Saturday, 25 January 2014

Are the Cobblers finally going down?

Most of us can remember the season when the Cobblers finished bottom of the Football League, and were only saved from non-league oblivion by Kidderminster's failure to meet whatever football stadium criteria the League had thought up that day.  Oh, and our inability to beat Bromsgrove by seven clear goals on the last Saturday of the season.  One, solitary team separated us from our illustrious County cousins.  Bloody Kidderminster!.  Ground too shit to go up.  But team too good to stop us winning the league ahead of them.

Since those happy days the Cobblers have never really flirted with relegation, whilst we have tumbled down enough divisions to make any comparison between the teams meaningless. 

However, this season the Cobblers have slithered deeper and deeper into relegation trouble.  Boothroyd sacked. Team now rock bottom.  No new Manager appointed.  After today's home defeat to Chesterfield they are now 6 points plus goal difference from safety.  That is a big ask for a team who can't buy a win.  The assumption that the team were too good and the club too big to go down is looking increasingly optimistic.  It's not as if the Conference isn't awash with former Football League teams who all thought they were too big / good to get dumped through the League trapdoor.

Universally it is seen in the local media as "a bad thing" were the County to have no Football League club.  While the average Poppies fan under the age of 40 has little or no opinion on the Cobblers, us of a more seasoned vintage still remember our, admittedly one-way rivalry with Northampton.  We remember when we had the better stadium and arguably the better team.  The balance of footballing power within the county felt like it was going to shift one way, and that was in our direction.  Daddying Northants was basically just them and us, going toe to toe.  There were other teams in the County of course, but they were a collection of third rate dregs, cluttering up the lower reaches of the non-league.  Shitty non-entities such as Corby Town, Rushden Town, Ithlingborough Diamonds and Rothwell Town.  Scarily only one of them still exists today!
Plenty of room at Sixfields as the Cobblers
kick off their 2014-15 Skrill Premier Campaign

But what would relegation mean in reality for the Cobblers?  For one, they could stop pretending that Peterborough are serious rivals.  That position could well be filled by Brackley!  David Cardoza might well have the entire first team squad whacked.  And plans to raise the capacity of Sixfields to 10,000 will seem even more hideously pointless than they are now. 

It's such a shame that we won't be in the Conference to welcome the Wobblers into the warm embrace of non-league obscurity!

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