KEEPER BOOB IS A LIFELINE TO COBBLERS
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.”
MAIN MAN: John Marquis celebrates after scoring Northampton’s winner
TUSSLE: Ricky Ravenhill tries to win the ball for Northampton
STAR MAN GREGO