It is indeed the stuff that dreams are made of for any fan of a lower league team.
Once Northampton Town were in the draw for the third round of the Carling Cup following a fantastic win away against Reading on penalties, my thoughts turned to who we might draw out of the pot.
What would I prefer? A Premier League team at Sixfields to give us a greater chance of victory? Or a plum tie away at one of the ‘Big Four’.
Ultimately I decided I didn’t mind, although an away tie against a big team would be a just reward for the 59 loyal diehard fans that travelled to Hartlepool to see us humiliated 4-0 on a Tuesday evening in August.
As things panned out, I could not have dreamed of a better draw – the mighty Liverpool at Anfield. I immediately cast my mind back to the heady days of the late 70s and early 80s. watching Liverpool’s European exploits when live football on television was a rare occurrence.
These days, Liverpool are certainly not the force they used to be. Given their current patchy form and transitional period we might, just might even nick a win.
Coupled with the fact that Liverpool are hardly likely to play Torres, Gerrard et al (despite Stevie’s insistance in the national press that Liverpool will take the Cup seriously) could the dream become reality? Unlikely, but nevertheless a possibility – you have to remain optimistic at this level.
I was encouraged this week that Ian Sampson has added a quality defender, albeit on loan, to the squad in Ben Tozer, a highly promising youngster from Newcastle.
Along with the recent capture of Leon McKenzie (another former Coventry player to add to the ranks!) a solid squad with great potential and a good mix of youth and experience is beginning to take shape.
The key man is clearly Kevin Thornton. The stage is set for him to showcase his skills on the big stage and I believe he is ready to rise to the challenge.
Games like this are made for Kevin and the signs have been there recently that he is getting back to his brilliant best – the stunning free kick against Shrewsbury is a case in point.
I’ll skip quickly over the history. The last time Northampton played at Anfield was November 13, 1965 and we lost 5-0 and the team that day was:
Coe, Foley, Cockcroft, Branson, Carr, Kiernan, Walden, Hudson, Hall, Leek, Lines.
Let us hope that the team of 2010 can snatch an unlikely win and write their names in the Cobblers’ history books. We have caused upsets before – let us now cause the biggest upset in our history!
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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