SEVEN HEAVEN FOR WILDER

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jef­fer­son Lake

SHREWS­BURY’S un­beaten home record dis­ap­peared as Northamp­ton main­tained their ex­cel­lent form of 2015 with a sev­enth win in nine games, leav­ing boss Chris Wilder to toast a job well done.

Only Chelsea had beaten the Shrews at the New Meadow this term but the Cob­blers tamed them with a dom­i­nant per­for­mance which has en­hanced their own hopes of be­ing in­volved in the pro­mo­tion pic­ture this sea­son.

Chris Hack­ett got the ball rolling for the vis­i­tors at Shrews­bury with an in­stinc­tive first-time shot from the edge of the box which beat Jayson Leutwiler all ends up.

The hosts had con­trib­uted al­most noth­ing to the game but had sought to re­vi­talise them­selves with a half-time pep talk from Micky Mel­lon and a dou­ble sub­sti­tu­tion, only to see their op­po­nents ex­tend their lead with a copy­book free-kick. Joel By­rom ran over the ball and then col­lected a pass from Ricky Holmes, who had feinted a shot, be­fore ri­fling it home off the far post.

Shrews­bury only got into their stride in the fi­nal ten min­utes, re­duc­ing the deficit through a Mickey Demetriou header but fail­ing to pro­duce the sec­ond goal that would have de­nied Northamp­ton and what their manager Wilder felt was their best win of the sea­son.

“I can’t dis­agree that it was our best re­sult of the sea­son, es­pe­cially af­ter los­ing the lead­ing goalscorer in the di­vi­sion right be­fore it,” he said.

“It was a de­served re­sult. We had to de­fend for our lives in the last ten min­utes and we over­came that.

“We knew we would have to pro­duce a spe­cial per­for­mance in this game; Shrews­bury have got a fan­tas­tic record at home this sea­son and it was al­ways go­ing to take a big per­for­mance.

“They are a very danger­ous side to play. To go un­beaten up to this stage of the sea­son is a great achieve­ment but we backed our­selves with our big play­ers.

“We had noth­ing to lose but we didn’t want to come here just to make the num­bers up.

“We came out of the traps and dom­i­nated the first half, we per­haps should have scored more goals.”

Shrews­bury boss Mel­lon was stoic about the dis­ap­pear­ance of his team’s proud home record and of­fered praise to Northamp­ton for cap­i­tal­is­ing on their lack­lus­tre dis­play to en­sure they left with all three points.

“You have to give Northamp­ton credit, I al­ways try to be hon­est and I thought they pro­duced a very good per­for­mance,” he said.

“It took us too long to get go­ing and we gave our­selves too much to do af­ter con­ced­ing.

“We gave it a go late in the game but we didn’t take the chances that came our way and by then it was too late any­way.

“When you see three peo­ple stand­ing on the ball at a free-kick you have to think some­thing is go­ing to hap­pen and the play­ers have to spot that.

“Be­cause we were on our heels, we con­ceded right af­ter half-time and af­ter we made our changes and it was an up­hill battle af­ter that.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age

MAN HUG: Northamp­ton Town mid­fielder Chris Hack­ett and Law­son D’Ath cel­e­brate

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