Northampton Town 2-1 Dagenham and Redbridge

Bayo - second half goal

It didn’t matter that this was far from a perfect and free flowing performance. It wasn’t of any concern that the visitors deserved something from the game or that their pressure – the match ended with 19 corners for the Daggers to our 3 – should have seen us at least drop two points. All that mattered was that three points were recorded at home for the first time this season and that we could finally look forward to watching the Football League show safe in the knowledge that a Cobblers win would sneak on to the programme.

Indeed the Cobblers struck when it mattered to 12 points from 10 games. After a bit of a scramble in the Daggers’ area, Arron Davies marked his return from injury to smash the ball in off the underside of the cross bar to settle the nerves and give us something to battle for against a visiting side that had lost their last four games in League Two.

Davies would go close again before half time, having a decent effort tipped wide by Dagenham keeper Chris Lewington before Bayo Akinfenwa nearly doubled the lead as well.

Dagenham piled on the pressure at the start of the second half with a number of chances threatening to equalise before Bayo sunk them with a smash and grab header at the back post to make it 2-0.

The away fans must have been fairly annoyed at that after their sustained pressure leading up to it but not too many Town fans inside Sixfields or around the country would have been too fussed at that, such is the massive need for points in the tightest of leagues.

Five points separate top spot and twelfth place after ten games and by hook or by crook we need to come through this period of discontent with as many blocks of three as possible so that it’s not another season of struggle at the wrong end of the table. No matter what’s going on behind the scenes it’s what happens on the pitch that will ultimately keep us afloat and this was exactly the type of match that we needed to pick up a win from.

Dagenham would go on to snatch a late goal from Oliver Lee but it was too late for them to mount any sort of big come back and the Cobblers saw out only a third victory of the season.

So that’s the big ten game mark that’s been talked about – the marker set in place at the start of the season for us to judge the current crop of players and it’s been the usual roller coaster ride of emotions and off the field antics. Still, we have two more points than we did at this stage last season thanks to this stubborn display and now face a tough double away at *shudder* Underhill and in the live Sky game against Crawley at Sixfields and the battling qualities will need to be back in full effect for those two.

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