Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-3 Northampton Town
Capital One Cup
Tuesday, August 12th 2014
Add Wolverhampton Wanderers to the list. The League Cup has become a competition that the Cobblers have used to create historical and jubilant moments in recent years with last night’s win at Molineux the latest in a long line of upsets. While we haven’t ever threatened to reach the heights of the likes of Bradford City in terms of progression through to the later stages we have made moments and memories in earlier rounds before making a graceful exit and this was no different.
It took three attempts to down Wolves after two previous ties against them saw us lose 4-0 and 3-1 at Sixfields but somehow Town turned everything on its head with a stunning away win last night to move into Round Two. It was a performance built on defensive organisation, swift break away football and the right amount of guts and determination that’s always needed if you’re going to knock off a side of this stature on their own patch.
I said after the Liverpool win in 2010 that the League Cup is often looked down on but when you get a night like this as a ‘smaller’ side only the feeling of promotion really tops it. Call it an over the top assessment if you like but what it definitely represents is an early reminder to anyone still in summer holiday mode how proud a group of footballers can make us – anyone still not fully engaged with the football season starting before this game will undoubtedly be all in now.
The first half was all about three disallowed goals and the Cobblers making it to the break with a clean sheet somehow still intact. There seemed no great arguments from Wolves players about the decisions and it says a lot about the organisation of the new look back four that Wilder placed his trust in that the line was held brilliantly all three times. There were brief attacks on the home goal through a deflected Ivan Toney shot and a Ricky Ravenhill effort but there were no signs of what was to come as the half-time whistle sounded.
Town started well in the second half and forced a couple of chances before Lawson D’Ath was introduced. The player who had previously scored on his debut for his last two clubs was about to make it three out of three on a big stage. After coming off the bench in the 55th minute he took just three minutes to strike when he got on the end of a flick from Toney and, after a bit of luck with the bounce, the former Reading man brought the ball under control and stabbed it under home keeper Aaron McCarey.
It was game on from there and a crazy few minutes ensued. Town fans were in dreamland when Kaid Mohammed – one of those to excel on the night – sent in a corner for Toney to nod home into the corner for his fifth goal in his last four Cobblers games. The young lad’s stature is growing at an incredible rate and he’s making big problems for Wilder to deal with selection wise for the coming games. The fact that he’s one of our own just makes it that bit more special every time he finds the net. A slender lead just became a huge possibility of a shock.
Wolves weren’t done with this one, though, and fought back impressively within minutes as Nouha Dicko, scorer of thirteen goals last season, finished from close range and then Sam Ricketts hammered in a belter from distance to seemingly break the hearts of the travelling contingent. It was surely now all about the Championship side finishing the job.
But huge credit to the Cobblers for what came next – rather than accept a fate or hold out for extra time and the lottery of penalties we rallied again and that man D’Ath made the most of hesitation in the home defence to nip in and loop a header over the keeper for 3-2 with fifteen minutes to go.
Now was the time to finally shut up shop…there was something big to hold on to and Ben Tozer’s introduction for Danny Alfei, who had been tormented by Wolves winger Liam McAlinden for most of the night made sense. Tozer’s debut was that unforgettable night at Anfield and the longest serving current Town player helped to see out another big win for his side. There were five minutes of injury time for the second game in a row but we held firm for another magnificent result to add to the archives.
Tonight’s draw follows the live game at Sixfields of Coventry taking on Cardiff City and with one big player in Man United thrown in to Round Two for the first time in years and a host of other Premier League possibilities we wait to see who could be next in line.
Even if we do go out now we still have another notable result to ink into the books.