Hello, and welcome back! My troubles in the technology department are still on-going but I’ve managed to find a temporary replacement in order to at least bring you a little bit of my Cobblers thoughts as we head into month number two of the season.
It feels like an age since the season started rather than only a month ago with the huge clutch of games taking place over the last few weeks to fully test the Cobblers troops in a real baptism of fire for the new look squad. It’s produced mixed, but mainly enjoyable, outcomes with only the League Cup exit against Wolves where Town tired badly in the second half and the following league defeat at Plymouth two days later blotting what has been a good opening to the season.
There’s been plenty to talk about as usual with a solid defence turning into a dodgy defence and back again all within the first few weeks. There’s been the emergence of a certain Alex Nicholls with the former Walsall man hitting five goals in the opening month to endear himself to the Sixfields public, surprising many with his natural finishing and bursts of pace. Nicholls has been the undoubted star of the season so far and hopefully there’s even more to come.
Whilst we suffered in the League Cup, there was joy last week in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy as MK Dons were swept aside by a team comprising of a clutch of fringe players and first team regulars as Town made it through in a competition that’s not usually too kind on us. It would be good to have a little run in the JPT and with Aidy Boothroyd’s former club Colchester United at home up next there’s a chance of progression should another League One outfit turn up unprepared to the gates of Sixfields.
The man who scored the only goal – and what a goal it was – against MK, Jake Robinson, was sent to Luton on loan and it sounds like the initial one month spell could be extended to January when Boothroyd will have another assessment of how things are going. It’s a fair deal for both with Robinson desperately needing playing time and the Cobblers with a wealth of attacking options on the bench at the moment.
Back to the ‘bread and butter’ of the league and it was so important to get back on track against the real Wimbledon this past Saturday. That man Nicholls and another of the emerging key figures, Chris Hackett struck two well taken goals to seal a 2-0 win and to lift us to eighth place in the table after five games.
It obviously means very little at this stage but we need to keep the momentum going with a first full week off of the season going into this weekend’s trip to fancied Fleetwood Town. Jon Parkin’s hat-trick helped them to a 4-0 win over Morecambe on Saturday and the defence that’s been one of the main talking points of the Cobblers’ season so far will need to be on the ball again to stop him.
All in all it’s been a solid month and if you’d asked me before the Cardiff game whether I would have taken two cup wins, eight points and plenty of goals from the first month of the season I’d have been well happy. It has to be a realistic season for Town and if we can keep up this pace then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be troubling the top half regularly rather than facing another battle at the wrong end.
All being well I’ll be back later in the week for a preview of the Fleetwood game and then I’ll be reporting back from Dagenham next Tuesday as I visit for the first time!
Up the Cobblers!