Another League Cup moment for gutsy Cobblers…

League Cup

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.

Northampton Town v Wolverhampton Wanderers (Capital One Cup Second Round): Match Preview

Northampton Town v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Capital One Cup Second Round

Thursday, August 30th 2012

For the second season in a row the Cobblers have been handed a repeat draw in the League Cup as we host the side that knocked us out of last season’s competition in convincing fashion, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Having been dumped out by Ipswich in 2010 and then gaining revenge on them a year later by putting them out in the First Round, Aidy Boothroyd will be hoping for a repeat after Wolves’ big win at Sixfields a year ago.

Happy Sixfields memories for Wolves…

Last season’s League Cup Second Round saw Wanderers win 4-0 at Sixfields thanks to goals from Sylvain Ebanks-Blake (2), Nenad Milijas and Sam Vokes. They went on to win 5-0 in the Third Round against Millwall but were knocked out by Manchester City who won 5-2 at Molineux in the fourth.

Under new management…

Mick McCarthy was dismissed by Wolves back in February after six years at the club with his successor Terry Connor unable to keep them in the Premier League. But now there’s a sense of fresh hope with new boss Stale Solbakken taking the job over the summer and the former FC Copenhagen and FC Koln boss is hoping for a quick return to the top flight.

Mixed start…

Solbakken was handed a difficult opener to his first season in English football management with a 1-0 defeat at Leeds United welcoming them into the Championship. But from there they saw off Barnsley in comfortable fashion, winning 3-1 at Molineux before drawing 1-1 with Derby County at the weekend in a game that saw Derby’s Theo Robinson equalise in stoppage time.

Boukari…new recruit

New Faces…

Wolves have brought in two new faces this week with the signings of winger Razak Boukari on a four year deal from Rennes and Bakary Sako on a three year contract from St Etienne. They join other summer recruits Frank Nouble, Bjorn Sigurdson, Georg Margreitter, Tongo Doumbia and Slawomir Peszko at the club.

The Cobblers have also strengthened this week with the acquisition of Danny East on a one month loan deal from Hull City and he goes straight into the squad.

Team News…

The Cobblers will once again have to field rookie goalkeeper Dean Snedker after Wigan’s refusal to allow Lee Nicholls to play in the competition. Snedker came through the First Round clash with Cardiff and will again have a chance to shine. Aidy Boothroyd has mentioned that fringe players may get a chance with the likes of Henoc Mukendi, Louis Moult, Lewis Wilson and Anthony Charles also possible inclusions. Bayo Akinfenwa is also on the sub’s list at the moment and could get his first start of the season. With a trip to Plymouth coming two days after this match there could be a fair bit of chopping and changing from the Town boss.

Wolves are in a similar boat and are also likely to change around their side again. Those definitely missing are Karl Henry (hamstring) and Jamie O’ Hara (hernia) whilst Bakary Sako is awaiting international clearance for the game.

Previous Meetings…

23/08/11: Cobblers 0-4 Wolves (League Cup Second Round)

Just over a year ago, Nenad Milijas gave Wolves the lead in the same stage of the competition at Sixfields. Sylvain Ebanks-Blake made it two before half time and a comfortable win was sealed with late goals from Ebanks-Blake again and Sam Vokes.

The sides hadn’t previously met since May 1989 in the old Division Three when I was just four years old. That meeting at Molineux ended 3-2 in favour of Wolves but the Cobblers had won the reverse fixture the previous December 3-1. There have only ever been seven competitive games between the sides with Wolves winning four, the Cobblers two and with one draw.

Prediction…

On paper it’s another potential upset for the Cobblers but I can see this being just as much of a challenge as last season and we’ll have to be well on our game to come close. I would imagine Wolves would field a stronger side than Cardiff City did a few weeks ago and the best we can hope for will probably be a shot at extra-time. I’ll go for a 1-1 draw after ninety minutes!

***For a preview from a Wolves perspective, check out the following link: ***

http://www.wolvesblog.com/4929/northampton-town-vs-wolves-preview

Wolves again in Round Two!

So it’s Wolves again in the League Cup after this afternoon’s draw paired us with the side who knocked us out of the competition last season at the same stage. The Cobblers went down 4-0 at home to Wanderers on that occasion and it will be another struggle to get past them as their ranks look to impress new boss Stale Solbakken.

Here is the full draw, with matches set for the 28th and 29th August:

Watford v Bradford City

Swansea City v Barnsley

Yeovil v West Bromwich Albion

Coventry City v Birmingham City

West Ham United v Crewe Alexandra

Doncaster Rovers v Hull City

Carlisle United v Ipswich Town

Reading v Peterborough United

Sheffield Wednesday v Fulham

Leicester City v Burton Albion

Burnley v Plymouth Argyle

Queens Park Rangers v Walsall

Stevenage v Southampton

Nottingham Forest v Wigan Athletic

Stoke City v Swindon Town

Aston Villa v Tranmere Rovers

Crawley Town v Bolton Wanderers

Gillingham v Middlesbrough

Northampton Town v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Everton v Leyton Orient

MK Dons v Blackburn Rovers

Leeds United v Oxford United

Sunderland v Morecambe

Norwich City v Scunthorpe United