WONDER GOALS SINK NOLAN’S MEN
YOU’LL be hard pressed to find two better goals to win a football match than the strikes from Rod McDonald and Ricky Holmes for Northampton Town at Brisbane Road.
There are plenty of positives that Kevin
“It’s a good afternoon for us, but I think if any clubs around the promotion places have to come here, it will be tough for them to come and get points.”
An even opening yielded few chances with the hosts enjoying most of the possession and Northampton looking to counter down the right.
It was from that flank that the game’s first sight of goal arrived with Collins ghosting into the box and shooting just wide of the left post after a beautiful cross from Holmes.
The O’s began to find their rhythm though and Payne – deployed as a holding midfielder – was dictating the tempo for the home side who were stringing Nolan can take from the match after a strong firsthalf display from his side – Jack Payne looking particularly bright in the together some nice one-touch football.
That eventually translated into chances with Nolan causing a nuisance of himself on the right and feeding Jobi McAnuff whose shot across goal was saved low by Adam Smith.
The game began to open up as the first half wore on with Nolan releasing Frazer Shaw on the left after 30 minutes and his cross caused chaos in the Cobblers’ box with Nolan and Sammy Moore both seeing shots blocked. But, despite their good work in the first half, Orient were punished after 55 minutes when a cross from Lee Martin found its way to centre-back McDonald who produced a sublime overhead kick to middle of the park. For all their possession, however, they couldn’t create any clear-cut chances.
McDonald’s acrobatic effort was the highlight of the match but Holmes’ volley was not far behind.
The O’s showed great beat Alex Cisak. It went from bad to worse for Orient ten minutes later as a cleared ball fell to Holmes on the right flank who took one touch before unleashing a stunning volley beyond the helpless Cisak.
Collins then made it three on 84 minutes with a close-range finish before netting a second in stoppage time.
Those goals capped an impressive half from Northampton and O’s boss Nolan was full of praise for Wilder’s side.
“Northampton were fantastic and they showed us what it takes if you want to get out of this division,” said Nolan.
“They made us look ordinary in the second half.
“And if you want to hit the heights and get out of this league then that is where you need to get to.
“In the first half we matched them fight to find a way back into the match.
But the Cobblers showed why they are the dominant force in League Two as James Collins added two more goals to compound the hosts’ misery. but you have to give credit to them because they contained us and they put blocks in and cleared it when they needed to – they showed what is needed to win games.
“We have to match them for 90 minutes and we haven’t.
“You see what a good team they are and their finishing was simply fantastic.
“Sometimes you just have to take your hat off to the opposition and I am doing that because we have lost to a side that will probably win the league.”
LIFT-OFF: Ricky Holmes celebrates his goal and, right, O's player-boss Kevin Nolan fails to get on the end of a cross STAR MAN RICKY HOLME