Home front stands firm as ‘Dale are beaten

Bayo...penalty

Bayo…penalty

Northampton Town 3-1 Rochdale

League Two

Saturday, February 9th 2013

And so it goes on. The pattern of the Cobblers’ season continues to remain intact with another home win balancing out the away defeats at Gillingham and Rotherham United, putting us back into the top seven for the time being. It’s getting almost predictable week by week as form at Sixfields mysteriously disguises some poor results on our travels.

Not that the home support will be complaining. With the attendance creeping above the 5,000 mark and expectations rising Town produced yet another home success to keep us at least on track for having a go at the playoffs over the next few weeks. The big turning point will come for Aidy Boothroyd’s men when one set of results, home or away, changes. Lose at home and suddenly there’s nothing to keep us in the hunt but win away, or even pick up the odd draw, and there’s a chance that the dreams of finishing the season a little later than most could become a reality.

This win was typical of some of those home wins that we’ve come to rely on with a quick fire response to the visitor’s equaliser the key turning point in a tight contest. In a closely fought first half, Clive Platt’s header from a Chris Hackett cross had put the Cobblers in front but ‘Dale were right back in the game on the hour mark thanks to Jason Kennedy’s equaliser.

Cue the big moment in the game as the action went straight to the other end as Kelvin Langmead claimed the final touch from a scrambled spell in front of goal to put us straight back in front. The seal was placed on the victory when Town won a penalty after Hackett was fouled and Bayo Akinfenwa got back in the goals by slotting in the spot kick.

And so it was that the Cobblers rose back into sixth place and the fortress remains standing for another couple of weeks. Away days at Southend and Wimbledon are next up and it can’t be stated highly enough that we’re desperate to get something from each of those games and at least stay in the mix by the time Plymouth Argyle visit in the next test of the home resistance.

This season began with the type of performance we now need away from home, a solid draw at Rochdale and looking back now I don’t think any of us would have sniffed at sixth place come the time when the teams met again. Now’s the time to put it right again on the road…

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