COBBLERS COURAGE DELIGHTS WILDER
CHRIS Wilder praised the spirit in the Northampton Town camp as they recovered from a nightmare start to earn him a point from his first game at the helm.
Having left Oxford United to take charge of the Cobblers last week, Wilder saw his side fall behind within 60 seconds.
But Matty Blair’s second half strike earned them a deserved draw and their new manager’s admiration.
Wilder said: “We couldn’t have made a worse start could we!
“But after that the players showed tremendous character in tough conditions.
“Cheltenham put us under real pressure in the first half and it was hard for us to get out of our own half.
“But we were the better side in the second half and dominated the game. The spirit of the team was superb.”
Northampton are six points adrift at the foot of League Two, but Wilder believes their result at Cheltenham has given them something to build on.
“We talked about going on runs and we will be going for wins, but we have to make sure we get a point at least and we have done that here,” he added.
“It’s been a ridiculously hectic week and the boys have had a lot chucked at them in a short space of time from me and Alan (Knill, assistant manager) and we’ve had to work hard in the transfer market.
“We’ll be better in terms of team play and quality, but it’s something to work with.” Cheltenham opened the scoring when Matt Richards’ lofted pass was misjudged by goalkeeper Matt Duke, who let it bounce over his head and Jamie Cureton tapped into the empty net after less than a minute.
Antonio German set up Ian Morris for a glorious chance to level in the eighth minute, but his shot cannoned back off the far post.
Duke then went some way towards redeeming himself with a smart block to keep out Sam Deering’s shot in the 29th minute.
Cheltenham’s Scott Brown saved well from Darren Carter, but in the 76th minute substitute Leon McSweeney’s cross was volleyed in by Blair, who took advantage of a static defence as Northampton deservedly drew level.
Cheltenham’s assistant manager Neil Howarth said: “Frustration and anger is the feeling after that one because it’s happened too many times.
“We have taken the lead in games and not gone on to win and it’s another mistake that’s cost us picking up a much-deserved victory.
“We created the most chances and they had three attempts on goal, but while it’s 1-0 and we are not killing teams off, they still have a chance to get something out of the game.
“If you make a mistake like we have done, it affects results obviously.
“We weren’t set up right from the throw-in and they have taken it quickly, but it was a hopeful ball in and between the keeper and defenders in that area, we should have been on the end of it.”
LEVELLER: Northampton’s Matty Blair is mobbed after making it 1-1 STAR MAN MATT