>Macclesfield Town 0-2 Northampton Town
Wednesday, January 20th 2010
‘Twas just a few games ago that I, along with many other Cobblers fans, bemoaned the defence as we shipped goals here there and everywhere. But last night, Sammo led his side to a fourth successive clean sheet and extended our run of games unbeaten to six.
In a hastily rearranged fixture from Saturday, the Cobblers produced a fine display on a difficult Wednesday night trip north and came away with three vital points that – nose bleed time – puts us to within touching distance of the top half of the table. This in itself is a minor victory for Sammo.
After a couple of weeks without a game, it was a surprisingly lively start from the boys in claret and Andy Holt tested the home keeper with a right footed volley early on. Holt would, however, be involved in the first goal as Luke Guttridge powered the ball home after an interchange between Holt and Bayo.
The goal put us in control of the first half and we looked the more likely to add to the score line with John Johnson heading wide and Bayo testing the keeper once more following an excellent move involving Guttridge once more.
There was time for Ryan Gilligan to hit the cross bar before the first half ended with the Cobblers putting in a positive shift in the first 45.
Thankfully there was little fight back from the home side in the second half and, much like the game at Bournemouth, we were strangely on top! Just as we were waiting for the onslaught to begin, Bayo popped up to score with fifteen minutes to go as he swooped to nod home Guttridge’s cross and give the Cobblers a 2-0 lead.
The big man brought applause from all four sides of the ground as he was substituted with ten minutes to go and new boy Stephen O’Flynn replaced him.
The Cobblers could even have had a third late on when Holt going close again and Gilligan hitting the bar for the second time in the game but the small band of hardy souls in the away end went home happy as the game finished in our favour.
Momentum is now starting to build and the jump to within goal difference of the top half gives us renewed confidence in a season that seemed lost in December. Chesterfield occupy the final playoff place and though we can’t get carried away just yet, victory against the Spireites would mean we would be just three points away from them come close of play!
Maybe, just maybe, there’s something in 2009/10 for us yet.