>Northampton Town 1-1 Bury
Saturday, May 8th 2010
There was to be no fairy tale ending, no miracle and not even a lap of honour at the final whistle. The 2009/10 season was locked away into the vaults in far less dramatic style than we’ve become accustomed to. Results elsewhere eventually meant that we wouldn’t have made the playoffs even with a win and the mood from the stands seemed to reflect onto the pitch as the season ended with a home draw, ending Bury’s hopes along the way.
There didn’t seem a lot of hope in the stands before the game and Cobblers fans seemed to be attending more in hope than expectation with a massive task ahead. The rain and wind didn’t help and the game was drained out by a stubborn and well organised Bury side and the lack of confidence running through our own players.
Bury’s fans were more up for it and did their club proud right up to the final whistle as they also fell short of the top seven. It was they who were in front at the break with Ryan Lowe providing them with a glimmer of hope when he found himself in space inside the Cobblers area.
If we had an uphill task at the start of the game it had just got even steeper. Bayo and fellow half fit star Kevin Thornton had to play on and eventually got through ninety minutes each as we looked to scrape back into the game.
Ryan Gilligan tried to get us going ten minutes into the second half with a low shot before Luke Guttridge replaced Paul Rodgers on the right.
The season was draining out of us though and passes were skidding away, long balls being eaten up by the big Bury centre halves and our only real hope left came from the sending off of the Shakers’ James Poole for a bad challenge on John Johnson.
We wanted to at least end the season with something and if anyone was going to score the final goal of the season it was Bayo. The big man scored what could be his final goal for the club via a deflection and that was that.
So the 2009/10 season is over…a season of changes, shaky performances, a resolute reorganisation, a couple of months of real hope and a finish that saw us fall just at the wrong time. Stuart Gray’s reign perhaps ended too late after a bad start and Sammo had to readjust with loanees for the remainder of the season.
What Sammo and Malcolm Crosby have done is provide us with a battling squad again and now the hard work truly begins in trying to keep them together. With around 3/4 of the squad out of contract this is a massive summer. If we keep this group together we can do good things. If not, it’s going to test the mettle of the management team in bringing in the right players to start again.
The dream is over, the season is over and all we can do now is try and put it to bed, enjoy a couple of months of relaxing and then all come back in good spirits once again for 2010/11. Remember, it could have been a relegation dog fight today…let’s be thankful it wasn’t and look forward to the twists and turns of the summer months to come.
It’s been tough and it could get tougher but we’ll be back no matter how much we moan and groan. It’s another season in League Two…you love it really!