If ever Northampton Town and, in particular, prospective new owners needed a case study of what this football club means to so many people then Saturday’s gutsy, passionate and thrilling victory at League One high flyers Coventry City came at the perfect time. The Ricoh Arena, awash with over 2,500 Cobblers fans, can’t have been expecting what was to come on an afternoon that could well be mentioned in the same breath as THAT night at Rotherham and THAT life or death experience at Shrewsbury Town.
Maybe in terms of what it means in the grand scheme of things it won’t end up having similar effects but the feelings behind a win like that, on prospectively a last ever away game for the club, cannot be underestimated. Live or die, this one will be with everyone who was there or who was following from afar for a very, very long time.
From the moment Marc Richards headed in to make it 2-1 at the end of a frantic first quarter of the game the Cobblers faithful – who had shared bucket collection duties with some terrific Coventry City fans before the game – sung as if it truly was the beginning of the end of Northampton Town in their current form.
If Kelvin Thomas and the consortium he’s representing was watching on from somewhere he would have seen exactly what the club is to us. It’s meeting with friends, family and strangers to share in the trials and tribulations of THEIR local team. It bonds us, it breaks us, it divides us yet brings us together again in times of ultimate highs or dreadful lows. Thomas would have seen a sea of claret that’s come to the fore whenever a big game comes along, especially away from home. He would have seen a team that wasn’t being paid a week earlier pull together and produce a performance of heroic proportions. And he would have seen unity from every single person involved.
That’s what the powers that be need to draw on in any arguments, debates and discussions over the next few days. This is more than a football club, a whole lot much more than a business.
It’s a life time of memories, one of which was etched into hearts and minds on Saturday. This now becomes THAT day at Coventry.
Next up, presuming that we make it through the next week still in business, is a handy home game against either Boreham Wood (struggling in the Conference Premier) or Northwich Victoria (third in the Northern League First Division). It represents a cracking chance of making it through to a potentially huge tie in the Third Round but of course nothing can be taken for granted. Just making it to that game at the moment will be a success!
Murmurings around the Interweb today have seen strong rumours emerge that a deal for completion of the takeover could happen on Wednesday. Paperwork to defend the club in the High Court needs to be in by Friday so I only hope and pray that this becomes a reality. It may be one final bit of hope to cling on to but it’s all we have!