>Cobblers well beaten despite early goal

>Northampton Town 1-3 Hereford United
Tuesday, December 1st 2009
League Two

The chill is setting in, the dark nights are here and the Cobblers are in for, seemingly, a long hard winter of discontent. Another defeat last night, this time to a Hereford side that won with far too much ease, pushed us closer to the bottom than we are to the top seven and things are looking more worrying than they have for a long, long time.

The blame can’t 100% fall on the players and staff…the sacking of Stuart Gray was untimely and the act of faith shown by David Cardoza at the end of last season and beginning of this is threatening to blow the whole of 09/10 apart. The players that survived the August transfer window simply aren’t good enough, and at League Two level they really should be.

Even the return to the bench of Courtney Herbert here couldn’t spark a win despite Ryan Gilligan giving us a lead inside forty seconds, converting Adebayo Akinfenwa’s cross to hand us the perfect start and at least it wouldn’t be a game of catch up from the start. It would, though, have the opposite effect and we never peaked after the early show.

The disaster started when Josh Walker was stretchered off the pitch after just ten minutes and Hereford added insult to that injury by equalising through Darren Jones as we failed to clear a corner. Craig Hinton and Andy Holt had the best chances of the first half after that but we were level at half time with Danny Swailes, making his debut after joining on loan from MK Dons last week, booked on the half hour mark.

Steve Guinan thought he had put us back in front early in the second half but his disallowed goal was as good as it got for Sammo’s men. It was another set piece that caused us problems for the second goal as Jordan Mutch fired in a free kick that Chris Dunn could only parry into the path of Mathieu Manset who nodded home from close range.

Herbert made his long awaited return with fifteen minutes to go but even he couldn’t rescue this game as the visitors wrapped it up when Craig King connected with the ball at the far post to knock it in and it was game over.

It was a deserved victory for Hereford who climb up into mid-table, leaving the Cobblers still struggling at the wrong end of things with the likes of Saturday’s opposition, Cheltenham Town, who have similar problems to us.

It could come down to who wants it the most at Whaddon Road. The quality is not appearing to be here at the moment so this is when we need to find out who the real characters in the dressing room really are.

It’s getting desperate. Please Cobblers, fight for your shirts!


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