City bring Cobblers back to earth

Cureton...20th goal of the season

Cureton…20th goal of the season

Exeter City 3-0 Northampton Town

League Two

Saturday, March 2nd 2013

It seems that every few weeks the Cobblers are prone to a result such as this one. Falling behind has more often than not spelt disaster for Town as a promotion challenge hangs in the balance. Only twice have we come from behind to win in League Two this season and it’s a problem that we’re going to need to address should we end up in the playoffs.

I shouldn’t need to say that it would be a superb achievement if Aidy Boothroyd were to lead his side into the end of season lottery after a fine rebuilding job and results like this can be reasonably swept under the carpet should home form continue as it is. But the problem that will occur if we do end up in the two legged semi-final is that sometimes we’re extremely vulnerable away from home when we go behind.

Exeter are potential playoff opponents and it typifies our season that we beat the Grecians 3-0 at home and went on to lose to them 3-0 away this weekend. It was a performance bereft of the energy and battling abilities shown in the recent run of positive results but at the same time you have to hand it to Exeter for taking full advantage and capitalising on the opportunity in front of them – a win that took them above us into fourth place.

There was calamity all over the place as first Lee Nicholls dropped the ball into his own net for the opening goal, a rare mistake from the on loan keeper, and a distinct lack of marking for Jamie Cureton’s twentieth goal of the season on the hour mark. Jake Gosling rounded it off for his team and completed a comfortable day for them.

The journey home would have been a long one for players and fans alike with both pondering a massively missed opportunity as results came in from across the rest of League Two. The top three of Gillingham, Port Vale and Burton Albion had all dropped points whilst Southend and Rotherham had played out a useful draw and Fleetwood were beaten at Wycombe. That left the major benefactors as Exeter and Cheltenham Town, with the Rubies holding off AFC Wimbledon to win 2-1 at Whaddon Road.

A clutch of games in hand are still to be played around us so it’s not likely to balance out completely for a couple of weeks yet so we have to hope that this one is another that we can forget about quickly by keeping up the winning run at Sixfields with Accrington Stanley visiting this weekend.

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