Ten men earn another big point

Diamond...first Cobblers goal

Diamond…first Cobblers goal

Scunthorpe United 1-1 Northampton Town

League Two

Saturday, March 8th 2014

Before this game I would have absolutely jumped for joy at a point so considering the circumstances of the afternoon involving the Cobblers falling a goal and a man behind it’s fair to say we’ve come through another round of fixtures suitably happy with ourselves. The incredible run of bad luck, though, continues to haunt Town’s escape bid with once again results elsewhere going against us. Being two points further back from safety after a fantastic performance and result like this is deflating but what we are faced with is a monster of a game on Tuesday night away at Exeter City who grabbed a late, late equaliser today to stay six clear of us.

The fact that we visit St. James Park in a few days and also have a game in hand won’t have gone unnoticed in Devon and the Grecians will be nervously looking over their shoulder ahead of the midweek visit from the Cobblers.

This was another game to highlight the huge strides made in the last couple of months under Chris Wilder – before his reign we would have likely folded having gone a goal down and while the red card for Ricky Ravenhill brought back terrible memories of those early run of dismissals in the first couple of months of the season, the battle back for a point with ten men echoed some of the better moments of the last few years.

Scunthorpe were looking to equal a club record unbeaten run which did indeed extend to nineteen games but their promotion and championship ambitions once again took a minor knock with a third straight draw. It looked to be in the bag for them when a contested Niall Canavan headed goal was allowed despite claims by the Cobblers that Matt Duke had been fouled and shortly after when Ravenhill was shown a second yellow card.

But this is a newly inspired Town side and when Darren Carter’s free kick was headed in by Zander Diamond there was something to cling on to once again. Diamond is becoming as important to the side as anyone and his influence at either end of the pitch is arguably filling the gap left by Kelvin Langmead’s season long injury. At last we’ve found that lost leader and must pray that it’s now not come too late.

Whatever happens from here we’re still showing that spirit that we’ve craved all season and hanging on at Glanford Park with ten men is a massive achievement that, despite results elsewhere, should breathe even more life into the players trusted to get us out of the bottom two.

With Torquay seemingly slipping away beneath us it’s likely that we’ll need to catch only one of the sides above us and with just six point separating Accrington in 22nd and York in 9th there’s plenty to shoot at. The first of those is Exeter on Tuesday night and following that Mansfield at home on Saturday is another six pointer. These are the games that will define the end of the season – but points at those chasing promotion certainly help!

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