And so begins the round up of another season at planet Cobblers…a season which once again lived up to the usual roller coaster entertainment of previous campaigns. At least we can look back now as a League Two club and be thankful that we are still in the Football League, something that back in the early going was, rather shockingly, looking less likely!
After relegation from League One, we needed a good start to the season and backed with a clutch of new signings there was a perfect chance to do just that at home to unfancied Macclesfield Town at Sixfields. Craig Hinton, Chris McCready, Dean Beckwith, Billy McKay and loan signing Ben Marshall were handed debuts but the Cobblers could only manage a goalless draw in an edgy start to the season.
A midweek trip to the south coast saw Stuart Gray come up against one of his former clubs as Southampton proved too powerful in the Carling Cup. Rickie Lambert began a terrific season for himself by netting from close range before Adam Lallana put the result beyond doubt and the Cobblers out in Round One.
Things continued to look bleak in our first away game of the league campaign as Chesterfield began their final season at Saltergate with a win courtesy of Donal McDermott’s winner, condemning us to a narrow defeat.
But relief was, temporarily around the corner as the Cobblers convincingly picked up a first win of the season at Accrington the following Tuesday. Steve Guinan, Adebayo Akinfenwa and Billy McKay were the scorers as we finally got off the mark.
The corner looked to have been turned with another victory, the first home win of the season, just a few days later as Bournemouth were put to the sword. Bayo struck early on and Marshall rounded off an impressive display by following up a Billy McKay shot to seal the points.
All of that hard work, though, would dramatically fall apart the following weekend as the Cobblers as we travelled to Burton Albion. Albion scored three times in the opening ten minutes to stun the Cobblers and begin Stuart Gray’s final descent. Although Guinan and Ryan Gilligan clawed goals back late on it wasn’t enough and the Cobblers boss would not see another full month of action as Town boss.