It’s amazing how one moment in a game can change everything in a season.
This was the case on 3rd September 2011, when after a disappointing start to the new season under Paolo Di Canio, Town hosted Rotherham United in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
We came into the game sitting 21st in League Two after only picking up one win in our opening five games, and with the game entering the last 10 minutes it was evenly poised at 2-2, with either team looking like they could score the winning goal.
Thankfully Alan Connell completed his brace in the 81st minute to win the game for Di Canio’s side, this result kick-started our season and the Italian’s time in charge at SN1.
We can all see the similarities, between Alan Connell eleven years ago, and Jacob Wakeling’s goal against Sutton United.
I’m not suggesting we’ll go on and win the League Two title as we did in 2012, but that moment needs to be the catalyst for change in our entire season.
Since Wakeling’s winner over Sutton, we’ve picked up two more vital wins, launching the club to 8th in League Two, and now have a base on which to build something positive for this season.
The most recent of these results came at the weekend as Town travelled to Blundell Park and left with a well-deserved three points.
Scott Lindsey’s side put on a superb display in the first half and went ahead thanks to Luke Jephcott’s first goal for the club, the home side got a very fortunate equaliser before a defensive mistake let in Gladwin who found Ronan Darcy to put Town back in front.
In the second half Town wasn’t given the same amount of space to play and didn’t have it all their way, with the home side constantly knocking on the door, but Town defending well throughout.
The task was made harder also as Saidou Khan saw red after picking up two yellows, the first was extremely harsh, but there was no doubt about his second booking, it was a sad end to a good afternoon’s work from Khan after filling the role left by an injured Louis Reed.
Town rode their luck in the closing stages but held on thanks to a goal-line clearance, and Sol Brynn again came to the rescue, making some superb saves at the death.
It was an impressive team performance, but one man certainly deserved a lot of praise for his showing, as Ben Gladwin rode back the years, and looked close to the star we witnessed in the 2014/15 season.
He dominated the first half, with his range of passing, ability to find his man, and overall presence in the middle of the park.
Since his return last summer, the 30-year-old has enjoyed peaks and troughs in his form and is singled out a lot at the County Ground, sometimes unfairly.
But this season he seems more consistent, and he’s stepping up as one of the more senior professionals on the side, if he can keep the injuries at bay and maintain this level of performance, he’ll be a key part of any success we enjoy this season.
Another positive from the weekend was seeing Jephcott and Wakeling starting the game together, something a large majority of Town fans have been crying out to see, and to nobody’s surprise, Wakeling took to his new position well, and was a constant threat.
Let’s hope that continues into this weekend’s game against Northampton Town at the County Ground, and we see Town start on the front foot, and show the Town faithful that this is a team everyone can get behind.
The near 10,000 fans who will hopefully pack into the County Ground this weekend desperately need to feel a connection to this team, something I feel has been missing so far at home, but that will come with positive results and performances, it’s vital the feel-good factor from away games is transferred to SN1.
Despite winning our last three games, the sense of renewed optimism can be lost if we start dropping points and don’t maintain the same standards that we saw in the first half last weekend in Cleethorpes.