Northampton boss bizarrely criticises Bristol Rovers promotion in own moment of glory

Northampton Town won promotion - but Bristol Rovers are still in the heads of the Cobblers a year on.
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Northampton Town manager Jon Brady has continued to criticise the manner of Bristol Rovers' promotion last year despite his own side achieving the feat on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Cobblers won promotion to League One on the final day of the season after beating Tranmere Rovers 1-0, along with Stockport County drawing with already relegated Hartlepool United. Brady's side had been battling for promotion in their final game for a second time, after losing out to the Gas last year.

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Rovers needed to win by five more goals than Northampton on the final day against Scunthorpe United, and Northampton went up 3-0 inside 22 minutes against Barrow whilst Rovers had been 2-0 up. Five goals came in the second period without another goal for Northampton, and ultimately Elliot Anderson's goal clinched promotion in the 85th minute.

Scunthorpe - already relegated at the time - had made a few changes to the side, and for the past season Stevenage boss Steve Evans has criticised the final day drama, and now Brady has too.

Brady said in an interview on Northampton's YouTube channel: "Considering what has happened over a two-and-a-half-year period I take over with three games to go and we miss out by three points and the problems we had then with injuries and players.

"Then we go last year and especially what happened at the end of last season where Scunthorpe lets get it right, fielding a youth team, it wasn't right but we had to grit our teeth and go again. To get 163 points in two years, the hardest thing of what's happened is that it doesn't usually happen to us. We don't come out on the right side. I'm not sure it has sunk in."

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Brady's claim was that Scunthorpe had fielded a youth team, but the Irons made just three changes from the team that drew 1-1 with Hartlepool United a week prior. Three players from their goalless draw against Northampton in February, played against Rovers. Scunthorpe's team included 35-year-old Liam Feeney and 34-year-old Anthony Grant, who are far from youth players. An investigation was launched but th EFL and FA found no wrongdoing.

Rovers and Northampton will now meet in the third tier next year, along with the other 19 teams whose places are secure next year. Rovers and Northampton have met 106 times in their history with 39 wins for them, whilst tasting 38 defeats and drawing 29 times. Next seasons double-header is sure to have some spice to it, given the events of the final day of the 2021/22 campaign.

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