Northampton Town 1 Cardiff City 2
Archive League One report
(Photos ©urban75, 2nd March 2002, updated April 2010)
Despite a woeful performance and some calamitous defending, City managed to steal all three points from this vital match, keeping our promotion hopes alive.
The last time I visited Northampton, they were playing at their old ground (shared with the cricket team), and that match earned the dubious honour of being the most boring game of football I'd ever witnessed.
It was an unbelievably dull 0-o where nothing happened of any interest.
We were so bored that we ended up pondering over the cotton/acrylic mix of the player's shirts. No, really. We were that bored.
This time round, the Cobblers had moved to an incredibly bland, out-of-town McStadium, situated miles from the centre of the town it's supposed to represent, and surrounded by a galaxy of ghastly corporate fast food stores and 'entertainment outlets'.
The stadium in all its majesty.
The first 20 minutes of this match came close to surpassing previous levels of boredom, with Northampton piling on the pressure and Cardiff ambling aimlessly around the field, clearly missing the quality and inspiration of the suspended Kavanagh.
Northampton applied all the early pressure, hooking in a barrage of high balls, with Gabbiadini missing an absolute sitter, much to the derision of the Cardiff fans.
There were dark mumblings on the terraces about this being 'another of those days', when, against the run of play, Leyton Maxwell fired home in 32th minute, sparking huge celebrations from the 1,300 City fans.
The lead was only to last for two minutes, with Marco Gabbiadini making amends for his earlier clanger and bringing the Cobblers level.
Five minutes later, new boy Campbell capped the first game of his loan spell from Middlesborough with an excellent strike to put the Bluebirds ahead 2-1.
The second half saw City come under a Third Division-style Route One arial bombardment, but with fine performances by Legg and Gabbidon, we managed to hang on to our flimsy lead.
Gabbidon took a bad injury towards the end of the game and was replaced by a frankly, unimpressive, Spencer Prior.
The remaining ten minutes was a nail biting exercise in last-gasp defending, with City hanging on to a barely deserved lead. But who cares? At this stage of the season, it's the points that matter!
Leaving the ground, we were greeted by a full force of riot cops who had hemmed us in behind a wire fence for reasons best known only to themselves.
Needless to say, a few meatheads took exception to this heavy handed treatment and a few minor scuffles ensued, watched by open mouthed Northampton fans, clearly amused by the curious circus unfolding.
A last look at the stadium.
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