Late defeat, red card, football is back!

Carter...red card

Carter…red card

York City 1-0 Northampton Town

League Two

Saturday, August 3rd 2013

Yep…this sounds about right. Long away trip, high expectations, not a lot happening then a red card and a late winner as we lose by the single goal. Oh, football is back all right!

Aidy Boothroyd said a week ago that we weren’t ready and despite a couple of decent signings this week it appears that’s still the case after chances were few and far between at Bootham Crescent with a 4-5-1 formation that saw Roy O’Donovan leading the line alone. To be fair, there’s still a key cog or two to come in with Chris Hackett missing this one whilst a striker is surely still on Aidy Boothroyd’s shopping list but that doesn’t make yet another disappointing opening day of the season any easier to bear.

The match itself didn’t seem to be a classic and could easily have drifted into a goalless draw that would have satisfied most inside the ground and the first half raced by with the home side looking most likely to take the early season by the scruff of the neck. But with around twenty minutes to play, new boy Darren Carter saw red for his second bookable offence and any hope we had of claiming all three points vanished. Roy O’Donovan had earlier smashed the cross bar as Town got more of a grip on the game but the red card gave the Minstermen the left they needed.

It was so nearly a repeat of last season’s trip to Bootham Crescent with the Cobblers claiming a point with ten men but with just a minute to play a cross from Ashley Chambers was cleared only as far as former Cobblers loan man Ryan Jarvis who slotted in the only goal of the game with no time for a Cobblers recovery.

With a six man bench made up with plenty of youngsters there’s still a lot of questions to be answered for the Cobblers as this season clicks into gear and this defeat will do nothing to convince anyone that last season’s away form will be sorted.

But it’s still very early days and there’s time to get the right players in for the long haul rather than panic and bring in a quick fix. I’m suspecting that Liam Dickinson is still in with a shout of a contract once his latest injury clears up in what could be a week’s time and who knows what else is going on behind the scenes.

To me, this is another one of those defeats that if it happens on a Tuesday night in mid-season it doesn’t get a lot of attention but because it’s the opening day there’s immediate panic stations being set up. Plenty of teams have suffered more than we have this afternoon and we’ve just got to try and put it behind us and hope for the best in the coming weeks rather than predicting the doom and gloom of seasons gone by.

Remember…last time we won on the opening day was a 4-2 success over Cheltenham Town with Leon Constantine scoring (yes, he did that sometimes!) the clincher late on. That season saw us relegated whilst the 1997 and 2000 promotion seasons both began with away defeats (the 1997 one notable for us losing 2-1 at Wigan with TWO red cards, a late team bus and a subsequent fine!).

45 games to go to turn things around…

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