Saturday, September 28th 2014
Ten games in to a season is usually a good check point as to how you’re getting on and where the campaign may take you so victory yesterday at Morecambe was a much needed booster as we reach the first unofficial marker. Ivan Toney’s first half goal means that it’s a record of five wins, two draws and three defeats after ten games with eighteen goals scored (the highest in League Two) and thirteen conceded (the highest in the top ten). Seventeen points is a good return and sets up the coming month of difficult looking fixtures with the Cobblers in fifth place.
To put it in perspective, after ten games last season we had only just won for the second time and sat second bottom of the table with just eight points and eight goals to our name – all in all a fantastic turn around that, despite one or two big hiccups, leaves us in good stead.
One major change is a strength in depth not seen for many a year within the Cobblers squad. Yesterday saw Marc Richards and Danny Alfei added to the injury list and Zander Diamond failing a late fitness test – to be able to bring in Toney, Ben Tozer and Lee Collins as replacements and for it to not disturb our pattern of play makes such a difference and it’s something that we’ll cling dearly to as the winter kicks in and games come thick and fast.
Morecambe have stalled on their particular journey of late having stunned a lot of the division by taking the early lead in proceedings. Town met them after they’d suffered back to back defeats and it was perhaps a good time to catch them, though the way we kept a clean sheet after last weekend’s atrocity against Accrington and found a way to hold on to the winner will have pleased Wilder and co.
The only goal of the game came after the always lively Kevin Ellison had shot wide for Morecambe with Toney leaping well to beat home keeper Barry Roache to the ball with a towering header. We were never truly in danger of surrendering that lead but there was always the doubt in the back of the mind after last week’s goings on.
Jordan Archer would have been one of the happiest men on the team bus home – he’s had a tough introduction to life at Sixfields having been thrust in to take the place of the injured Matt Duke. He’ll certainly be tested more in the next few weeks with games against the league’s current top two coming either side of the trip to Portsmouth in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and an always tricky one at Cheltenham after that.
We move onwards with confidence into the next ten games and if we can match the form of the opening ten then we’ll be there or there abouts going into Christmas. Sounds easy, right…?