The Cobblers celebrate their promotion

COBBLERS QUIZ: Just for fun... looking back to the season it was third-time lucky for Colin Calderwood - 2005/06

Welcome to the latest of our regular quizzes focusing on a season in the Cobblers' not too distant past.

By Jeremy Casey
Monday, 20th April 2020, 2:17 pm

Sport is on lockdown for the foreseeable future and the Cobblers, like every other sports team in the country, are currently sat on the sidelines.

So for those of you looking for a little bit of a football fix, we at the Chron are putting together a regular little quiz, focusing on a Town campaign of the past - and it's just a bit of fun.

Today, we are heading to the season from summer 2005, to May 2006 - the season Colin Calderwood finally got things right!

After two failed play-off attempts, the pressure was on the Cobblers boss as he made his preparations for the campaign.

Chairman David Cardoza kept faith with the Scotsman despite the failure to go up following the substantial investment made in the squad, and those play-off semi-final losses at the hands of Mansfield Town and Southend United.

As in the previous summer, Calderwood reshaped his squad - only this time his priority was bringing in experience - and quality.

There were no big transfer fees paid, but it won't have been cheap to sign seasoned professionals Sean Dyche, former Scotland international Eoin Jess and Ian Taylor, while Jason Crowe - who Portsmouth had paid £1m for six years previously - was also a key acquisition.

Leaving the club were the likes of Marc Richards, Chris Willmott and Lee Williamson - while Eric Sabin was offloaded to Oxford United on August deadline day.

Things didn't start well, with the Cobblers claiming just three points from their first four games to sit 18th in the table, before opening their win account at Carlisle United in game five.

A run of one defeat in 12 games saw Town clamber into the play-off places, before another excellent run of just two losses in 19 games saw Calderwood's men hit the heady heights of second place after a Friday night win over Torquay United.

The Cobblers were in a great position without particularly playing great football, and when the team wasa thumped 3-0 at home by promotion rivals Carlisle United and then lost the next game 1-0 at Mansfield, supporters were fearing the worst as the team slipped back down to fifth.

But that experience Calderwood had brought in proved its worth as the team secured six wins in the next seven matches and a haul of 19 points - and they went into final home game of the season against Chester City knowing a win would seal promotion.

It was an edgy, nervy affair, but Scott McGleish's first-half goal proved to be enough as Town won 1-0 to claim promotion with a game to spare.

It was a case of third time lucky for Calderwood, who was beaming with pride and full of emotion at the final whistle.

He would take charge of one more game, the 1-1 final day draw at Grimsby Town - and then he would quit the club to take charge at Nottingham Forest.

Leaving chairman Cardoza to look for a new manager for the first time since October, 2003.

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