Just when we were all jumping around lording pitch invasions led by a fan in a wheel chair and everything was right with the world, along came Stockport, Barnet and Burton to pile on the pressure once more. Of course, the two longest unbeaten records in the league were ended by the Cobblers’ rivals.
Gillingham were not only beaten but confidently seen off by Barnet at the Priestfield by a side that look back to full confidence after last week’s defeat at Bury. Izale McLeod is worryingly on fire and his hat-trick could have been four had he not gone for cheek rather than class when taking his second penalty of the game.
Burton’s victory ended the second longest unbeaten run in the league by winning 2-1 at the EBB Stadium. Calvin Zola’s winner means they move up to seventeenth and are suddenly looking like strong favourites to survive after picking up seven points from three games in the past week.
But it’s perhaps the Cobblers’ opponents on Monday, Stockport County, who would cause the biggest stir. Seemingly down and out thanks to Liam Davis’ late equaliser on Friday night, the Hatters beat Port Vale at Vale Park and closed the gap to six points on Town going into a game of extraordinary significance tomorrow.
County will be relegated if we end the seventeen game winless run at Edgeley Park. But if, God forbid, they come out on top then it puts them three points behind us and no matter what Barnet do at home to Oxford it would be a nightmare scenario going into the final two games. It’s set to be the biggest game for both County and the Cobblers for many a year.
It makes it no easier a game with the fact that Sale Sharks played on the Edgeley Park pitch on Friday and it’s sure to be a rough and tumble affair, frantic to the end and the Cobblers need the spirit of Friday’s second half to roll over and not only that but we need warriors and warhorses.
Andy Holt, who came off the bench on Friday, is crucial and to me should start if fully fit. Holty is one of the only men you could truly pick out of this squad and know that you’re getting just what you need for a battle like this one. If anyone else proves to be similar then I would love to see it because with three games of this epic battle to go there’s no room for anything else.
So in around twenty four hours we will know a hell of a lot more than we did before this weekend. With all games kicking off at 3pm it has the feel of the final day of the season. It could be the end of the road for Stockport but it could just as easily be a disaster for Northampton Town.
If anyone has any finger nails left after yesterday then they need to grow back pretty damn quickly. I don’t think I can take much more!