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Smells like team spirit? Well it did against the Cobblers

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 11, 2012

COMEBACK KINGS:  Russ Penn, Darryl Duffy and Darren Carter (face obscured) celebrate Duffy's winner in the 3-2 thriller at Northampton

COMEBACK KINGS: Russ Penn, Darryl Duffy and Darren Carter (face obscured) celebrate Duffy's winner in the 3-2 thriller at Northampton

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SATURDAY'S game against Northampton turned out to be one of the more entertaining of the season so far and ultimately provided our travelling supporters reward for making the journey.

We were able to cement our position in third place in the league with the three points and the result also gives us a timely boost for our Cup replay against Hereford tonight.

I am sure that the supporters who did make the journey to Sixfields were wondering exactly why they had bothered to make the sacrifice after the first 15 minutes of the game.

We were very poor in that period and we found ourselves deservedly two goals down.

I was stood in the technical area at that time thinking this game could go only one of two ways.

We could either show some bottle and get back into the match or completely fold and get a real good hiding and at the time I was not too sure which way we would go.

However, the one thing that we have at Cheltenham at the moment is a fantastic group of lads and while they cannot guarantee results or performances every week they will always give their all.

And when it really mattered, when the chips were down and nothing was going their way, they really dug deep and got themselves out of the hole that they had got themselves in.

It wasn't necessarily the fact that we got the three points that made me so proud of them but more the fact that they got themselves back into the match and put themselves into the position to be able to win the three points.

Northampton are a club on the up at the moment and after underachieving for the last couple of seasons, Aidy Boothroyd has got them moving in the right direction.

They do have a direct style of play but with the presence of Adebayo Akinfenwa up front and the longest throw-in I have ever seen from Ben Tozer, they have a couple of weapons that can cause problems for any team in the country.

And when they got off to the start they did and were building momentum with their vociferous supporters getting behind them it would have been very easy to go under.

However, the fact we did stand up to be counted when it mattered will hopefully be a good base to kick on from for the remainder of the season.

We were able to bring Sido Jombati back for his first start since his hernia operation and to return in such a short space of time after his operation and in such a tough match shows what sort of character he is.

Because of Sid's return we were able to employ Keith Lowe in a deep-lying midfield role with the intention of stopping the supply to the threat of Akinfenwa.

After the first 15 minutes this tactic worked very well as Keith was able to prevent the majority of balls from reaching their intended target.

While he couldn't fully quash the threat that Akinfenwa posed due to his sheer physical presence, I thought that on the day the system worked very well.

Next up in the league we play Port Vale who we are now just one point behind in second place in the table.

Before then we have a very difficult FA Cup replay against Hereford with the prize of a home tie with Everton awaiting the winners.

The Christmas period is always a busy one in the football calendar as the games keep on coming thick and fast.

The lads really appreciate the support they receive and it will be needed more than ever at Edgar Street tonight if we want to get to the third round of the FA Cup.

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