>Northampton Town 2-2 Torquay United
Friday, March 25th 2011
You got the feeling that it wasn’t a normal night when Torquay’s team bus was late to Sixfields. That was to be just the start of things though as two goals were scored after 10pm and deep into stoppage time in an extraordinary finale to an entertaining game that saw the Cobblers claim an important point in the battle to move away from the bottom few sides.
The Cobblers were unchanged for the first time under Gary Johnson, something that certainly should help the cause of continuity and started well but it was Torquay that created the first good chance of the game. On loan forward Jake Robinson sent a shot just wide with the Gulls appearing to show no effects of their late arrival due to a motorway accident.
Indeed it was the visitors who took the early lead with winger Eunan O’ Kane netting to give their small band of travelling supporters hope that by the end of the night they would be in the top three. The game was open enough to suggest that the Cobblers could challenge that though and on the half hour mark, a free kick was nodded down by Abdul Osman into the path of John Johnson who headed home from close range.
Game on then and as the half grew on so did the confidence of a Town outfit that are desperately trying to put things together under Gary Johnson’s leadership. The scores were still level at the break though despite two penalty shouts for the bundling over of Michael Jacobs both times.
It was the same at the beginning of the second half and Jacobs was involved once more, this time getting on the end of a good move involving Byron Webster and Guillem Bauza only to be denied by visiting keeper Scott Bevan.
Torquay threatened at the other end as Chris Dunn had to be alert to another effort from the lively Robinson and Guy Branston headed wide from a corner. The late drama was preceded by chances at both ends for Robinson and Bauza but when Billy Kee scored two minutes into stoppage time it looked certain to be the winner.
We reached six minutes of added time when the Cobblers won a contested free kick. The ball would drop to Bauza who sent in a fine volley that flew into the net via a deflection and somehow we had nicked a point in the most unlikely of circumstances. Gulls manager Paul Buckle was seething at the free kick decision that sent his side back to Devon having dropped a couple of points when in a winning position but we have to take whatever we can get at this moment in time!
As I said after last week’s draw at Bradford, every point is crucial and picking them up in singles is helpful as long as the rest of the pack down with us keep slipping. The main threat, Barnet, take on leaders Chesterfield this evening so hopefully that game is as academic as it should be…unless there’s a real mad dog twist to come!
Accrington away up next for us but another week to prepare and with the relegation worries hopefully dying down and the fans back on side we can go there and play a bit more freely and finally claim those illusive three points!