The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Shaun Wil­lis To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­

NORTHAMP­TON’S sur­vival hopes are be­gin­ning to look a lot rosier af­ter a sec­ond win in as many games – but boss Chris Wilder in­sists the job isn’t even half done.

John Mar­quis’ first-half shot slipped across the line fol­low­ing Bur­ton keeper Rob Lain­ton’s blun­der, mov­ing Wilder’s men level on points with third-bot­tom Wy­combe – but be­hind on goal dif­fer­ence – fol­low­ing their loss to New­port.

It fol­lows vic­tory over Ac­cring­ton last weekend and sets up a nail­bit­ing clash against the Chair­boys on Good Fri­day – and Wilder ad­mits their ri­vals’ slip-up couldn’t have come at a bet­ter time.

“It makes a change, doesn’t it?” he said. “It has hap­pened half a dozen times where we are get­ting our points but ev­ery­one else seems to win.

“But we sorted our end of the bar­gain and the other re­sults have come off from us. We came to­gether af­ter the loss to Bury (two games ago) be­cause it was not very good.

“We had a meet­ing and be­lieved over the next five games we can win them all – and now we go again.

“I think we have seen a lit­tle bit more to­geth­er­ness and more co­he­sion to our play. We won’t get car­ried away but we are on a lit­tle bit of a roll.We are in a tough sit­u­a­tion as we have been all sea­son but we have done it to­gether just as we did against Ac­cring­ton. Maybe we needed that touch of luck but John brought en­ergy and a work ethic, which was ab­so­lute top class.” In a first half of few chances, Mar­quis bagged his first goal of the cal­en­dar year just be­fore half-time when a rou­tine save squirmed from Lain­ton’s grasp and into the net.

If not for Gre­gor Robertson how­ever the Brew­ers would have im­me­di­ately dragged them­selves back in it, as the Scot threw his body in front of Shane Cans­dell-Sher­riff’s closerange strike. The Cob­blers had to with­stand a bout of early sec­ond-half pres­sure from the vis­i­tors, Adam McGurk go­ing within inches as his cross clipped the cross- bar. But by no means were Northamp­ton curb­ing their own at­tack­ing in­tent as, mid­way through the half, Robertson and Mar­quis both had chances to prod the ball home fol­low­ing a goal­mouth scram­ble.

As the game en­tered its fi­nal stages, Cob­blers skip­per Kelvin Lang­mead came on to a stand­ing ova­tion af­ter an 11-month in­jury lay­off in place of for­mer Mill­wall mid­fielder Chris Hack­ett.

On-loan Mill­wall striker Mar­quis was then thwarted su­perbly by sub keeper Dean Ly­ness as the Cob­blers saw the game out.

And with the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion spots slip­ping from the Brew­ers’ grasp, boss Gary Rowett ad­mits his side need to start prov­ing they are gen­uine play-off con­tenders.

“I’ve said to the play­ers I don’t care how we go up – I’m not go­ing to get to pick and choose – but we have to play a lot bet­ter than that to get any­thing out of the next four games and be­yond,” he said.“It was very dis­ap­point­ing, we were poor in our warm-up and we took that into the game re­ally.

“I thought they played with a bit more tempo and gen­er­ally more de­sire early on in the game.

“We couldn’t have chased it any­more – in the sec­ond half we ended up with al­most a front four but we didn’t re­ally cre­ate any chances.

“Their goal came from a poor sit­u­a­tion and that was the only real dif­fer­ence, they were more phys­i­cal and showed they had more on the line.”

PIC­TURES: Pete Nor­ton

MAIN MAN: John Mar­quis cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing Northamp­ton’s win­ner

TUS­SLE: Ricky Raven­hill tries to win the ball for Northamp­ton



TSON Northa


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