Posts Tagged ‘northampton’

Game 14 – Northampton

27 January, 2009

img_1485_webIt’s difficult to keep track of our own squad this season.  Another new boy in the mix tonight – Simon Hackney, newly acquired from Carlisle, and it was interesting to see that he came on at the hour mark – the same point at which he was substituted by Carlisle when we played them here back in October.    This was one of the lowest attendances of the season (below 4,000 for only the second time) and rather surprising given the recent run of results.  Mind you it was cold, so that probably kept a few home loving people away and it takes a certain type of hardened supporter (of which I’m not one) to travel to a League One away match on a midweek evening in the winter months.

img_1492_webThe most notable  feature of the first half of the game was the negative play by the Cobblers.  A goal up after 18 minutes and they decided they could keep this up for the rest of the game.  Blatant time-wasting in the first quarter of a match is not a pretty sight, but at least the Us were up for the challenge and they kept plodding away – demonstrating how the team spirit has changed in recent weeks.   The  away tactic backfired just before half tme when they had a player sent off  and they had to re-think their strategy.  Returning after the break Northampton nailed their colours to the mast when they replaced their two front men and settled for a packed midfield and defence.  Loads more time wasting followed and it was severely punished by two goals in 89 seconds.

img_1499_webI’m not sure I can keep on taking the early disappointments of going a goal down before the team wakes up and comes back into the game.  I’d much prefer it if we took the lead and stayed there.  Anyway the mood of the sparse support was greatly improved by the double strike and the atmosphere on the trek away from the stadium after the game was far more bearable than it might have been.  Despite the constant comings and goings, of loans in and out, and above average numbers of injuries I am sensing some stability in the squad and that is showing in parts of the team performance.

All Change

29 November, 2008

img_0772_webA strange week in which people are coming and going.  We’ve broken another loan player and have sent Lee Hills back to the Palace.  In his place we welcome Mark Tierney from Shrewsbury and we’ve added some depth between the sticks with Jimmy Walker from West Ham.  Clearly the big news is the departure of Marie Partner.  21 years of age was always significant for the fairer sex and it seems that our Chief Executive didn’t want her tenure at the club to exceed that either.  The timing is strange – part way into a season in our new stadium and just as she enters into a process of discussion with supporters about the matchday experience.  Hopefully that process will continue.  Rumours abound of course but let’s wait and see.

img_0413_webIt was good to see the response from the playing side today with a win away at Northampton in the rearranged fixture.  While Neil Kelly was describing the descending fog and reassuring listeners that the game would reach its conclusion safely someone in the BBC Essex office thought it might be funny to add a snow report to the weather forecast.  I’m beginning to wonder about the motives of local radio.  They did give us second half coverage and a poor quality interview with the departing Chief Exec., but they allowed listeners to phone in earlier in the day and complain that there was too much sport on the station on a Saturday afternon.  Whatever next – the Saturday afternoon ‘play for today’.  Actually we do get that sometimes and we’ve had to suffer too many tragedies, comedies and farces of late.  What’s been in short supply are ‘thrillers’.

img_0418_webIt seems that despite my view of his footballing skills Clive Platt is on something of a run.  Two goals and an assist in 3 games in 8 days.  It sounds good, but for me it means that the service he’s getting has improved.  Make the passes so acurate that he can’t miss.  That’s the spirit.  Things are looking up.  More importantly we have had consecutive wins for the first time in … living memory.  Well, we do get accused of having short memories at times.  68 games is an awful long time, and there have been some awful performances which  made that feel like years.  Think about it – it was another division, we lived at Layer Road and the starting line ups featured just 4 players who were present in both eras.  One thing that’s stayed the same is that those games in April 2007 were against Southend and Leeds and they are still with us.

Snow Joke

28 October, 2008

There’s not a lot you can say when a game is called off because they couldn’t find a ball that would show up against the snow.    Well, that’s how it was broadcast at first on local radio.  Surely there’s a sports shop in Northampton that sells different coloured balls.  What happened to the days when the local community mucked in and helped to clear the pitch?  It wouldn’t have taken long and I’m sure the travelling Us support would also have helped out.  The ground underneath can’t have been that hard.

Back home in Essex we had hailstones the size of, well … sherbert pips actually, but after a lengthy shower it looked like snow had landed.

In the end it appears that both clubs were happy to call the game off.  I guess it’s better than having to stop mid-game because you find the conditions are not to the players’ liking.  It is their bones that are liable to break after all.  Not much fun for those who journeyed up there and had to turn around and come straight back.  Hopefully they had some soccer on the radio to keep them company on the way home.