NTFC Season In Review 2011/12: February

Guttridge…back in Cobblers colours

With the Cobblers sitting on the bottom of the Football League at the start of February, there needed to be points in the bag and performances would have to come second in the fight for survival. In a weather-affected month, we ended up playing just three times in February and all of those were at home.

Wimbledon were the first visitors on a cold Tuesday night and, having won 3-0 at Kingsmeadow in September, the Cobblers were looking for a rare league double. With the game looking like an odds-on goalless draw as it was going on, Luke Guttridge stepped up to score his first goal since returning to the club and earned Aidy Boothroyd his first home win since taking over as well as a first clean sheet.

Plenty to take into the following Tuesday with fellow strugglers Macclesfield coming to town. The Cobblers fell behind on seventeen minutes with George Donnelly putting the Silkmen in front but Michael Jacobs levelled before Guttridge made it two in two on the stroke of half time for 2-1. Bayo Akinfenwa volleyed in his tenth of the season to completely turn the tide in our favour and despite a late rally and goal from Macclesfield’s Ben Tomlinson we held on for back to back victories.

That victory took Town off the bottom and to within goal difference of jumping out of the bottom two ahead of the visit of Port Vale in the final game of February.

Vale weren’t so forgiving though and were two up by the hour mark with John McCombe’s towering header and Sean Rigg’s calm finish putting them in the ascendancy. Bayo Akinfenwa’s late goal wasn’t enough and the Cobblers ended the month still in the relegation zone.

March would become a massive month for the club with eight games scheduled thanks to the postponements of February and would become a memorable one for many a reason…

Highlight of the month: Back to back wins completed with the 3-2 win over Macclesfield Town, another side right in the relegation battle.

Lowlight of the month: Port Vale putting the Cobblers back in their place with a strong showing in a 2-1 win at Sixfields.

Player of the month: Luke Guttridge – showed why Boothroyd brought him back to the club with some dynamic performances and important goals.

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