After an encouraging result and performance at St James Park last weekend, Town suffer a small setback as Northampton pull off the ultimate smash and grab at the County Ground with a little help from the officials.
After playing six games in just three weeks it wasn’t a huge surprise to see Town lacking the same energy and intensity we’ve seen in all the other League Two games this season, sadly one of the biggest stumbling blocks on Tuesday night was Town’s inability to break down a side content with parking the bus.
We know the majority of clubs will look to come to the County Ground and refuse to play, as they know they can’t match up to us, so they deploy an ultra-defensive approach with some counter-attacking football thrown in if they get half a chance.
This is one thing Wellens and his staff will have to work on as Town can’t afford to let one home defeat slip to two then three, as we know from a couple of seasons ago under David Flitcroft if a losing habit creeps in it’s very hard to break out of.
One-way of partially fixing this problem is more attacking options available from the bench, with Jerry Yates suspended and Diallang Jaiyesimi injured until the end of October, Scott Twine and 15-year-old Markus Ifill were the only options available to the manager.
I’m sure Ifill has a great future ahead of him, but Tuesday night wasn’t the right time to throw him into the deep end, and Scott Twine is a good player and has a bright future, but he isn’t the impact player needed in that situation.
Ideally, the chairman and his scouting team can provide another attacking midfielder or striker before the window shuts in a couple of weeks.
But despite all this and suffering our first defeat of the season I’m sure all fans understand Wellens’ team is still a work in progress as new players are still bedding into the manager’s style of play.
Even in a disappointing defeat, there were a couple of bright points, such as another impressive captain’s display from Dion Conroy.
Since being handed the armband the defender seems to have grown a couple of feet taller as he looks a lot more assured at the back and still has the incredible talent of spotting a pass.
Some players, when handed such a big responsibly, can let other aspects of their game suffer but if anything in Conroy’s case it seems to have made him a more confident defender and all-round player.
Another highlight was an impressive performance once again from our Sammy Igoe lookalike Lloyd Isgrove. Despite carrying a slight knock from our trip to Exeter he was still the best attacking threat for Town throughout the entire evening, hopefully, he can heal up over the next few days so he’s raring to go this weekend for the short trip to Town’s bogey team, Cheltenham Town.