Back to the Cobblers and we ended the season with an away game at Rotherham in what was to be their final game at the Don Valley Stadium. It turned out to be one of those typical end of season matches where neither side had anything at stake but we still took a good following with 549 making the trip north.
Michael Jacobs was named in the Cobblers side for his 100th appearance, despite lots of speculation about his future a host of clubs are apparently chasing his signature. The club have offered him a new deal and should he not accept that we will have a tribunal decision on a fee should no-one come in and meet the valuation Boothroyd and chairman David Cardoza have set on the young 20-year-old midfield maestro. An unnamed championship club have had a bid turned down already and Derby County manager Nigel Clough has also disclosed that Jacobs is one of a number of players he is looking at while in the crowd at the Don Valley Stadium was Leeds United assistant manager Mick Jones was he casting his eye over our young star.
Onto the match itself both sides had a chance in the opening 10 minutes Lewis Grabban hit the outside of the post, and Cobblers loanee from Liverpool Toni Silva had a volley well saved by Rotherham keeper Rhys Taylor. On 31 minutes Rotherham had the lead the Cobblers defence failed to clear a corner when Alex Revell pounced a hit a shot that bounced of the ground and over keeper Neal Kitson’s head. Lewis Wilson hit a volley just wide as the Cobblers looked to respond, Rotherham then had a chance to double their lead just before half time as Ben Pringle hit a sweet volley that was well saved by Kitson.
A fairly un-eventful second half produced little until Adebayo Akinfenwa saw his header land on the roof of the net. Clarke Carlisle was booked following a no nonsense challenge on Danny Schofield, Brett Williams then fired just over the bar for the Cobblers and that was followed up by Lewis Wilson heading into the side netting as the game entered stoppage time.
Cobblers fans were thinking that a defeat was going to signal the end of a disappointing season and then as we entered the final minute of stoppage time Luke Guttridge floated in a delightful free-kick that was met by the head of Adebayo Akinfenwa and we had equalised with what was virtually the last touch of the game, the big man lifted his shirt to display his own t-shirt from his clothing range 2 Big 2 Play Football Ha Ha and celebrate his 18th goal of the season, not a bad return from the front man considering how we have struggled this season.
The final whistle was blown to bring to the end a season that promised so much but failed to deliver and we look on to next season.
One man I hope we can sign is Clarke Carlisle as he has helped to make our defence a more solid unit and has led from the front being made captain upon his arrival which was a shrewd move from Aidy Boothroyd. From what I can gather from Carlisle is that we as a club have helped him find a love for playing football once more and that he also hopes a deal can be done so he can stay with the “Teyn”.
Boothroyd will be looking to ship some high earners out who have not figured in his plans those players. I assume they will be Arron Davies, Paul Turnball and maybe Jake Robinson. Maybe being the word with Robinson and he has flattered to deceive really. He came to us having scored a hatfull of goals for Torquay last season and after scoring a scorcher from distance in a pre season friendly against Nottingham Forest I must admit I was optimistic about him, But too many times he can overplay and try and take men on instead of having a dig or finding that killer cross.
I am sure Boothroyd has targets in mind and I just hope the Michael Jacobs saga gets ended sooner rather than later so that the manager can get on with his plans for season 2012/13. The hard work starts now for Aidy and he will be looking for players with the right mentality, who know maybe play-offs for us next season, anything will be better than fighting relegation though.
Up The Cobblers.