The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jef­fer­son Lake

NORTHAMP­TON boss Aidy Boothroyd be­lieves his side’s pro­mo­tion to League One is writ­ten in the stars de­spite see­ing them lose an 11th away game of the sea­son, at Brad­ford.

The Cob­blers were sunk by Nahki Wells’ 25th-minute goal, a tap-in af­ter a mix-up be­tween de­fender Nathan Cameron and goal­keeper Lee Ni­cholls.

It was enough to give Brad­ford the vic­tory that puts them within two points of the League Two play-offs and with a game in hand on sev­en­th­placed Ex­eter.

Clarke Carlisle al­most scored with the first chance of the game, glanc­ing a header just wide from Ben Tozer’s launched throw in.

The Ban­tams had the bet­ter of the first half but Northamp­ton grew into the con­test af­ter Wells’ opener, James Han­son fluffed a chance to make it two with the goal gap­ing.

Home keeper Jon McLaugh­lin made an ex­cel­lent save to keep out a Ben Hard­ing vol­ley 20 min­utes from time but Brad­ford held out for the win.

Re­sults else­where mean Boothroyd’s men re­main in the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion places, and the man­ager feels such things could be in­di­ca­tors of the team’s des­tiny.

“I gen­uinely think it’s meant to be for us to go up,” he said.“I’ve spo­ken a lot about us play­ing well and not get­ting what we’ve de­served but I do gen­uinely think we’ve im­proved in the past two games.

“We’ve turned a real cor­ner in terms of our ap­pli­ca­tion and at­ti­tude. I don’t think we’re be­ing helped by the of­fi­cials but it’s our choice whether we get our­selves booked or not.”

Boothroyd, who was born in Brad­ford and sup­ported the Ban­tams as a boy, wants his team to learn from the home side’s ‘match man­age­ment’ and backed Cameron and Ni­cholls, who col­lided when go­ing for the same ball to present Wells with a sim­ple goal, to im­prove as a re­sult of their er­ror.

“Brad­ford are a good side, I’ve said that all along,” said Boothroyd. “And this is a tough place to come.

“Both goal­keep­ers kept their teams in it and it was a hor­rific mis­take that cost us but it was one made by two very good young play­ers who will both go on to have very good ca­reers.

“It’s a bit of a les­son for us and we per­haps need to learn from their match man­age­ment as well.”

The win puts Brad­ford firmly in the top-seven hunt and they may yet meet Northamp­ton, against whom they have now com­pleted a league dou­ble, in the play-offs.

Wells scored the win­ner at Six­fields in Novem­ber and reg­is­tered a hat­trick there last sea­son, a fact City boss Phil Parkin­son felt was cen­tral to the vis­i­tors’ game plan.

“Nahki has al­ways done well against them,” he said.“They set up with him in mind by play­ing the three cen­tral de­fend­ers and when a team does that the first goal is al­ways so im­por­tant. “We should have killed the game off but I’m really pleased with how we played and the re­sult we have got against a very tough side.”

ARMFUL: Nahki Wells cel­e­brates his goal


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