First things first, six players were told this week that will not be having their contracts renewed. Aidy Boothroyd has said he likes to let them know well in advance so they have time to find themselves a new club which is fair if you ask me, a lot of managers let their contracts run right down and tell them at the end of May leaving little to time before the new season to get their names out there.
The first duo to be told that they would not be having an extended season at Sixfields were Jason Crowe and Ryan Gilligan.
Crowe was re-signed by Gary Johnson before the FA Cup 1st round tie at Luton which was Johnson’s last game in charge, Crowe just didn’t seem to have what he had when he played for us first time round before his move to Leeds United, he seemed to be caught out of position easily and he has lost a lot of pace which meant he struggled against against fast wide men he also has not really had much of a look in since Boothroyd took over so the writing was on the wall.
Ryan Gilligan joined us from Watford and did well in his first few seasons but he has just seemed to go off the boil in the last few years through lack of form and injuries. I am sure Ryan will do well for a club in the Blue Square next year and who knows maybe he will come back to haunt us in a few years time.
The second duo to be told they were not having contracts renewed were Lewis Young and Nathanial Wedderburn.
Lewis has not had the best of seasons at the club. He has the pace but no strength on the ball and tries to do a little to much when taking on his man. He often struggles to find that killer ball into the box but he is still young and still has a lot to learn so again it would not surprise me if he turns up at Sixfields on an opposing team in a few years time.
Wedders has been unlucky in my opinion he has been injured for most of the season and only made his first start against Crawley a couple of games ago, he has great vision when passing the ball but i think mobility could be the issue here and that’s probably why he has been released.
The final pairing shown the door are Freddy Hall and Andy Holt.
Freddy always did quite well when he got on for a game but his days at the club were numbered when Shane Higgs got injured and ADB went for loan cover rather than Freddy. He can be a little suspect on crosses but good luck to him and I hope he finds a new club quickly. Which brings me to Andy Holt who has been with the club for the last six years and what a servant he has been. The man wears his heart on his sleeve and gives 100% every game. In my eyes the reason he been released is due the fact his legs have gone at this level but he departs as a club legend at Sixfields.
On to the Gillingham game and they were still in with a distance shout of making the playoffs while for the Cobblers it was something of a run out for players looking to earn a contract for next season.
ADB made a couple of changes Lewis Wilson came in up front for his full debut and Anthony Charles was at centre back.
The game kick-off with Gillingham appearing quite slow out of the blocks and to be fair I think we dominated proceedings in the first half. Player of the Year Michael Jacobs had the first chance of the match as his shot from distance flew just goes over the bar.
The Gills have the next opportunity as Charlie Lee heads just over the bar when he should have hit the net. Jacobs then hit the post and Wilson smacked the rebound just wide. Then on 40 minutes Northampton make the breakthrough as on his full debut Lewis Wilson get his debut goal from close range after good wing play from Toni Silva. Soon after the break Giilingham equalised after a defensive mix-up which Kuffour took full advantage of.
The rest of the game was quite scrappy with both teams creating chances but none clear cut. Gillingham tried to pile the pressure on in the last six minutes but to no avail and all in all a draw was a fair result as we consigned Gillingham to another season of League Two football. A draw was a fair result from where I was watching and as usual with the last game of the season the final whistle was blown and a pitch invasion commences.
All in all it was an good way to finish this season at Sixfields and now I am looking forward to a better campaign next year where I expect to see some better home form as Boothroyd asserts his authority at the club.
Up The Cobblers