>Cheltenham Town 2-2 Northampton Town
Saturday, December 5th 2009
The Cobblers and Cheltenham Town have both had matching poor first halves of the season after relegation last season and neither side could secure three points at Whaddon Road yesterday in a 2-2 draw that did little for either side’s confidence. Adebayo Akinfenwa rescued his side once again byt twice scoring to pull the game back from the jaws of defeat.
It was an even more experienced head that caused us problems at the other end rather than the clutch of ex-Cobblers on show for the home side but Ben Marshall at least had some impact by setting up the opening goal of the game when his corner was scrambled in eventually by Barry Hayles. Hayles would be a thorn in the side later on but not before the Cobblers immediately replied.
Bayo’s fitness was in question all week (again) but he started alongside Courtney Herbert, making his first start in over a month, and the big striker got on the end of a Danny Swailes flick on to equalise just ninety seconds after the hosts had taken the lead.
Hayles was back on the score sheet on the half hour mark, though, flicking in a corner and it was another far too simple goal to concede for Ian Sampson’s men. This time, it would take a bit longer to find our way back into the game.
Bayo and Billy McKay went close before the break but the leveller soon came after half time when the former made the most of confusion in the home ranks to slot home and bring us back into the game again.
It was all set up for a stirring climax but it never really came as both sides proved as bad as each other at conjouring a final flurry despite the best efforts of Herbert, who drove wide with fifteen minutes to go and substitute Steve Guinan who headed over the bar in the closing stages of the game.
So it’s another draw in this stop-start season so far and yet again we concede sloppy goals. We need to become stronger at the back because at the other end we’re looking alright. Suring up at the back must be job number one for Sammo in a massive January transfer window but until then we must persevere with what we have.
There’s a worrying gap appearing to the clutch of teams in mid-table, one of which, Port Vale, come to Sixfields next weekend. It’s becoming a recurring theme but it’s another massive home game because defeat could leave us confounded in the doom of the lower reaches of League Two before Santa has even began to get ready for his annual work.