>Devon and Hell!

>Torquay United 3-0 Northampton Town
League Two
Saturday, August 7th 2010

If you come up with a worst case scenario for a first game of the season then the outcome of today’s opener at Plainmoor would come very close indeed. Bereft of Kevin Thornton (official line that he fell ill on Friday night) and with Steve Guinan’s pre-season form earning him a start, there was a very familiar look to the line-up with Oscar Jansson and Marcus Hall the only new faces to start along with the familiar figure of John Johnson. Tadhg Purcell had to make do with a place on the bench along with Nathanial Wedderburn.

But the hosts, still perhaps buoyed by a fine finish to last season, would come out on top despite a bright opening from the Cobblers in which Dean Beckwith had an effort ruled out for offside and Abdul Osman test home keeper Scott Bevan with a fierce drive.

The goal on the stroke of half-time would be the one to set the tone as Kevin Nicholson broke on the left and raced through to score and it would all fall apart from there.

Michael Jacobs replaced Paul Rodgers in midfield at the start of the second half but his cameo would provide only a consolation as the Gulls raced into the three goal lead that would see them comfortably home and dry before the hour mark.

Straight after half-time, Chris Zebroski had a shot saved by Jansson but followed up to make it 2-0 and five minutes later Elliot Benyon sealed things by getting on the end of a through ball and finishing with ease.

There was the odd flash from Jacobs with the youngster hitting the cross bar with a free kick whilst John Johnson’s cross shot had to be clawed away by Bevan but that was about it in a poor second half in which the Cobblers will have to recover from very quickly indeed.

So all the pre-season is forgotten now and we have to buckle down and get on with it. As far as the ridiculous early league table goes, we’re bottom of the football league this evening and can only take hope in the fact that Norwich lost 7-0 on the opening day last season only to go on to win the League One title! If such a story is to happen to the Cobblers this time around we need to get back to basics and realise that we’re not playing for nothing any more.

Football is back, but not quite how we’d like it just yet, thank you very much.

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