It’s a massive case of two steps forward and one step back for the Cobblers after a disappointing showing at Macclesfield that saw two late goals earn the hosts a deserved victory. After the recent run of positive form that gave us high hopes of turning the season around we had every reason to go into this game with confidence yet came out of it back at the point at which we started the month.
The defeat creates a crunch game atmosphere against Dagenham at Sixfields next weekend with that one now carrying a ‘must win’ tag and piling the pressure on once again.
At Moss Rose, usually a decent hunting ground for us, Jake Robinson was restored to the starting line-up in place of suspended Nick McKoy and Marlon Jackson again partnered Bayo up front.
After a scrappy opening, Macclesfield should have scored with a point blank chance for George Donnelly that he somehow missed from a couple of yards out. The hosts remained in the ascendancy though and Ben Tomlinson gave them the lead with a well-placed shot into the bottom corner of Sam Walker’s net.
We needed to hit back before the break and despite being under the cosh a little, did just that when good build up work from Jacobs and Lewis Young created a chance for Jackson and he made no mistake by getting on the end of Young’s cross to make it 1-1 for his first goal in a Cobblers shirt.
Kicking on after the break would have been the order of the day from Gary Johnson after a somewhat fortunate escape from the first 45 minutes back on terms and Michael Jacobs went close to putting us in front with a long range shot that was saved by Silkmen keeper Jose Veiga.
But the home side stepped it up a gear again and finished the game strongest to seal a fine home win. First Ben Tomlinson volleyed in and then Colin Daniel wrapped things up as Macc caught us on the break for 3-1.
It’s back to the drawing board then for Saturday’s visit from Dagenham and so much importance now falls on that one. The answer to the question of whether we can record a first home win of the season will decide whether the trip to Moss Rose is quickly forgotten or if we can actually just call it a blip along the road back.