Cambridge United 2-0 Northampton Town
Tuesday, July 26th 2011
There’s been plenty of ways to spin away from pre-season results so far but a defeat to Cambridge United a week and a bit before the campaign sees us dipping deep into our reserves to find some sort of hope. A summer that started with jubilation on Bayo’s return is ending with a slight stutter and a game in which we looked “leggy” according to boss Gary Johnson was matched with a negative result that will no doubt get the doom mongers out in force again.
Here was a chance to get the first win of the pre-season, when everything should have started to come together but the Cobblers were second best and now have only one friendly left, at home to Wycombe on Saturday, to get things out of the system before the Accrington game a week later. Win against Stanley and this pre-season will be forgotten in an instant but we need something from this Saturday’s game to give the claret faithful making their way back to Sixfields seven days later some cause to get excited.
Those attending the opening game are not likely to see Shaun Harrad after the striker damaged his ankle in training before this one, an injury that’s likely to keep him out for two or three weeks according to Johnson. The option of keeping Tadhg Purcell for a month or so could be one to look at with Bayo and Jake Robinson the only other two genuine strikers on the books.
With Harrad missing last night, we still put out as near to full strength a side as possible with the back five of Walker, Young, Corker, Johnson and Webster remaining in place from the weekend, though Nana’s return to training could push Young out of that spot by the time Saturday comes. Andy Holt was a welcome return to the bench and got a run out towards the end but trialist Marin Pozgain got just four minutes.
Luke Berry and Ryan Charles stole the spotlight though as Cambridge’s scorers with Robinson and Michael Jacobs coming the closest for the Cobblers on an otherwise forgettable night at the Abbey in which we still ended up with more questions than answers with just one more chance to get it right.