It feels as though more should be made of the Cobblers’ recent exploits in the League Cup. It’s becoming an annual tradition to come up against a higher league opponent and knock them for six in this competition and though we never seem to go on to a monumental and historical run in the cup this early humbling of a ‘giant’ is getting more and more regular.
Blackpool, admittedly, don’t fall in the same class as the likes of the Bolton, Reading, Ipswich, Wolves and Liverpool teams of past campaigns but it’s still a notable scalp especially with a 3-0 score line that illustrates both the disappointing demise of the Tangerines and the solid base of a Cobblers squad that Chris Wilder has put together.
Apart from the back four, that was unchanged from Saturday, there were changes across the pitch with Ryan Clarke staking his first official claim for the keeper’s jersey and Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Sam Hoskins given their first chance to shine in competitive action. Also included was Chris Hackett, and the winger did exactly what fellow transfer listed midfield John-Joe O’Toole did on Saturday by scoring the opening goal, no doubt giving Wilder more to think about.
In a stunning spell of ten minutes, Town went 3-0 up and all but ended the game as a contest by the half hour mark. Calvert-Lewin cleverly turned and shot into the corner for the second and Hoskins’ tenacity and will power gave him the Cobblers’ third as the striker battled his way through and finished left footed at the second attempt.
There could well have been more as well with Ryan Cresswell firing over when well positioned in the second half and Calvert-Lewin doing well to force another chance for himself that was saved by Tangerines keeper Kyle Letheren.
Blackpool were limited to a couple of good chances that they would have converted with a more ruthless front line. We’ll arguably come up against plenty more effective and trickier attacks back in League Two and anyone with a bit of pace could hurt us at the back but there seems to be a real fluidity to how we’re going forwards so far this season.
The new signings have bedded in well and early with the old heads giving us a good balance. You can’t get too carried away by two wins but from what I’ve seen so far highlights wise there’s a lot to be positive about as we head into another busy few days.
The Second Round draw takes place on Thursday evening so we wait to see what sort of reward we’ll get for this latest League Cup success story.
Exeter City come to town on Saturday afternoon looking to build on their own terrific start to the season. The Grecians saw off relegated Yeovil 3-2 last week and then impressively won away 2-1 at League One promotion hopefuls Swindon Town on Tuesday night. That win at the County Ground saw former Cobbler Alex Nicholls net a top drawer opening goal and he’ll be desperate to impress once again in his first game back at Sixfields since leaving the Cobblers last season.
Speaking of ex Cobblers, check out former loanee Kemar Roofe’s strike at Brentford on Tuesday night during the U’s 4-0 hammering of the Bees. Goal of the cup candidate already…