Talking Cobblers: it’s different, but it’s good different

Talking Cobblers: it’s different, but it’s good different

You know Northampton Town. They’re the team who won promotion to League One in an empty Wembley Stadium, before then being relegated back to League Two in the behind closed doors season of 2020/21, only to then miss out on automatic promotion on the final day of last season because Bristol Rovers somehow managed to beat Scunthorpe United 7-0. Yeah, that Northampton Town.

This season, we’re going ‘onboard’ with Cobblers fan and EFL enthusiast, Ryan Percival. In his column ‘Talking Cobblers’, Ryan will lift the lid on the ups and downs and the ins and outs of supporting a club like Northampton, whilst also sharing his thoughts on some of the other goings on in the EFL. If Cobblers’ 22/23 season is anything like their 21/22 season, then we’re in for one hell of a ride!

The start of the season

If you’d said to me that, after seven games, Cobblers would have 14 points, I’d have taken it. There have been good wins – last weekend’s 3-1 victory over Barrow, who have started the season well under Pete Wild, springs to mind. There have been disappointing defeats – the performance against Doncaster the previous week was very poor. We look dangerous going forward, but we also look fragile at the back. No side in League Two has scored more goals than Cobblers, but only three teams have conceded more than us. Last season’s relative success was built on defensive stability; this season’s isn’t, clearly.

Sam Hoskins

Sam Hoskins has started the new campaign like the proverbial house on fire. His record of eight goals and one assist in seven league games is testament to that. Sam has been a loyal servant to the club; no one can deny that, but he hasn’t always performed to his potential in my opinion. This season, he’s gone up two gears. In the past, Sam has arguably been guilty of getting into good positions but not having the end product. This season, it’s as if he’s been given the freedom (and/or confidence) to shoot more. At the end of the day, if you don’t shoot, you don’t score. Sam has been shooting and Sam has been scoring! His goals against Crawley were particularly well taken on what was an emotional night for the club.

Have you ever shouted ‘FORWARD!’ at a football match?

Jon Brady’s Cobblers are clearly trying to play more football this season; imposing themselves on games with possession, and I’m here for it. But some fans just want forward balls. I appreciate that you need to mix it up at times and be flexible, but it’s great to see the lads trying to play. There was a good example in last weekend’s game against Barrow. We passed the ball from side to side for a good few minutes and, eventually, we opened them up down the left, crossed the ball in and nearly scored. Some fans shouted ‘FORWARD’ during that move. Inevitably, the ball went forward eventually – it always does – I just hope that those fans don’t believe that it was due to their influence. That’s the new style of play in action.

An important date in my diary

The next couple of weeks are going to be interesting. Cobblers face AFC Wimbledon and Rochdale, before we welcome Stockport County – and former defender Fraser Horsfall – to Sixfields. As for me, I’m getting married. Thankfully, my better half knows that my first love will always be Northampton Town!

(Photo Creds – Ryan Percival)