Bayo...tenth goal of the season
3 x goals scored by Michael Jacobs, Luke Guttridge and Adebayo Akinfenwa
Only 2 x conceded goals
3 x points
4484 x Northampton Town supporters
45 x Macclesfield supporters
A slice of good fortune
A sprinkle of hearts for the mouth
Mix all ingredients together to create the perfect ‘Cobblers Pancake’ and soon enough you will be to within touching distance of escaping the bottom two.
Last night all of the above came together to create one of the nervier and entertaining games of the season so far. It was crucial that we picked up maximum points by any means necessary and that’s exactly what happened with Macclesfield now suffering from eight defeats in a row. Indeed the Silkmen are now right in the thick of a relegation battle that can be argued to include anyone from Barnet in 18th down to bottom club Dagenham and Redbridge, who The Cobblers now sit three points clear of.
It was by no means silky, slick and overpowering as performances go but that’s not going to come into anyone’s minds this morning from a Cobblers persuasion as we look at the League Two table a lot happier. It’s a sign of how low things have got when we’re over the moon with being level on points with the team third from bottom but Aidy Boothroyd is putting his stamp on this team and looking upwards.
The signing of a player from one of the relegation rivals in Bradford keeper Matt Duke could be seen as an odd move but he started for the first time and became the fifth stopper to don the Cobblers gloves this season. His experience, if anything else, should come in very handy but I wonder if it came to it whether Bradford would quickly recall him should it come down to us and them for one of the final places in the drop zone?! That debate is for another day and after this tension filled game we are hopefully on the way to ensuring that the only thing we’re playing for at the end of the season is points and not the future of the club.
It’s become a rarity for Town to fall behind in games under Boothroyd but that we did on the fifteen minute mark with George Donnelly firing in from close range. The lead didn’t last long though and Michael Jacobs’ goal direct from a corner, whether he meant it or not, was crucial in getting us back on terms within eight minutes.
It would get better as a first half turn around was complete right on the whistle with Luke Guttridge continuing his terrific return to the club with a well taken header from a Ben Harding free kick. Just what the doctor ordered!
The next goal was always going to be the big one and it certainly turned out to be just that with Bayo Akinfenwa bringing the ball down for a crisp volley to net his tenth goal of the season. Anyone questioning the need for the big man in the team over the transfer window may be thinking again after Bayo’s impact in the last few weeks. The fact is that there is no other player like him in the league and I still think we would be foolish to have him leave. Akinfenwa would later depart as a substitute for Ben Tozer to a standing ovation.
The script wasn’t all to go to our plans though and while some of us were calculating that just one more goal was needed to escape the bottom two on goals scored, Macclesfield suddenly hit back for 3-2. Ben Tomlinson grabbed the opportunity after some shaky defending and reduced the deficit to start the nerves of final few minutes.
One more chance went begging for the visitors as a low cross was held well by Duke. Sixfields (minus 45 South Stand observers) exhaled, the whistle finally blew and the win was ours!
So not only is it two wins in a row but it’s two home wins in a row, an even rarer treat on a night where tickets were halved in price. The same initiative, with 40% going towards Macmillan Cancer Care.
The excellent venture is in place for Saturday’s home game with Port Vale and hopefully it will lead to a decent attendance once again…it’s a tougher game on paper so the support is greatly needed as we edge closer and closer to a great escape!