Crawley Town 1-2 Northampton Town
It’s been weeks since the hot topic of conversation has been on the astounding efforts of the Cobblers players on the pitch but today may be the start of a period to once again focus on what now looks like a genuine promotion challenge from the Cobblers.
After more fantastic news hours before kick-off at Crawley in that over £10 million worth of debt will now be taken from our shoulders and placed on the development surrounding Sixfields it was easy to be in an attitude of celebration no matter what the result last night.
As it was, Town produced yet another resolute performance that leaves us level on points with second placed Oxford United and within two points of leaders Plymouth Argyle. Crucially, we’re now eight points clear of eighth place and suddenly the future that looked so threatened a week ago is starting to look very bright indeed.
Assuming that all takeover paperwork is completed in good time, Town will go into the weekend knowing that whatever the result against rock bottom Yeovil Town, we’ll still be in the top three by the time the FA Cup weekend rolls around.
It’s thanks to a victory at Crawley that highlighted two sides to this unified Cobblers side – part clinical and part determined. Looking comfortable at 2-0 up by half-time – through a Joel Bryrom follow up header from a missed Marc Richards penalty and a fine strike from distance from John-Joe O’Toole – the Cobblers were reduced to ten men with half an hour to play which completely changed the course of the match.
Brendon Maloney was the man given his marching orders for bringing down Shamir Fenelon in the area and Simon Walton converted the resulting spot kick. There followed a final third that saw the type of frantic defending and last ditch tackling that’s become a staple of this squad. The fear was that with a deal for the club now close to being complete the players may drop slightly in their efforts but this was a huge step to proving that we’re not only a squad who fight when the chips are down around them but one who have loftier ambitions to stay in the promotion hunt through an exciting looking winter programme.
With Plymouth and Oxford both dropping points it was a massive result to cling onto all three points and the stage is now set for a celebration of a future being sealed this Saturday against Yeovil.
We can’t be counting any chickens about the result but the atmosphere should be red hot in the home ends as we reach the 20 game mark with the real possibility of going top of League Two. The fact that that’s the headline of the night is a hugely welcome relief.
Is it too soon for the #EIEIEIO hash tag? Indeed not…I’m pretty sure we’ve earned the right to bring it out of retirement…