Carling Cup First Round
Tuesday, August 9th 2011
If only every game we played was in this competition. After yet another upset away from home against one of the favourites for promotion from the Championship came just days after a goalless opening day against Accrington, just as last season’s win over eventual League One champions Brighton arrived just after a 3-0 reverse on the first day at Torquay.
It baffles me as to how we’ve done it again. Many felt that our cups heroics were over after being spoilt last season by the Brighton, Reading and Liverpool wins but last night we overcame the side that brought to an end the Carling Cup run of last season. Ipswich made wholesale changes but despite that you can’t argue with a Cobblers performance that saw a first Town goal for Paul Turnbull, another strong showing from Ben Tozer in midfield, the continuing growth of Michael ‘Crackers’ Jacobs and even a fine outing for Ashley Westwood, drafted in for the injured John Johnson.
Bayo Akinfenwa was another late casualty as his injury in the warm up handed a first start to Bas Savage but that wouldn’t have changed the look of the side too much as we looked to avenge that cup exit last October.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas gave the Tractor Boys the lead though with a fine strike from distance and it looked like we would be on the way to an early exit. But again the Cobblers hit back for an unlikely win. Last season it was all about Ian Sampson during the cup run but now Gary Johnson has put his own mark on this competition with the Cobblers, pretty much a completely changed side since our last visit to Portman Road.
Ben Tozer would nick an equaliser before half time before Turbull netted from close range just afterwards to send the small band of Town fans home delighted. It was a nervy finish with Tweets from the game finding my computer in frantic messages that summed up the feeling inside of the away end but left anyone watching online via the social media network feeling just as tense!
So onwards we trot again to Round Two where we can actually meet Liverpool again thanks to their failure to reach the Europa League but we’ll all be hoping for just a home game for once in Thursday’s draw!
We also sit here hoping that it doesn’t take as long after a cup win to put in three points in the league as it did last season, the first victory in League Two not coming until September after two rounds had been played in this cup that we’re starting to call our own!