Northampton Town 5-1 Hartlepool United
Tuesday, September 16th 2014
As far as responses to a defeat goes this was pretty close to perfect. It was a night where, even after conceding a disappointing opening goal via a slip from Ryan Cresswell, the Cobblers opened their wings and let loose to devastating effect. Town showed some breath taking attacking flair, scored some excellent goals and completely blew away a Hartlepool side who didn’t know what had hit them by the end of a memorable night for Chris Wilder and his increasingly effective side.
An added bonus was the continuity of Marc Richards’ terrific run of form in front of goal. The striker is on fire at the moment and a brace against the Monkey Hangers takes him to seven goals this season already and to joint top in the League Two leading scorer charts. There were also classy performances from the likes of Kaid Mohammed, who returned after missing out at Newport to score twice himself, Chris Hackett and Lawson D’Ath. D’Ath was sent out from the start to partner Richards up front and his rise to prominence will be starting to worry Jon-Joe O’Toole, Ivan Toney and Emile Sinclair in terms of the battle for long term starting places.
You would never have guessed at what was to come when the visitors took the lead within the first minute of the game. Charlie Wyke, who later had to leave the field in worrying fashion on a stretcher, made the most of the Cobblers’ defensive error to race through and score past Jordan Archer in the Town goal.
But as soon as Richards had levelled with a penalty ten minutes later following Mohammed being felled in the area there was no looking back. Mohammed hit a sweet shot on the half volley for 2-1 after Chris Hackett had created the chance and the two combined again for the third with Hackett’s cross converted by Mohammed at the back post.
Wyke’s injury for the visitors seemed to hinder their attacking options with veteran Marlon Harewood ineffective after replacing the goal scorer. The Cobblers, though, were looking dangerous from every attack and added to their tally after the break.
D’Ath nicked a deserved goal to add to his growing collection and you would be a wise man to bet on his short term deal being extended sometime soon. He’s been effective pretty much every time he’s come off the bench and is up to four goals already including Saturday’s belter at Newport and Wilder must be looking at his contract situation this morning after another telling performance.
The last goal rounded things off marvellously as Richards produced another moment of magic to add to his own personal goal of the season competition with a stunning long range effort into the top corner. It was the perfect way to end a Cobblers performance full of intent and now focus has to go on not being complacent come the weekend visit of Accrington Stanley to Sixfields.
Stanley are reeling after losing at Oxford last night and sit in the lower reaches of the table so many will see them as there for the taking. What football does, though, is shoot you right in the foot if you get above your station and we have to channel all the positives from this win into doing it all again on Saturday. It’s a tough league to predict week in, week out and we’re not going to convert chances like this every time so it’s all going to be about finding consistency through winning in different ways.
This Cobblers side, though, is starting to look very, very exciting and giving us that hope that this could be a season we talk about long into the future for all the right reasons.