>Northampton Town 2-3 Burton Albion
Tuesday, March 1st 2011
Well the sequence of draws is over. But it wasn’t a glorious triumph that ended the run, nor a moment of huge relief but a disappointing defeat to a struggling Burton Albion side that meant the club record for draws was only equalled and not over taken. The result means that the previous run of tied games looks even worse and there’s now a fight on hand for the players to show their worth ahead of the summer and the manager to turn things around before the boo boys start swooping once more.
Burton, who scored three times in ten minutes last season to beat us by the same score line at the Pirelli Stadium, must have sensed a repeat as they stormed into a three goal lead in the first half. The early signs weren’t good with a poor back pass from Dean Beckwith selling Chris Dunn short and Dunn stopping a certain goal.
But the deserved goal that gave the visitors the lead did arrive a few minutes later when good work from Jacques Magoma on the left hand side set up the chance for Andy Corbett to knock the ball home from close range. The Cobblers were simply not in the game and Leon McKenzie’s effort soon after the goal was as close as we would come until Albion stretched their lead to 3-0 through a superb effort from John McGrath and a disaster for Dunn on his 100th appearance for the club. Dunn caught a cross but tumbled into his own net and that summed up the first half.
John Johnson did pull one back before the break but there was still evidently so much work to do. Andy Holt, a stalwart and someone you have to feel sorry for at the moment, hit the woodwork before making it 3-2 on the hour with a header from a Michael Jacobs free kick.
Jacobs had an equaliser ruled out for an apparent push on the defender when turning him but you got the feeling that we would get back into it. McKay hit the post with an agonising header in the late flurry of chances for the Cobblers but after Holt shot wide it was all over and the chance of an almighty fight back was over.
It was the first half showing that killed this one for us and contrary to previous games in which we’ve let leads go it was a few goals against that got us going and creating chances and that needs to be addressed. If we don’t kick on until behind and can’t hold on to leads then we’ll be in big trouble. There’s still time to go either way in this table and the effects of being dragged into the wrong end of the League Two table need to be instilled into the players.
Shrewsbury at home and Chesterfield away are next…daunting prospects at the best of times but it would be just like us to go and win both of those!
Elsewhere in League Two…
Chesterfield went nine points clear of Wycombe at the top of League Two by beating them 4-1 last night. Wanderers still have a game in hand but it’s still looking like the safe money being with the Spireites in the race for the title and promotion. In the other big game at the top, Bury came away from Shrewsbury with all three points in a 3-0 victory that takes them up to third place.
Rotherham have dropped out of the top three after a draw at Torquay whilst Gillingham hold on to seventh after drawing at Aldershot. That’s because Oxford were beaten by Lincoln who had two own goals to thank for their victory.
Meanwhile, Cheltenham were victorious over Stockport who remain rooted to the bottom of the table and won’t be helped by Burton’s win at Sixfields.