Saturday, August 3rd 2013
Here we are again…at the start of another nine months of hopes and dreams. A year ago we set out on a campaign that would, surprisingly, end up with the Cobblers running out at Wembley Stadium in the playoff final but twelve months on and we’re once again starting a League Two season after a disastrous half an hour at the national stadium. It’s been a summer of patiently waiting for signings with the majority of the captures coming in the final couple of weeks of pre-season but now the speculation can take a back seat to events on the pitch.
The first assignment for Boothroyd’s new look squad is a tricky trip to Bootham Crescent to take on York City, the side that ended a ten game winning Sixfields run back at the end of last season for Town. Nigel Worthington came in and turned the Minstermen’s fortunes around after replacing Gary Mills in early March, taking the club from relegation candidates to comfortable safety by the end of the season.
The summer has seen a few changes in playing staff for or hosts tomorrow afternoon with Richard Cresswell re-joining the club on a permanent basis after a short stint on loan towards the end of last season. Cresswell began his career at York and came through the ranks before making his name in the first team and earning a move to Sheffield Wednesday in 1999. Fourteen years and six clubs on and Cresswell is back at the age of thirty five to try and spearhead City’s attack in their second season back in the Football League.
Other notable additions over the summer include former Burnley striker Wes Fletcher, midfielder Lewis Montrose who joined from Gillingham and the loan signing of Ben Davies from Preston North End.
With both sides looking to get going with a bang and the excitement of the new season finally arriving it should be a cracking atmosphere and a tight contest to kick off another tension filled season.
Wes Fletcher is the only new arrival that is struggling for fitness ahead of the big kick off with an ankle injury. Otherwise, Sander Puri and Lewis Montrose are amongst those debuting whilst Richard Cresswell makes another ‘debut’ after signing a permanent deal over the summer.
The Cobblers will definitely be without skipper Kelvin Langmead who has had an operation that will keep him out for at least the next two months. Alex Nicholls continues his recovery from the broken leg suffered year while Clive Platt and Chris Hackett are probably not going to be fit in time for this one. There should be debuts, though, for most of Town’s summer signings including Matt Duke, Kevin Amankwaah, Ian Morris, Danny Emerton, Matt Heath, Darren Carter and Gary Deegan.
Previous Six Meetings…
13/04/13: Cobblers 0-2 York (League Two)
The Cobblers went into this one on the back of a ten game winning run at home but York, breathing fresh life under Nigel Worthington, hadn’t read the script and Ashley Chambers gave them an early lead. John Johnson’s own goal sealed the win for the visitors and left Town’s hopes of automatic promotion flagging.
06/12/12: York 1-1 Cobblers (League Two)
On a cold December Tuesday night, Matty Blair gave City the lead mid-way through the first half and it looked like his side were on the way to all three points when Cobblers striker Louis Moult was sent off just before half-time. But Bayo Akinfenwa popped up to score for ten man Town on the hour mark and we held out for a good point at Bootham Crescent.
17/01/04: Cobblers 2-1 York (League Two)
As the Cobblers were getting used to the new management team under Colin Calderwood, the progression towards an eventual playoff place was helped by an important home win here. Richard Walker got us off the mark on twenty minutes before Jon Parkin’s own goal doubled our lead. Lee Bullock got one back late on but Town had done enough for three crucial points.
16/08/03: York 1-0 Cobblers (League Two)
The Cobblers’ first away game of the 2003/04 season saw us sink to a single goal defeat at Bootham Crescent with Lee Nogan’s strike right on the stroke of half time enough to win it for the home side.
05/02/00: Cobblers 3-0 York (League Two)
A comfortable afternoon at Sixfields for the Cobblers with goals from Ian Sampson, Steve Howard and Sean Parrish helping Kevin Wilson’s men towards what would be automatic promotion from League Two.
30/08/99: York 0-1 Cobblers (League Two)
On a sunny bank holiday Monday, the Cobblers ran out 1-0 winners thanks to an unfortunate own goal from Chris Fairclough, who saw the ball deflect off the post and into the net via his body after Duncan Spedding had come close with the initial effort.
The Man in the middle…
The opening day of the season referee for this one is Charles Breakspear who is in his first season in the Football League after spending all of last season officiating in the Conference. Breakspear showed ninety one yellow cards and six reds during that time and was the man in charge of the Conference Playoff Semi-Final between Wrexham and Kidderminster Harriers.
Any away game on the first day of the season is going to be tough and it’ll be no different at Bootham Crescent where York will be looking to build on a good end to last season. With new signings still bedding in and a couple of injuries still niggling away at us I think I’d be happy with a point to kick the season off. 1-1