Cob­blers’ Wilder is drained but safe

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

IT MIGHT have all ended pos­i­tively for Northamp­ton but af­ter dip­ping in and out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone on the fi­nal day boss Chris Wilder ad­mit­ted it had all taken its toll on him.

Ryan Wil­liams gave the vis­i­tors, whom Wilder left to be­come man­ager at Six­fields in Jan­uary, a lead af­ter only six min­utes.

Mean­while, Wy­combe went ahead at Torquay to en­sure some frayed nerves at a packed ground, where the big­gest crowd for 16 years was reg­is­tered for the vi­tal game.

But Wil­liams was con­tro­ver­sially sent off for kick­ing Ricky Raven­hill, giv­ing the Cob­blers a mo­men­tum in the game and one which they took full ad­van­tage of.

Teenage sen­sa­tion Ivan Toney flicked a cross into the path of John Mar­quis who fin­ished well from 15 yards.

Toney him­self then glanced in a header, with keeper Ryan Clarke in no man’s land, to put the home side 2-1 up and de­fender Mathias Doumbe con­firmed the win with a firm header early in the sec­ond half.

It brings down the cur­tain on a cam­paign which has been poor for Northamp­ton and in which they were at one stage six points adrift of safety – al­though Wilder was only fo­cus­ing on the fi­nal safe out­come.

“I’m drained but I’m elated that we’ve stayed up,” he said.“I had a quick chat with the play­ers and it’s strange be­cause this is the last time you’re all to­gether so I thanked them for all their ef­forts.

“I’ve never wa­vered in my be­lief that these were a group of League play­ers but we’ve had to work ex­tra hard to get the re­sults.

“We’ve been one of the form teams over the past few months and people were say­ing we were dead and buried so the play­ers de­serve an enor­mous amount of credit.

“We can’t be in this po­si­tion again. Ev­ery­one will have a rea­son why it’s hap­pened but the sea­son started for me when we walked in the door.

“No­body is jump­ing through hoops and say­ing we’ve had a fan­tas­tic sea­son be­cause we haven’t, but we’ve done the job that we were brought in to do.”

Ox­ford now be­gin the process of re­build­ing un­der man­ager Gary Wad­dock, who re­placed Wilder at the Kas­sam Sta­dium a month ago.

“That 90 min­utes prob­a­bly summed Ox­ford’s sea­son,” he said.“We were very good for parts of the game but then faded away.

“The red card was the turn­ing point. It was a de­layed re­ac­tion from Ryan but you can’t act like he did and get away with it.”



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