COBBLERS’ CAUSE NOT LOST YET
NORTHAMPTON’s battle against relegation took a further turn for the worse with defeat to Plymouth, although new Cobblers boss Chris Wilder is refusing to throw in the towel.
The Football League’s bottom club were a goal down after five minutes at Sixfields when Reuben Reid swept home a left-wing cross.
Lewis Alessandra bagged a second towards the end of the first half to secure a first win in this fixture for the Pilgrims since 1951.
It also ensures Northampton, who have signed six new players under Wilder and gave full home debuts to four of them, are now seven points adrift at the bottom of League Two.
The newly-installed boss recognised the ease with which Plymouth scored but insists the team he has inherited from Aidy Boothroyd has enough about it to turn things around.
“We’ve got to better defensively, the two goals we conceded were very poor,” said the former Oxford boss.
“The goals gave Plymouth a massive boost and were a knock back for us, especially the second goal which gave them a big lift before the break.
“There are no shirkers in the team and the players are having a right go at it despite all the changes.We haven’t got time and we need to affect things pretty quickly.
“There is enough experience in the side now but we need to be much harder to play through and not give teams a two-goal start. That allowed Plymouth to sit back and it was difficult for us to create chances.
“I'm confident there is enough attacking quality in the team and there will not be many more changes. This is the group of players that has got to take the opportunity but we badly need that first win.”
The game was just five minutes old when Reid pounced on a loose ball to fire the visitors ahead – his 14th of a fruitful campaign.
Jason Banton and Neal Trotman both went close to doubling Plymouth’s lead before Alessandra did grab a second on his 25th birthday, albeit somewhat fortuitously as the wind sent his cross in.
The Cobblers came closest through Alan Connell but were unable to find a goal, much to the delight of Argyle manager John Sheridan.
“It was a very good team performance and I’m very pleased with the result,” said the Argyle chief.
“Taking the three points was all important for us in this game and I thought we fully deserved to get them.
“The conditions were very difficult to play in but I thought we dealt with them a lot better than Northampton did.
“We kept trying to pass the ball and playing the way I want us to play and it was obviously very difficult in the conditions.
“The early goal settled us down a lot and I thought that we would need a second one. But I'm pleased with how we did and it was pleasing
to pick up the clean sheet.”
FAST START: Plymouth’s Reuben Reid, left, scores the opener in the fifth minute
ALL SMILES: Plymouth’s Lewis Alessandra, right
STAR MAN JAKE COLE Plymou