We came so very close. Close to claiming the first three points of the season and close to kick starting the league campaign. It felt good to be back on the terraces for my first game of the season but it was a tough prospect and a game that I would have taken a point from before the game. But by the end of 95 minutes it still didn’t cushion the blow of the one second that hammered any hopes away from Aldershot’s Ben Harding.
It had been a backs to the walls second half, no doubt about it as Billy McKay’s splendidly taken opener constantly under threat of being cancelled out by the home team who woke up after half time. It was a throw back to the Atkins era where the Cobblers made it to the playoff final on the back of plenty of performances like this one.
As disappointing as what happened at the end was, it’s still worth noting that we got that far in the first place. McKay and the hard working but still not quite anything to write home about Steve Guinan had led the line well and I was very impressed by Nathanial Wedderburn in the middle of the pitch. At the back, Andy Holt and Dean Beckwith were outstanding for the most part and they will be the most crushed by the late, late equaliser.
We were literally out on our feet by the end as the defence collapsed with the rippling net in front of the away support, signalling the end of our hopes of taking home the win. As I said though, Aldershot deserved this point at the least for hammering us in the second half and the “EBB Stadium” won’t be a happy hunting ground for many of our League Two rivals this season.
All in all it was a response that Sammo needed after the midweek JPT disaster at Hartlepool and we need to build on this next weekend in the home game with Southend United at Sixfields. The Cobblers boss has hinted at a couple of new faces by then but understandably wants to keep these targets as quiet as possible.
On this performance, we’re nearly there. There appears to be a fine work ethic and spirit in the camp and there’s signs that we can certainly challenge if consistency becomes a friend to one or two like Michael Jacobs and Paul Rodgers. Rodgers played wide right yesterday and was one of the driving forces in the first half whilst Jacobs did well to set up the goal but faded in the second half when the Cobblers were focusing on keeping that lead.
Unfortunately it wasn’t possible but there’s hope there yet. We’re neither here nor there at the moment but it’s not a disaster – something that we can be very grateful for!
So good to be back…a good couple of pints pre-game in the friendly local that Town fans took over, an old fashioned terrace, good atmosphere and the Cobblers taking the lead only to let it slip with the last kick…nothing really changes does it?!