Matty’s pressure kick the difference
NORTHAMPTON manager Justin Edinburgh revealed that it was orders from the bench that led to Matty Taylor taking and scoring his side’s late penalty to earn a crucial victory over AFC Wimbledon.
With four minutes remaining it seemed these two sides would play out their second goalless draw of the season after a lacklustre and low-quality contest, only for there to be a late twist.
Dons defender Chris Robertson needlessly handled inside his own penalty area from a Northampton corner, leaving referee Nigel Miller no option but to award the Cobblers a late spot-kick.
And after skipper Marc Richards missed his previous two, Edinburgh ordered Taylor to step up and take responsibility, and the midfielder made no mistake, sending Wimbledon goalkeeper James Shea the wrong way from 12 yards.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Edinburgh. “We were resolute and when the one opportunity came along we took it.
“In terms of football we’ve probably played better since I’ve been here but that’s a complete away performance as far as I’m concerned.
“It was a big call for Matty to take the penalty. Marc Richards is desperate to make amends for the previous two he missed but I just felt it was right for Matty to take it this time. He dispatched it well and I thought it was what we deserved.
“It’s a huge, huge victory for us and it was fantastic team performance.”
While the win lifts Northampton up to 15th, the Dons remain 13th and boss Neal Ardley was left to reflect on a tale of two penalty decisions.
He had no complaints over the one awarded to Northampton but felt that his side should have had an earlier spot-kick when David Buchanan seemingly handled inside the box.
But nothing was given and with Cobblers goalkeeper Adam Smith denying Darius Charles in the home side’s only clear-cut chance, Ardley’s side slipped to rare home defeat.
Ardley said: “I thought it was a 0-0 all day long. We played some good stuff in the first half and overloaded them in midfield.
“The second half they had a few half chances but the two penalty decisions are what really decided it.
“Theirs is an absolute stonewall penalty. I don’t know what Robbo is doing to give it away. And ours is a stonewall penalty too. One is given but one is not and we lose the game.”
STAR MAN MATTY TAYLOR Northampton