Season definers ahead as Cobblers stall away from home

Hartlepool United 2-0 Northampton Town

Chesterfield 0-0 Northampton Town

Two games and two varying degrees of result. One, a dismal defeat that was the same as most trips away from Sixfields this season and the other a shutting up shop job with a decent point at the end. Had I provided those outcomes before the games at Hartlepool and Chesterfield there wouldn’t be many Town fans matching the correct results with the right opposition but a single point is better than nothing.

We continue to look up at the rest of League Two but despite just one point garnered from these games we’re still only two points from safety. That’s right, it’s being called “safety” from here on in – eighteen games into a season is a good time to start calling positions by their end of season names I feel.

The Cobblers are really in the bad stuff despite the recent uplifting result against Fleetwood and we must build up a run of form at home at least to get us out of this. We need to simply look a few places above at Saturday’s opponents Accrington Stanley to see what a good run of results does for confidence and league placing. They’re now eight league games unbeaten coming into Saturday’s game and have gone from dead and buried to mid-table botherers in a matter of weeks.

The importance of Saturday cannot be understated. This is our biggest game of the season so far and so many things could turn on the outcome. The good will coming out of the Fleetwood game has only been slightly tarnished by this week’s results but defeat against Stanley would undo everything about that last gasp victory.

Another home win, however, would go a long way in keeping hold of the belief earned against the Cod Army. Two of the three sides above us face teams in the playoff positions so it’s a massive chance to close the gap and maybe even lift us off the bottom – something that, in itself, would mean a lot.

After the Stanley meeting and the dangerous cup trip to Grimsby comes another big one, a trip to Bury, and it’s fair to say that our season may just be about to be shaped one way or the other.

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Cobblers snippets

Excellent news on the stadium redevelopment this week with councillors approving plans to redevelop and expand Sixfields Stadium. The potential for the club is enormous coming from this but with building work starting in the New Year we have to get things right on the pitch and not see it as a distraction. It’s all well and good progressing with a shiny new stand but if we’re dragged into the abyss of non-league it wouldn’t be a nice starting place to sell those new boxes!

A worrying tweet from Northampton Chronicle and Echo man Jefferson Lake (@JeffersonLake) this evening: “some fairly enormous #NTFC injury news coming in tomorrow’s paper Chron…I’m not going to say any more but needless to say it’s not good news.” With Alex Nicholls, Kelvin Langmead and Lewis Hornby all suffering from long term injuries the safe money is that the bad news is associated with one of them. Ominous words from Mr Lake and we standby for more in the morning.

Darren Carter and Ishmel Demontagnac have both been missing from the benches in the last couple of games, fuelling rumours that they may be two of the players mentioned by Aidy Boothroyd who “may never play for the club again.” Of course, many could argue that Carter has not only been missing from the bench but also missing on the pitch throughout the first few months of his Cobblers career. As for Demontagnac, he could well have just been sent off before even reaching the bench.

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