Calm steps forward as Town claim Spotland point

Rochdale 0-0 Northampton Town

League Two

Saturday, 18th August 2012

And so to another league opener. The official opening day of the season after Tuesday night’s cup upset against Cardiff City brought about a solid point against a side expected to be among the challengers for at least a playoff place. That, couple with a clean sheet and a dogged performance, means that we come away much more satisfied then we have done in the last few years following first league outings.

It was the fourth consecutive season in which the Cobblers had failed to score on the opening day and the third big kick off in those four seasons that have ended with a blank score sheet. But this would arguably be considered the most pleasing in terms of both result and overall outlook following the game. The fact that we came away from Spotland, a difficult place to go for most League Two sides this season, having got off the mark in the league and also held firm at the back means that the first week of 2012/13 can be called a success ahead of Tuesday night’s visit from title favourites Rotherham United.

It won’t go in the ‘classics’ folder for either side but both should come out feeling pretty good about the road ahead. ‘Dale shaded it in terms of chances with a post struck in the first half by home striker Ashley Grimes in their best effort of the game. Lee Nicholls, coming in for young Dean Snedker in goal for his full debut, did well to keep out the other Rochdale forward Dele Adebola, before Town started to build their own attacking prowess.

The big chance of the game fell to Alex Nicholls who was looking to add to Tuesday’s match winner but his header was off target this time.

So that was about that as the final twenty minutes produced no onslaught or real chances with both sides happy to start the season with a point. Dale will continue their tricky start with trips to Chesterfield and Torquay in the coming seven days with the Cobblers hosting Rotherham and Southend United.

All in all, it was just great to see the Tweets, messages of support, photos and general excitement building up to 3 o’clock today as football fever kicked in for good. The dry run of the League Cup was exciting but you can’t beat the 3-5pm period of a Saturday afternoon with scores rolling in and stories being written all across the country.

For the Cobblers, this early chapter of 2012/13: The Novel will go down as a promising start. When I look back on this in a year’s time I hope I’m reliving the start of something positive.

Happy Football Season to you all!

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