The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Liam Cole­man

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


S Northa


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