In a clash between two out of form sides in SkyBet League One, Northampton Town came out on top at a hostile Sixfields Stadium as Keshi Anderson bagged a hat-trick on his home debut. Coventry City captain Jordan Willis was dismissed early on for a dangerous challenge, but the afternoon will be remembered for all of the wrong reasons. Russell Slade’s side now lie eight points adrift of safety, but supporters are more concerned by the club’s continuing off-field problems.
We all knew that there was going to be some added spice given City’s unwanted groundshare with the Cobblers two seasons ago. However, that is the most toxic atmosphere I have ever experienced. I don’t condone throwing flares and invading the pitch, but I can completely understand why people choose to do that. The club is in such turmoil and nobody is listening – it’s the only way some think they can get themselves heard. That itself is a sad situation for football as a whole and it questions the authority of the governing bodies.
My overriding emotion at the moment is pure pain, as I imagine it will be for many other supporters. Yet again, the performance took a backseat and I honestly don’t know how to describe my feelings during the 90 minutes. It was just an odd afternoon and it epitomises how deep the troubles are rooted into our club. Our product on the pitch is abysmal but that all stems from no investment from the heirarchy ‘running’ our football club. During that season where we were hosting ‘home’ games in Northampton I thought it could never get any worse. How I was wrong.
With regards to the result, Willis’ dismissal on 19 minutes had a massive influence on proceedings down on the pitch. It did look like a risky challenge to make and I can see why it was given as a red card, but some fans closer to the tackle said he took the ball. However, he had no need to dive in when the ball was in a fairly harmless position. From that point on, it was always going to be difficult. At half-time being level was a positive but we ended up shipping three shoddy goals.
Again, we lacked any kind of threat in the final third and I was left feeling sorry for Stuart Beavon. That man will run himself into the ground but he was isolated by our approach of launching it aimlessly forwards. Our style of play is ugly but I wouldn’t mind that at all if we had the personnel to set up that way – we don’t. We are in desperate need for a big target man who can bring others into play, but again, I’m not sure it will make an ounce of difference to our survival bid. This was arguably our last chance to stay in the fight, but the defeat looks as if it’s another nail in the coffin.
Our supporters have nothing to cling onto bar the hope that the club remains in existence and that is truly depressing. That is why people resort to actions like those on display today. People vent their anger in different ways and it is just a crying shame that it has come to this. I appreciate that a lot of Northampton fans will now look down on our fanbase and brand them all as hooligans, but that wasn’t intended to disrespect them or their club. We need to protest and everyone is entitled to their opinion on how to do that, but I am sorry that the home fans, particularly young children, had to witness that.
The afternoon’s events reminded me how divided our supporters really are and that again comes due to poor treatment. We have been fed lies and promises since I remember and everyone is at the end of their tether as a result. Everyone who has contributed to this sorry mess needs to hang their heads in shame – football means an awful lot to people and our City won’t have a team to support if things continue. I’m sure we will get slapped with a points deduction, but the authorities need to realise why fans are acting in such a manner. OUR club is rotting away and it’s now almost unrecognisable.
Lee Burge – 5
Jordan Willis – 4
Nathan Clarke – 5
Farrend Rawson – 5
Ryan Haynes – 5
George Thomas – 5
Ben Stevenson – 5
Callum Reilly – 5
Charles Vernam – 5
Marcus Tudgay – 4
Stuart Beavon – 5
Dion Kelly-Evans – 5
Andy Rose – 4
Jodi Jones – 4
Northampton Town: Smith, Buchanan, Diamond, K. Anderson (Wylde 77), Boateng (P. Anderson 87), Richards (C), O’ Toole, Nyatanga, Taylor, Eardley, Williams (Beautyman 90).
Unused Substitutes: Cornell, Phillips, McDonald, McCourt.
Coventry City: Burge, Willis (C), Clarke, Rawson, Haynes, G. Thomas (Di. Kelly-Evans 22), Stevenson (Jones 72), Reilly, Vernam, Tudgay (Rose 71), Beavon.
Unused Substitutes: Charles-Cook, Turnbull, Bigirimana, Reid.
Attendance: 7, 543 (1,463 away)