Northampton Town 0-2 Plymouth Arygle
Saturday, February 8th 2014
It’s getting to the point now where even locking yourself in a dark room and burying your head under a mountain of pillows whilst scoffing endless Dominos Pizzas (other pizzas are available) is still not enough to reflect the results of our beloved club. The Cobblers have lost again despite an influx of new players and renewed optimism that threatened to actually make some of us smile through these crucial months of the season and it’s getting more and more difficult to see where on earth the points are coming from to rescue us.
Today, the weather was bad enough to affect the game but not to call it off and the wind would become the friend of the visitors as Plymouth used the added weapon far better than the Cobblers did. They also had a helping hand from the unusually flapping Matt Duke who has chosen the worst possible time to turn his outstanding first half of the season form into a real blip. Duke was one of the only positive points of the first few months of this terrible campaign but after last week’s bouncer getting past him at Cheltenham this game provided more negative talking points against him.
The worst possible thing to happen would have been another early goal that Duke was at fault for and –hey, presto – that’s exactly what happened. Duke’s kick up field barely made it out of the area and Plymouth broke with the ball falling to Reuben Reid who put the ball under the body of the Cobblers keeper. For the second week in a row Chris Wilder was facing an uphill task after only a few minutes.
This time, though, it was about to get worse as Emile Sinclair fired over the bar when well-placed for a first Town goal before Argyle made it 2-0 thanks to a windy cross shot from Lewis Alessandra making its way into the corner of the net. The wind was completely in the visitors’ favour and the hope was that we would be able to use it just as well in the second half but it turned out that we needed so much more than extreme weather – divine intervention probably wouldn’t even have been enough though on another dismal day.
Chris Hackett, returning to the side from a hamstring injury, shot wide as we briefly threatened to make a game of it but Plymouth were much more organised against the conditions and the Town attack and managed to eat up most of the pressure thrown at them to their credit. Sinclair went close again with a header but it just wasn’t to be yet again with a fourth successive defeat at Sixfields sending the home fans away trudging through the dark worrying about – and some maybe even becoming accepting of – life in the Conference.
There is, of course, time to turn it around but you have to start seriously considering whether it’s doable when games tick down and things just keep getting in the way of any possible recovery. The truth is that there’s no room for excuses anymore and these new players have to gel as soon as possible or the lights will go out on our involvement in the Football League before the shiny new East Stand even puts down its foundations.
We’re due for Torquay away on Tuesday night but the weather down there isn’t looking promising so there’s every chance that it’ll be called off for the second time (the Gulls’ game with Bury was postponed today). At the moment Wilder still won’t be too disappointed with that scenario because boy does he need to get his players in the right mind set right now.
If he can’t do that, these storms may be about to blow us right out of the Football League.