Shoddy Cobblers in need of repair
GRAHAM Alexander believes Gareth Evans fully deserved his matchwinning double against bottom club Northampton Town on his first start of 2014.
The winger struck in each half to secure the Cod Army’s first win in five and maintain the twopoint gap behind third-placed Oxford.
Despite withstanding some late pressure the hosts looked in control throughout and Alexander spoke of how his match-winner has had to wait patiently for his opportunity.
“We had to take the game to Northampton and I think the likes of Gaz and Jamille [Matt] gave us that attacking threat,” he said.
“Gaz played his position really well. He deserved his two goals and you know what you’re going to get with him. He’s been out of the team and he’s worked his socks off to get back into it.
“He’s a great lad, a great team player and he deserved his goals.
“We had to win the game to get back on track. It was one of those where we had to stay solid for as long as possible then unleash the attacking stuff.
“In the last couple of games we’ve conceded in the last minute of the first half and it’s put us under pressure so we wanted to take the game to Northampton and put them on the back foot.”
Evans put the hosts on the way to victory when he latched onto Steven Schumacher’s precise pass to loft the ball over Matt Duke.
They were almost made to pay for two horrendous misses from Matt when John Marquis headed wide and Alan Connell went close with an inventive chip.
The contest was killed when Parkin crossed for Evans to head home his seventh of the season.
But Cobblers boss Chris Wilder was left feeling optimistic his side can get out of trouble despite being five points from safety.
“There’s mixed emotions for me,” he said.
“We’ve played a powerful team at this level.
“They’ve got some good players, a good squad and a good group.
“They’ve had a couple of chances on the break but during the game I think we were well in it.
“We just possibly needed to be a touch better in the final third.
“It was a little bit closer than the score line represents and I think if their manager is honest about it he’ll be delighted with the result.
“I’ll never be happy going into a changing room when we get beaten but for a team that’s around the top and a team that’s unfortunately around the bottom we showed good signs.”
STAR MAN MARK ROBER