At the end of a turbulent week at Planet Cobblers, we finally got some relief on Saturday with a battling display at Southend, coming from two goals down to earn a hard fought point in an entertaining encounter. The fact that we recovered from such a set back off the back of the transfer window debacles from the days before showed that there may yet be something to cling on to for the coming months.
Bayo Akinfenwa was the catalyst for the comeback, smashing in an unstoppable strike from just outside the box that slammed against the underside of the crossbar and bounced off the turf and into the roof of the net. Coming so soon after Ryan Hall had hit an equally blistering goal at the other end to put Southend 2-0 up was crucial and set up a frantic period in which Arron Davies levelled the game five minutes later.
Bilel Mohsni had early opened the scoring with the first of the four stunning goals of the game in the first half and he could so easily have stolen the headlines late on but for the linesman’s flag denied him a brace.
That would have been cruel on a Cobblers side that could easily have wilted under the pressure and without boss Gary Johnson on the sidelines. Johnson was off sick, leaving David Lee in charge, but this would have been the perfect pick-me-up for the manager who has been under increased pressure since the poor start to the season on the pitch and the transfer dealings off it.
This display will go a long way to steadying the ship once again and we now look towards a blank midweek for the first time this season ahead of the weekend’s home game with Torquay United. That won’t be easy by any means with the Gulls up to fourth in the league following a 3-0 hammering of Macclesfield Town at Plainmoor.
We asked for some passion and commitment over these last two games and now we need, so desperately, to hammer in three points. That’s particularly true on home soil with four defeats in a row in all competitions at Sixfields over the last few weeks.
The rot has begun to be stopped and now it needs to be well and truly blown away.