Ian Sampson would confirm his appointment after the first game of October, a game that didn’t produce a win but did see his Cobblers side battle to a 2-2 home draw with Bradford City. After a goalless first half, Simon Ramsden and Michael Boulding put the visitors in control but Alex Dyer pulled one back before John Johnson headed home his first goal for the club in the dying seconds.
So the decision was made and the Cobblers officially had the man for the job. Sammo was signed up until the end of the season and would be on trial as such until the summer months. It was a massive task with the club languishing in the lower reaches of the table but it would be a positive start to full time management for the former Town player.
The first official game in charge for Sammo was the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Second Round game at home to Bournemouth and despite a Danny Hollands goal in the first half, Steve Guinan equalised and there was once again a late sting in the tale. Bournemouth thought they had won it when awarded an 86th minute penalty but Lee Bradbury saw his kick saved by Chris Dunn. The Cobblers went up the other end, won a penalty of their own and Ryan Gilligan showed how it was done by slotting home and putting us into Round Three, the area Quarter Finals.
There was yet another come back the following weekend as the Cobblers fell 2-0 down at Bury but Courtney Herbert scored a stunning solo goal to out us back in the game before Adebayo Akinfenwa made it 2-2 and the fighting spirit was well and truly back in the squad.
Back at Sixfields and the always hard to beat Lincoln City were seen off by a Steve Guinan goal with just under twenty minutes to play.
Guinan was on target again the following week as he put the Cobblers in front at Morecambe. But it looked like all was lost as the Shrimps came from behind to lead 2-1 through a Phil Jevons penalty and a Stuart Drummond goal just before the break. That spirit shone through again though and the Cobblers scored three times in the last twenty minutes to win the game. Andy Holt, John Johnson and Adebayo Akinfenwa were on target and the travelling fans went home delighted.
The month would end in narrow defeat though and with a number of chances going begging at Torquay it always looked like we would end up on the losing side and it was an ex Cobbler that stole the show. Chris Hargreaves scored with seven minutes remaining and showed his respect for the Cobblers but not celebrating.
All in all October was the month when we finally got going and even with that late defeat at Plainmoor we were rolling and had ourselves back out of danger at the wrong end of the table.