Torquay United 1-1 Northampton Town
Saturday, December 15th 2012
When you look back at the end of the season there’s key things you identify…whole games, big goals or, as it was at Plainmoor on Saturday, critical single moments that don’t seem huge at the time but put in perspective become massive components of a campaign. Kelvin Langmead’s scrambled equaliser came right at the very end of a match befitting two sides battling to reach the top seven and earned a point that will be very handy come May.
Both sides had competed well in difficult conditions on the Devon coast with Torquay looking like they’d earned all three points when a former Cobbler raced onto a fine cross from the left from Danny Stevens. That man was Ryan Jarvis, a Town loanee during the 2010/11 season, a man who was limited to three appearances for the club before returning to parent club Leyton Orient.
Jarvis would unfortunately leave the ground with a bad injury after suffering from a partially punctured lung and fractured ribs during a late challenge. He did, remarkably, finish the game – an indication of the attitude being instilled in this Torquay side by boss Martin Ling that made this trip such a tough one for Aidy Boothroyd’s men.
Such spirit is also apparent with this new Cobblers side, though, and in particular in captain marvel Kelvin Langmead who had a broken nose by the time he fired in the leveller a minute into stoppage time. By then the heavens had opened and it was one of the unprettiest goals you’re likely to see. There’ll be no complaints about that, though, as Town held on to a position just outside the top half of the table.
The one piece of bad news coming from the game was that Bayo Akinfenwa’s yellow card means that he’ll miss out on next Saturday’s home game with Aldershot Town. It was inevitable but will still see a big hole in the front line be created when we line up against the Shots. It’s a game we need to win in order to have a chance at going into the half way stage in the top half and to have that in mind shows that most things have gone to plan so far this season.
It’s never going to be perfect with such a transitional season taking place under the watchful eye of Boothroyd but keeping up with those fighting for the top seven places, especially in games like this one, is a welcome change to where we were during the Christmas period last year.
An early present would be three points on Saturday in order to tick one thing from our ‘wish list’ before Christmas Day.