The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO -

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

S Northa


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