From the outside looking in, Northampton Town’s 3-0 victory over Chippenham Town on Sunday in the first round of the FA Cup may have been expected given the gulf in class between the two sides.
Whilst the Cobblers currently reside in League Two, the Bluebirds play their football in the sixth-tier of English football.
Yet when you consider that Northampton have suffered defeat at the first time of asking in the FA Cup in the last two seasons, a shock may have well been on the cards at Hardenhuish Park.
Furthermore, in recent years the Cobblers have been dumped out of the world’s oldest cup competition by the likes of Luton Town and Grimsby Town who were both playing in the National League at the time.
With manager Keith Curle opting to play Vadaine Oliver alongside Harry Smith against Chippenham, it was always going to be intriguing to see whether the two strikers could link-up together.
The answer to this particular question was emphatic as they both produced impressive performances on Sunday.
Whilst Oliver netted a brace, Smith took his tally for the season to four by powering home a header past goalkeeper Will Puddy.
Will Northampton achieve a top-six finish under Keith Curle this season?
Providing that this duo can start to produce the goods on a consistent basis in League Two over the coming months, there is no reason why the Cobblers cannot challenge for a top-six finish next May.
Arguably Northampton’s most impressive individual during their clash with Chippenham was Nicky Adams who played a role in all of their goals.
Since re-joining the Cobblers this summer following an incredibly fruitful 2015/16 campaign in which he helped them win the fourth-tier title, it is fair to say that the winger has yet to hit top-form at the PTS Academy Stadium.
Therefore, Sunday’s performance may give Adams the confidence he needs to take League Two by storm during the remainder of the campaign.
Having now lost just one of their last seven games in all competitions, Northampton have seemingly turned a corner under the guidance of Curle following an inconsistent start to the season.
Providing that they can continue their recent upturn in form over the Christmas period, the Cobblers could find themselves in a commanding position to push on in League Two in 2020.