Writer: The New Ricky Hill
Date:Monday October 15 2007
15 October 2007, 7.45pm
An empty stadium, with more away than home fans.
Not that this is saying much for either set.
Theme tune to the Omen as the teams emerged - with Damien Fojut at centre half the Town lined up:
Jackson Perry Fojut Goodall
Bell Hutchison Spring Currie
On the bench Andrew, Edwards, Morgan, Coyne Brkovic.
Applause for Blackwell plus a few boos as well.
First corner to Northampton in the first minute, a low glancing header cleared off the line by Currie.
Talbot looked lively, Bell back on the right oozed class, and first goal duly arrived on just 3 minutes as a Hutchison cross from the right passed behind a retreating defence to the edge of the box where Currie, with all the time in the world, picked his spot with a stunning right foot half-volley into the top right corner.
A minute later a neat one two on the left and a great interception by Bell saw a vicious near post shot beaten away, and seconds later Talbot glanced a header over.
On 9 another deep cross from the right found Spring rising majestically at the far post. He headed beautifully, down and goalwards, and as Furlong lunged to tickle in it was somehow whipped away by a desperate Cobbler.
Great entertainment for SKY, continued when a long Northampton cross from the left found a flailing Brill in No-Man's Land but fortunately skimmed the top of the crossbar.
Furlong decided to contribute and, having been obstructed twice by the centre half obtained revenge with two late tackles in a minute. Cue the yellow card.
And more on 22 as a Northampton left wing cross was knocked away by Goodall to where Currie should have been, ten yards or so outside the Town box. No sign of him however and so the Cobblers midfielder Bradley Johnson took full advantage, advancing ten yards before firing fiercely home at the near post for 1-1 as Goodall reluctantly tried to close him down.
Having started brightly the Town (ours that is) were now in a battle, playing long balls on the counter towards Talbot and Furlong.
On 33 a desperate clearance off the line by the Town, and a minute later a point blank save from Brill. Hutchison seemed ten yards off the pace.
But the Town did look good on the break, with some raking crossfield passes impressing. And Furlong even won a free kick.
On 42 Currie had a minute of inspiration, two shots somehow saved, a cross Hutchison failed to connect with, then a peach of a through ball to Spring, who in turn laid a lovely square pass inside to Furlong. With only the keeper to beat he lifted it over from 12 yards.
And seconds later it was Spring with a great volley from 7 yards from a Bell cross, somehow saved.
So strong applause as the teams left at half time, but loud boos for Blackwell.
From the restart Talbot twisting down the left earned a free kick. Currie floated it in, and in the melee that resulted shouts for handball. Penalty!
Calm and assured, Matt Spring stuck it away.2-1.
True to form a chance at the other end straight away, another Bradley Johnson thunderbolt from 30 yards which dipped viciously before Brill, at full stretch, tipped it over.
A quiet spell until 15 minutes in when Currie curled a free kick in from the left. Predictably enough Furlong dived in to glance it home for his ninth of the season, not bad for a 39 year old.
The game continued fast and entertaining, with the two sets of fans exchanging banter about the performance of the ref as the Cobblers chanted 'You're not fit to referee' and the Town fans responded 'Blame the referee' 'Referee's black and white army' and 'We've only got one ref'.
With 6 minutes left Talbot departed to a healthy ovation, Andrew his replacement.
And with three minutes left a long clearance from Spring - well a hoof really - gave Furlong a chase and shove into the box. Easy for the big man and as he pulled away a trip. Penalty number 2.
Argy bargy between Spring and the keeper, and the penalty struck the keeper's legs before rolling in.
Four minutes of added time but for a change no reason, surely, to worry.
Currie 8 and MoM
Date:Monday October 15 2007
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