Saturday, May 7th 2011
A last day of the season with nothing to play for and nothing at stake, unless of course you count the fact that we could overtake Morecambe in the final standings, is a rarity at Northampton Town. There doesn’t seem to be many chances to enjoy a day out and, barring a couple of mid-table finishes in League One including the memorable “Doctor Day” at Donny, we always seem to be nervous going into the last fixture of the season.
So it’s with some relief that I write this pretty relaxed and hoping only for a win that would give us a little ounce of pride back for the final placing. Having escaped the drop last weekend, it would be a fine way to finish off and reward the hardy fans that have really come good in the past few months with a win to draw a line under the 2010-11 campaign.
Morecambe will want to end on a high as well and following their 7-2 trouncing at Port Vale last week, the Shrimps will be fighting to restore some parity of their own. They will be shuddering at the score line from the Vale game after losing on aggregate by the same score in last season’s playoff semi-finals to Dagenham and Redbridge.
It’s been a more reserved season this time as Sammy McIlroy steadied the ship rather than going for broke and safety has always been the foremost of their concerns. On another tight budget it’s been a job well done once again with the move to their new Globe Arena last summer a decent step forward.
For this final game of a trying season, many Cobblers players could have played their final games in claret after meeting the big bosses this week. It’s been made apparent that a good number of those players that weren’t offered deals will not be travelling to Morecambe so we should have a better idea as to who will be on their way after this Saturday once the squad is announced.
Just seven players are actually under contract so there is likely to be a massive turn around in personnel with Ryan Gilligan, Andy Holt, Shaun Harrad, Nathaniel Wedderburn, Michael Jacobs, John Johnson and Tadhg Purcell the only ones with a place for next season unless they move on of their own accord.
Adam Rundle could return for Morecambe after ending his loan spell with Gateshead this week. Wholesale changes could be made after that hammering last week and with a view to next season’s squad.
So it’s down to one final game and let’s enjoy it and still be proud as ever that we’ve come through the rough patch as a club. It’s time to [push onwards and ending the season on a high would be the first step in the rebuilding of our beloved Cobblers.