PROUD CHRIS IS IMPRESSED TO THE NINES
ASOLD-OUT Sixfields witnessed a record-breaking afternoon that left Chris Wilder claiming his Northampton side had dealt with their toughest test yet to beat Wycombe and record their ninth successive victory for the first time in the club’s 119 years.
Danny Rose’s first goal for the Cobblers secured the three points just after the hour mark, extending their lead at the top of League Two to ten points and putting them 18 points clear of fourth-placed Accrington.
Wilder’s side have now won 18 out of their last 21 games and he said: “I’m proud of the players. It’s a special day for us all and we knew this was possibly the biggest challenge that we’ve faced this season. It’s a massive, massive three points and it is a great feeling for everyone at the club.
“We have answered any critics with win-win-win this week and we have had to work hard for all three. I’m very proud of what we’re doing, where we are going, what we have done this season. The boys keep going. They are relentless and ruthless in our pursuit of what we want to do. Regardless of who we are playing or what team we have out there, we don’t give up.”
Northampton were looking to make it three wins in a week after victories over promotion-pushing Leyton Orient and Oxford United put them top of the table, but had to do so without top goalscorer Marc Richards, ruled out by an Achilles injury.
They should have been awarded a penalty after 12 minutes when Lee Martin was brought down by Marcus Bean, but instead the Millwall loanee was booked for diving.
The Chairboys were looking for back-to-back victories after last weekend’s win over Exeter and they came close to taking the lead on 28 minutes when Luke O’Nien spun his marker and whipped a deadly ball across the six-yard box, but it flashed past the outstretched foot of Sam Wood.
Wycombe came close again when a Joe Jacobson free-kick on 37 minutes found Jason McCarthy unmarked at the back post, but his first-time volley was inches wide.
Tricky Cobblers winger Ricky Holmes cut inside and unleashed a bullet drive on 54 minutes which was always rising but only narrowly missed the top corner.
Northampton broke the deadlock on 63 minutes after a great run from Holmes created space for him to link up with Martin.The striker laid off the ball to Danny Rose, and he caressed it beautifully into the top corner for his first Northampton goal.
Wycombe piled on the pressure and after 70 minutes an Anthony Stewart pile-driver forced Adam Smith into a fine fingertip save that ensured his 11th clean sheet of the campaign.
Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth had dubbed his side underdogs beforehand and couldn’t have been more proud of their performance, saying: “We came here and gave a good account of ourselves.
“We came as the underdogs but to see the Wycombe fans in their numbers and to see my boys giving everything out there against a top side made me proud.
“The day belongs to Northampton. They’ve broken a club record and they deserved to.
“I didn’t think there wasn’t a lot in the game a little bit of magic decided it. Ricky Holmes is a match winner.
“To see where we are and to see those fans and to see my players giving everything out there, I’m a proud man.”
BEATEN: Wycombe keeper Ryan Allsop, can’t keep out Danny Rose’s effort
STAR MAN RICKY HOLME