I thought I would have a bit of fun this week (and yes, this is my idea of fun – I’m that sick and twisted. Please humour me) and put together the league table that Aidy Boothroyd may have been speaking of in the last few weeks. The table below shows the League Two table since February 1st – when the Cobblers were three points adrift at the bottom of the table. It includes every side’s records since the start of February and makes for interesting reading, particularly for Cobblers fans.
Town are in seventh place in this table having played at least one game less than every single other side in the league over the period. Boothroyd did say that things would get worse before they got better and he was right…but how good it would actually get was the part we were uncertain of. The Cobblers have gone from that perilous position at the end of January, following three defeats on the bounce, to record seven victories, three draws and just three defeats.
I wrote a blog entitled “Acceptance” on January 24th where my despondence at our peril was at a new low following a 2-1 home defeat to Barnet:
“I’m not going to give up on our league status but I’m starting to actually see that there’s a real chance of the drop. I didn’t come to this point last season at all despite the problems back then and this is the first time it’s actually happened this time around. Be it the time of year or the amount of games running out I simply can’t see a way out.
For the last two seasons 48 points has been the total points amassed by the team just avoiding relegation in 22nd place in League Two. The Cobblers have 21 points with 19 games to play so need to theoretically pick up another 27 points in order to stand a chance. The fact that we’ve won just one league game all season at home doesn’t fill you with confidence that it will be achieved and neither do defeats like this one against teams that we are chasing.”
I’m delighted to say how wrong, and in a way how right, I was. We sit here now having picked up 24 of those 27 points I said we needed and are on 45 league points in total out of my forecasted 48. We’re one win away from securing safety and my outlook back in that post seems so long ago. Huge credit must go to Aidy Boothroyd for the job that he’s done, in particular in bringing in the right kind of characters in Clarke Carlisle, Luke Guttridge and Brett Williams as well as putting enough pressure on Bayo that he came out fighting and now sits second in the league’s scoring charts.
It’s not over till it’s over but barring a miracle we will be safe and rejoicing, hopefully on Saturday afternoon where victory over Bradford would take us over the line. It’ll be interesting to keep totting up the below mini league table from here on in to see how we’re faring in the run-in.
Aside from the Cobblers, there’s a couple of other interesting developments in the table with Crewe’s form putting them third and Aldershot also taking their place in the top seven. At the other end Macclesfield haven’t won at all in this period while Cheltenham are the lowest placed amongst the current holders of the playoff berths of the actual league.
It may mean nothing but it’s something to work from for the Cobblers as we potentially head into a period of ‘playing for pride’.
League Two table since February 1st 2012
|14||Dagenham and Redbridge||14||6||3||5||15||20||21|