As December began, the Cobblers appeared to be putting last season’s relegation battle well and truly behind them and we found ourselves fighting for position at the right end of the table.
The month began poorly though with a disappointing exit from the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at home to League One Leyton Orient thanks to three second half goals in quick succession of one another. David Mooney’s brace knocked the stuffing out of us and then Michael Symes wrapped things up for the O’s with a penalty fifteen minutes from time. Orient would go on to reach the area Final before losing out to Southend United.
Back in League Two and it looked like Town were on the way to getting right back on track when we took a two goal lead against high flying Cheltenham at Sixfields. Bayo Akinfenwa opened the scoring before Billy Jones’ own goal made it two within fifteen minutes. But the Rubies fought back and Darren Carter’s close range effort halved the deficit. Chris Zebroski headed in from a Jones cross to level things up before half-time and with ten minutes to go Darryl Duffy, on as a late sub for Zebroski, slotted in the winner to complete a memorable turn around for his side.
One of the key turning points of the season came next as the Cobblers travelled to Torquay United. Former Cobbler Ryan Jarvis put the Gulls in front and it looked like it was to be four defeats in a row for Aidy Boothroyd’s men until Kelvin Langmead scrambled in a last minute equaliser to earn his side a much needed point.
Because of postponements, the home game with Aldershot Town ended up being the final game that the Cobblers played in 2012 and the year was to end on a high as goals from Jake Robinson and an injury time second from Clive Platt earned a solid 2-0 win that built on the momentum of the point at Plainmoor.
As 2013 beckoned, we were still battling in the top half of the table and were creeping that bit closer to the playoff places with just two places and one point separating us from the top seven.
League Position (at the end of the month): 9th
Highlight of the month: Langer’s injury time leveller at Torquay – a massive moment in the season.
Lowlight of the month: Cheltenham coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Sixfields.