Five things you may have missed from Cobblers' 1-1 draw with Exeter City

Including Charlie Goode’s return to Sixfields and Matt Taylor’s nice touch

By James Heneghan
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 11:54 am
Updated Monday, 2nd May 2022, 12:09 pm
Cobblers line up as a team before kick-off. Pictures: Pete Norton.
Cobblers line up as a team before kick-off. Pictures: Pete Norton.

There was plenty going on at Sixfields on Saturday as almost 8,000 supporters saw third-placed Cobblers draw 1-1 with title-chasing and already promoted Exeter City.

The result kept Town in the automatic promotion hunt and was also enough to lift Exeter to the top of the table. With all eyes focused on what happened on the pitch, here are a few things you may have missed...

Goode's return

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The last man to captain Cobblers to promotion - which was achieved, coincidentally, against Exeter - was in attendance at Sixfields on Saturday. Charlie Goode donned the armband as Town hammered the Grecians at Wembley in the 2020 play-off final and he returned to support his old side as they try to achieve another promotion two years on.

That game at Wembley as Goode’s last appearance for the club before he was sold for a record fee to Brentford. He is currently on loan at Sheffield United but has not played for the Blades since being sent off against Blackburn in February. With United in action the previous Friday evening, Goode took the opportunity to head down to Sixfields and cheer on his former club.

Taylor's class act

Matt Taylor is not only a fine young manager but also an impressive person. He was complimentary about the Cobblers in his pre and post match comments and also showed his class after Saturday's 1-1 draw.

Matt Taylor.

The Grecians boss made a conscious effort to shake every Cobblers player by the hand before heading over to the away end where he celebrated with his players and supporters. There was plenty of respect between the two clubs all afternoon. After several near misses, Taylor has finally led Exeter to promotion this time around. Saturday’s draw was also enough to move them to the League Two summit.

Sixfields sets new record

Saturday was a huge game for the Cobblers and a chance to party for the jubilant visitors so it was no surprise to see Sixfields full to the brim. In fact, the attendance – 7,764, including 1,449 away supporters – was the highest ever for a league game at Sixfields, breaking the previous record from 2016 when Chris Wilder and Marc Richards lifted the League Two title against Luton Town.

The overall record attendance at Sixfields remains 7,798, which was first set against Manchester United in the League Cup in 2016 and then matched when Derby County came to town for an FA Cup tie in 2020.

Was Pinnock actually offside?

This was a pivotal moment in the game. Jack Sowerby swept home to double Northampton’s lead, only for the flag to go up and Exeter to immediately break away and score an equaliser.

At the time, it looked clear-cut. Mitch Pinnock appeared a yard or two behind the defender as Ali Koiki's shot hit him and ricocheted into the path of Sowerby for a simple finish. Replays, however, suggest it wasn't quite so conclusive. Pinnock may well have been level with the last defender but it’s not the best angle. Even so, the free-kick is then taken from the wrong place and the ball was also moving. You can understand Jon Brady’s frustration.

Brady's touchline frustration

Jon Brady is never one to hide his emotions and he picked up his fifth booking of the season during the closing stages of Saturday's draw. It was not clear why at the time but it transpires that Brady was unhappy that Fraser Horsfall had to leave the pitch after being treated by the physio. Brady thought his physio had entered the field of play to help a stricken Exeter player but seemingly he did tend to Horsfall as well, albeit briefly. That meant Cobblers were without their aerially dominant centre-half for an Exeter goal-kick. Brady apologised to the referee after the game.