment took me away really.

"The commentary box was opposite the 4,500 Pompey fans and they all stood up – and I think I stood up as well – and there was that collective gasp, that moment of silence before the ball went in. And it just erupted from there.

"We were all trying to plan out how the season would go and for some reason, it didn’t feel likely that it would happen that day. But I do remember driving down the road towards Meadow Lane and seeing a poster on a lamppost advertising Smooth East Midlands’ new drivetime presenter, Gareth Evans. I thought to myself it was strange and then obviously Gareth Evans scored the penalty! I ended up staying in a Premier Inn that night and the room number was 657, which again was just a bit odd!

"However, I didn’t prepare anything in terms of commentary going into the game aside from the normal preparation. I thought it was important, if it did happen, to be organic. You can get lost in the stats, whereas it’s important to be lost in the moment. The main thing people care about is Pompey, which they care about more than anything else, so it’s important to get that focus right.

"If you can't play for the club you support, which is every young boy's dream, to be able to commentate is the next best thing."

"I didn’t want to go completely into overdrive, but I remember being told that they had Express FM on in the Shepherds Crook. I was commentating through the game with the vision in my mind of a couple of hundred people in the beer garden and just the scenes when the goals went in!

"It’s just a dream, isn’t it? If you can’t play for the club you support, which is every young boy’s dream, to be able to commentate is the next best thing. I’m very lucky to have done it. I’m just happy my voice didn’t break or crack or anything!"

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