Northampton Town vs Accrington Stanley – 6th August 2011, Sixfields Stadium, 3:00pm Kick Off
Attendance: 4,621 (122 away fans)
Northampton began their new season campaign with a home game against Accrington Stanley with a slightly deserved 0-0 draw.
It wasn’t always going to be an easy task for the Cobblers, going into their first competitive match after ending a rather disappointing season with 2 wins on the bounce, and they looked to capitalize on them.
The game ended a disappointing 0-0 draw which shouldn’t be taken as a negative as we didn’t lose.
I was quite surprised with the turnout of away fans with only 122 making the trip down to Sixfields on the opening game. I guess Accrington don’t really have much of a fan base when it comes to away games.
There wasn’t no real chances early on with both sides but a few attacking moves from the Cobblers started off the game. A couple of long throw-ins from Ben Tozer caused a little trouble in the Accrington defence but wasn’t nothing that could have punished them.
Not long after that, Sam Walker had to make his first save of the game with a well taken save from a free-kick just beyond the post.
Breakthrough ended around the 20th minute when Kurtis Guthrie had a header goal disallowed for offside. Had this been allowed, this could have changed the game. Thankfully for the Cobblers it was disallowed and they carried on trying to break open the defence.
Jake Robinson had a shot blocked off the line just before a turning point in the game come to rest.
Accrington Stanley goalkeeper Sean Murdoch handled the ball outside of the penalty area when he made a save from Jake Robinson’s effort as he went in on goal but the referee wasn’t having none of it and waved away all appeals.
A few chances here and there in the 2nd half started going Cobblers way with a couple of strikes from Lewis Young, who come on for Paul Turnbull around the 70th minute. It was from then everything was Northampton with surging runs from Jake Robinson, Michael Jacobs and even Byron Webster at one point.
Ashley Westwood come on right near the end of the game for John Johnson to a sound of a few boo’s which I thought was rather disgraceful.
The game ended 0-0 with an applause around the stadium for the effort and great play the Cobblers had done in the 2nd half. I think in fairness, a draw was the right result, but if only that decision earlier in the game had went Cobblers way, it would have been a different game completely.
It’s certainly still a work in progress and you really can’t judge from today how the season will pan out. I even said to the guy sitting next to me, it’s going to take a few games, but hopefully not too many. I think Nana and Davies both a pretty weak games. Nana was out of position far too much, but was there for challenges when needed. Davies didn’t seem to have the first touch control very well and was sloppy at times.
I thought the rest of the team done well. I will say I certainly don’t think we have seen the best of Bayo, and I hope we do. His service today was rather poor. While he can jump, he’s better getting the ball on his chest and to his feet, and not above him.
I still question the lack of judgement from Gary Johnson in terms of substitutes. Unless he saw something I didn’t, I still not sure why he bought on a centre back when the timing was we needed to get more players forward. I thought Bas looked a good player of what I saw of him. He seems to have good control with his feet, but time can only tell with that.
I certainly don’t think we will have to worry too much on the defensive side, but I certainly would have picked Lewis Young over Ashley Corker. It’s not that I hate Ashley Corker because I think he’s going to be good, but being a first game, you want to get a win, and with Lewis Young coming on, we looked nothing but threatening.
Oh, and on a small note, I want to thank the people who I met, and saw again today. You made my first game a great one!
It was my first ever time in the North Stand, and I tell you something, being PART of the crowd and actually supporting and spurring them on really makes things special. The West can carry on the dullness. Roll on the 20th!
Up The Cobblers. In Gary Johnson, I Trust!
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