>March would prove to be the month that looked to make or break our ever increasing playoff hopes. But after a disappointing Easter weekend it was all but over as the ten men of Forest and then the eleven of Carlisle put us to the sword.
The month began with a home game against Crewe and the League One strugglers came to Sixfields to frustrate us, going away with a 0-0 draw and ending hopes of our third straight league win.
The following weekend we travelled to another side in the playoff hunt, Walsall. The Saddlers had already beaten us in league and cup during the season but this time Adebayo Akinfenwa hit a double to give us an impressive 2-0 win over a side that were, at the time, in fifth place.
A point from Bristol Rovers in midweek was salvaged by a Poul Hubertz striker in the second half and that would set up an astonishing home game with league leaders Swansea City at Sixfields.
The Swans travelled in good numbers but in an incredible period in the first half we scored three goals in nine minutes through Hubertz, an own goal and Hubertz again from the spot. Jason Scotland hit back for the visitors but Danny Jackman curled home a fourth just after the break for the Cobblers. Scotland added a late consolation but Town fans began to dream as the result of the season set up an Easter double header with Nottingham Forest and Carlisle United.
Forest were first up and this was the game that really could be seen as the turning point. Brett Ormerod had Colin Calderwood’s side in front but the visitors were down to ten men on 21 minutes when James Perch was shown the red card. Hubertz brought us level by the break with an overhead kick but Forest used the wind advantage in the second half to lead again through a highly controversial Nathan Tyson penalty. Try as we might to get back into it we couldn’t buy a goal and it was disappointment as Calderwood’s men began their charge towards the top two.
Next up was an away day at high flying Carlisle United and we were again well beaten away from home at one of the better sides in the league. Second half strikes from Danny Livesey and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson won the game for the Cumbrians.
March ended with a 1-1 draw at Cheltenham Town as Steven Gillespie’s opener was cancelled out by a Giles Coke volley but results elsewhere were beginning to make the playoff dreams fade away as April began.