So we’re down to four games. Four games that will decide whether the Cobblers will be promoted from League Two or left to face the challenge of the playoffs or even left with an unthinkable position of losing it at the last. It’s very pessimistic to think about the latter but with last night’s results you get the feeling that any kind of slip ups in the final two home games in particular could lead to a disastrous end to what has been a terrific season.
The Cobblers are now chasing third place once again with Burton Albion recovering from a 7-1 mauling at Port Vale to beat Wycombe 2-0 last night and go back above Town in the race for third place. Aidy Boothroyd will be comforted by the game in hand – away at Wycombe – and will know that the home games against York City and Barnet as well as the trip to Adams Park hold the key to any sustained challenge on automatic promotion.
The only other fixture is away at Vale and is one that will provide the sternest of tests with the Valiants now looking a lock for second place. The lifeline there could be if Vale are already promoted and Gillingham have taken any chance away of them going for the title by then.
It’s all ifs and buts and there’s so much more to come, so many questions to be answered and challenges to be met. With the Cobblers now chasing third again rather than trying to hold onto it, could it bring out the best in us?
What of the others in the playoff positions? Cheltenham, who have some tough fixtures left, will be desperate to claw their own way back into third. Rotherham, a lot of people’s tips, seem to be finding some form again as they catch up with their games in hand will undoubtedly have a say. And Bradford themselves off the back of a victory over the Cobblers and a hammering of Bristol Rovers last night have their own spare game and are looking dangerous.
There’s still games involving all of these sides against each other and it promises to be a frantic last few weeks. For The Cobblers, we must win the two home games and probably one of the away games to be in contention for third place. It makes it a big ask but if you’re going to be promoted, now is the time to stand up and earn it.
Finger nails at the ready…