When the League Two fixtures came out, we always knew the trip to Northampton on the opening day of the season was going to be tough. The truth is, The Imps were extremely lucky to come away with all three points. Matt Green was the goalscorer that day, in front of a crowd of 6,242.
Impalex, one of our members, described the performance by Josh Vickers as the “Best performance by any ‘keeper wearing a Lincoln shirt that I have seen in 55 years!”, as well as using “Imps pull off daring smash-and-grab raid at Sixfields” as the title for his match report.
Anyway, time for the important bit! Thank you to Northampton Town supporter Danny, from It’s All Cobblers To Me Podcast, for answering our questions!
How long have you supported Northampton Town?
Coming up to 30 years.
Where did you finish last season?
22nd and relegated from League One.
What do you think of your Manager?
Keith Curle has come in and steadied the ship after Dean Austin was shown the door a few games into the season. His no-nonsense approach and experience of the league is evident already and we’ve seen a real upturn in results since his arrival.
What are your hopes and expectations for this season?
After a poor start, our expectations had to be checked a little. Pre-season we had high hopes of finishing in the top seven but we’re playing catch up now and that still looks a difficult task to achieve. If we can keep this run going into the New Year, though, who knows?!
One(s) to watch?
Kevin van Veen is like a new player under Curle and on his day can be too much for most defences at this level. Matt Crooks has also had a great start to the season including a hat-trick at Macclesfield. We’ve got a good crop of youngsters coming through too including Shaun McWilliams who has established himself in the first team.
Who do you think will finish in the top 7?
Lincoln City, Milton Keynes Dons (sadly!), Colchester United, Exeter City, Tranmere Rovers, Mansfield Town and I’ll go with us sneaking into seventh!
Who do you think will finish in the bottom 2?
Cheltenham Town and Macclesfield Town.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
I’m a big fan of what the Cowley Brothers have done at the club both on and off the pitch as the community of Lincoln seems to be right behind the club again. You are the best team I’ve seen us play this season and I’m certain that you’re going up, more than likely as champions.
What do you think the score will be?
I’m going for an optimistic 1-1 and a replay.
What will your likely default formation and style of play be for this season?
Keith Curle favours a 3-5-2 but he has been switching to 4-4-2 a bit recently too. It’s all about being tight at the back and being quick on the break under Curle and we’re competitive in most matches.
Random fact about your Club?
Club legend Graham Carr is the father of comedian Alan Carr.
If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your own team, who would it be and why?
Shay McArtan for his creativity from midfield.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Northampton Town Supporter?
Proudest moments are winning at Wembley in our centenary year in the Division Three (League Two) playoff final in 1997 and beating Liverpool at Anfield on penalties in the League Cup in 2010. Most embarrassing moments are losing to Canvey Island in the FA Cup live on the BBC and similarly losing to Stourbridge in the same competition. Doesn’t bode well for Saturday!
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
We do and they have as active a role as is allowed but with a possible sale of the club around the corner it’s unknown how much involvement they will have depending on potential new owners.
Which was your favourite match involving Northampton Town?
Wembley and Anfield are right up there but in terms of pure emotion is has to be the 3-0 win over Bristol Rovers in the 1998 Division Two (League One) playoff semi-final. We were 3-1 down after the first leg but that night at Sixfields in the second leg will never be forgotten.
Which was your least favourite match involving Northampton Town?
There’s plenty of candidates! Probably the 3-0 defeat at Leeds that sent us down from League One with a couple of other unlikely results going against us at the same time a few years back.
Poor finishing and a great display from Josh Vickers meant that you lost, when you should have beaten us at Sixfields. Since then a change of manager has seen a steady rise up the League. Is it all down to him?
As mentioned before, Keith Curle has really steadied us up and slowly but surely we’re learning how to win again. He’s made a huge difference and you can tell already that he’s a man with immense experience at this level.
How close is your Board to the fans? How do you rate them?
Kelvin Thomas has done a good job since saving the club from close to extinction but he is looking to sell. I find him to be as open as he can be and even came on our podcast a couple of weeks ago!
What was your favourite moment in The FA Cup?
Beating Rotherham United in 2004 in a replay away from home (they were Championship and we were League Two at the time) to set up a home tie with Manchester United in Round Four, in which a young Cristiano Ronaldo played!
What was your least favourite moment in The FA Cup?
The aforementioned defeat to Canvey Island.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) November 10, 2018