Rico leaves it late to keep Town unbeaten


York City 1-1 Northampton Town

League Two

Saturday, August 16th 2014

Oh I do love a last minute goal to celebrate! When the Cobblers lined up a free kick in the dying seconds at Bootham Crescent on Saturday most of my negative nerves were screaming out that it was going over the stand, into the wall or well wide of target and that we’d be suffering defeat for the first time this season. But, for some reason, this season hasn’t begun like our normal stuttering style and Chris Wilder just won’t lie down away from home. Marc Richards stepped up, curled the ball past the wall and into the net without York’s keeper Jason Mooney even moving to stop it.

That strike meant that York had conceded three times in three games in stoppage time after a 1-1 draw against Tranmere last weekend and a 1-0 defeat at home to Doncaster on Tuesday night but the Cobblers had no sympathy and walked away with a point dragged back from a situation that looks all but lost. There had been hardly an attack from Town in the twenty minutes since they fell behind to Anthony Straker’s first goal for his new side.

Straker may not be able to completely claim the goal after his corner evaded everyone including a scrambling Matt Duke to nestle into the corner of the net mid-way through the second half but he’ll have as much thought for Duke as we did for his team late on. It had been a pretty even game up until that point with Town making occasional breaks through Ivan Toney – starting with Marc Richards up front with John-Joe O’Toole also playing at the tip of a three man midfield – causing plenty of problems.

Our old friend John McCombe was in the thick of the action on the half hour when it seemed like he pulled down Toney. It looked like McCombe was set for another red card against us until referee Darren Handley whipped out a yellow card for the Cobblers striker instead.

After the break, the home side were back on the ascendancy with Michael Coulson rattling the post before Straker’s bizarre corner floated all the way in. The Minstermen were looking like the more likely to score the second and kill us off but when the late free kick was given on the edge of the area there was that slither of hope that usually only works in giving you false optimism of happy ending to a Saturday afternoon.

Rico had other ideas of course and he’ll be the most relieved man in the side that the net rippled thanks to his effort. He took months and months to break his duck in his last tenure with the Cobblers, hitting the bar and post on numerous occasions and having his first goal erased from the record books after the “great winds” of the Huddersfield home game that had to be abandoned after he put us a goal in front. He’s returned a more experienced player and hopefully this is the start of him picking up where he left off.

The fixture clog up of early August continues on Tuesday evening with a trip to Portsmouth who will surely be amongst the front runners in League Two this season. Pompey are a different beast since their troubles of last term and if we remain unbeaten after that one then we’ll have done very well indeed at Fratton Park.

Wilder, though, is a stubborn opponent on the road and won’t let his side go down without the sort of fight we’ve already shown in the early goings so far.

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