STAGS BEATEN WITH SLOPPY DEFENDING AT NORTHAMPTON
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Northampton Town 1 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 5454 (892 from Mansfield)
Date: 14 November 2015
Martin Shaw at Sixfields
Mansfield Town lost a tight game at troubled club Northampton Town thanks to poor play in both final thirds. The only goal came after just four minutes by Marc Richards. And the Stags only had themselves to blame as Alfie Potter skipped down the left past Nicky Hunt too easily and his cross into the middle found Marc Richards who got away from Blair Adams to head home from inside the six yard box. It was a terrible start. There was more sloppy defending in the second half as Northampton twice nearly added to their lead. The defending was disappointing as Mansfield have had such a good defensive record this season. Mansfield played some neat football with some good passing and dominated large spells of the game but the Stags were also poor in the Northampton box. The Stags had several chances but failed to test home keeper Adam Smith who was on loan at Mansfield last season. The closest the Stags came was a free kick from 20 yards from the right from Blair Adams which Matt Green headed against the bar. Green was also unlucky when he outmuscled a defender and headed onto the roof of the net. In the second half the two best chances fell to sub Adi Yussuf. Yussuf collected a good ball forward with a great first touch but then fired wide from a good position. Then in the final minute of stoppage time he slid wide from inside the six yard box after a low cross from Blair Adams. It all added up to a frustrating afternoon.
Mansfield remain in the play-off places and the overall play remains good. I thought we did enough with large spells of possession to deserve a point today, against a good side, but the play in the final third at both ends of the pitch needs to be better than this. Perhaps worth reflecting to remind ourselves how far we’ve come from last season that we are 16 points clear of the relegation zone.
The game was played in a pulsating atmosphere. It was almost a full house with 892 Stags fans and the home crowd swelled by the fear that this could Northampton’s final game. The local paper had previewed the game as follows: “It still remains quite extraordinary and almost beyond belief that this could conceivably be Northampton’s final ever match in their current form, with an appearance in the high court to come on Monday. For that reason alone, it promises to be an emotional afternoon with a sizeable crowd expected at Sixfields as fans continue to display their unwavering support for the club they love.” On the pitch, Northampton continue to produce the goods and are into the automatic promotion places.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Saturday, 14th November 2015: Northampton Town 1, Mansfield Town 0
chad.co.uk, by Sports Reporter
Mansfield Town’s goal drought goes on after an early Marc Richards header handed fellow promotion-chasers Northampton Town all three points in a 1-0 win at Sixfields this afternoon.
The Stags came into the game having not found the net in their last three games in all competitions and they were behind after four minutes.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/saturday-14th-november-2015-northampton-town-1-mansfield-town-0-1-7571610#ixzz3rrseamES
There was no shortage of pressure from the visitors, however, who threatened the Cobblers goal on numerous occasions.
But a Northampton side, who have now lost just once in their last 11 league games, survived a handful of scares to escape with victory.
The Stags were behind after just four minutes when Alfie Potter picked up the ball inside his own half, travelled all the way to the byline and crossed for Richards to head home.
Mansfield spurned two quickfire chances to equalise seven minutes later, the lively Matt Green let down by his touch before Craig Westcarr fired wide of the target from the edge of the area.
Aside from picking the ball out of his net, Stags goalkeeper Brian Jensen had very little to do inside the first half-hour, while Ryan Tafazolli headed a corner wide from six yards out at the other end.
Jensen was called into action five minutes before the break, however, when he palmed away Nicky Adams’ effort, before Green headed Blair Adams’ free-kick against the woodwork on the stroke of half-time.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin - on for Potter at half-time - was next to be denied by the woodwork, ghosting in behind the Mansfield defence to flick a dangerous cross against the crossbar.
That sparked the Stags into life, following a slow start to the half, but two teasing crosses from substitute Matty Blair went begging on the hour mark.
Ade Yussuf shot wide shortly after coming off the bench, while Jensen denied Joel Byrom at the other end but it finished 1-0.
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1 MANSFIELD TOWN 0
ntfc.co.uk, 14th November 2015
by Elliot Stonhill
Northampton Town 1 Mansfield Town 0 - the match report
SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday November 14th, 3.00pm
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1
Marc Richards 4
MANSFIELD TOWN 0
Attendance: 5,454 (892 away fans)
Cobblers: Adam Smith, Brendan Moloney, Zander Diamond, Rod McDonald, David Buchanan, John-Joe O’Toole, Joel Byrom, Lawson D’Ath (sub Jason Taylor 65), Nicky Adams (sub Ryan Cresswell 90), Alfie Potter (sub Dominic Calvert-Lewin 46), Marc Richards
Subs not used: Ryan Clarke, Sam Hoskins, Darnell Furlong, Ryan Watson
Mansfield: Brian Jensen, Mitchell Rose (sub Adi Yussuf 70), Lee Collins, Adam Chapman, Chris Clements, Matt Green, Craig Westcarr (sub Matty Blair 46), Ryan Tafazolli, Nicky Hunt, Reggie Lambe (sub Krystian Pearce 89), Blair Adams
Subs not used: Scott Shearer, Nathan Thomas, Jack Thomas, Jamie McGuire
Referee: Mr D Bond
Cobblers: Marc Richards (90, 1st of the season)
Mansfield: Nicky Hunt (47), Chris Clements (50)
5 cautions on or before 30 November; 1 match suspension
10 cautions on or before 11 April; 2 match suspension
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
Sendings off: 2 cautions in one game; 1 match suspension but cautions do not count towards above totals. Other sendings off; 1 or 3 match suspension. Extra match ban for additional sendings off.
It was 5th vs 6th at a wet and windy Sixfields as the Cobblers took on Mansfield Town. Joel Byrom replaced Jason Taylor in the only change for the home side while former Cobblers Lee Collins and Blair Adams both started for the Stags.
Read more at http://www.ntfc.co.uk/news/article/northampton-town-v-mansfield-town-2447251.aspx#UFXwGqtP0H71IOCq.99
In memory of former Northampton Town director Brian Lomax and to those who tragically lost their lives in the Paris attacks, the game was preceded by a perfectly observed minute’s silence.
The Cobblers took an early lead with their first foray forward, Marc Richards connecting well with an inch-perfect Alfie Potter cross to head home his 11th goal of the season.
With both sides somewhat cancelling each other out, Ryan Tafazolli headed wide from a corner as the first half reached the midway point. Nicky Adams tested Brian Jensen with a shot from distance on 38 minutes but the veteran Stags keeper made the save.
Mansfield went close to restoring parity in first half stoppage time, Matt Green’s header from Blair Adams free-kick hitting the top of cross bar before going behind.
Both sides made a change at half-time, for the Cobblers Dominic Calvert-Lewin coming on for Alfie Potter while Mansfield replaced Craig Westcarr with former Sixfields loanee Matty Blair.
Calvert-Lewin crashed the ball against the cross bar following another terrific delivery from Adams as the Cobblers looked to take advantage of their positive start to the second half.
With Mansfield then building up some momentum of their own, Chris Wilder brought Jason Taylor on for Lawson D’Ath.
Rod McDonald had a chance to double the Cobblers lead but the defender couldn’t quite connect when inside the six-yard box. Joel Byrom then went racing through on 78 minutes after being played in by O’Toole, only to see his effort turned behind by Jensen.
Deep into stoppage time McDonald made a superb challenge to preserve the Cobblers lead and help secure the three points, set up by Marc Richards early goal.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 4
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (0) 4
CORNERS: (0) 4
FOULS: (6) 8
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 3
MANSFIELD STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (0) 0
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (4) 7
CORNERS: (2) 7
FOULS: (4) 13
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 3
The above stats are recorded by club staff. The stats shown elsewhere on this page are recorded by Opta
Richards strike sinks Stags as Cobblers go third
northamptonchron.co.uk, by James Heneghan
Marc Richards’ fourth-minute goal was enough to earn Northampton Town another three points as they moved up to third in League Two with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Mansfield in front of their biggest home crowd of the season at Sixfields.
It was a far from vintage Northampton performance and the slippery conditions hardly helped matters in a scrappy and disjointed first half, but Richards’ early header had the Cobblers in front at half-time.
Read more: http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/sport/cobblers/cobblers-news/richards-strike-sinks-stags-as-cobblers-go-third-1-7066326#ixzz3rYaiKIfP
A first half which lacked much goalmouth action then made way for a more open and end-to-end second half as chances came at both ends with Joel Byrom going close three times for Northampton while Matt Green and Adi Yussuf threatened for the Stags but they couldn’t break down another resilient Cobblers defensive display as the home side continued their excellent form.
The result means Northampton have now lost just once in their last 10 league games, all of which have come under mounting off-field problems.
More than 5,400 fans were packed into Sixfields - the most this season to date - amid fears this could be the club’s final match in their current form with an appearance in the High Court on Monday, and those fans weren’t disappointed as Chris Wilder’s men maintained their march up the League Two table.
Wilder made just the one change from the team that beat Coventry City in the FA Cup with Joel Byrom returning from injury to replace Jason Taylor in midfield.
Northampton have made a habit of scoring early this season, and once again that was the case with less than four minutes on the clock when the hosts struck first.
Richards was the scorer with an expertly-guided header but he owed much to the sterling work of Alfie Potter, who scythed through the Mansfield defensive before delivering an inch-perfect cross from the left wing for Town’s talismanic striker to head in his 11th goal of the campaign.
Despite that setback, Mansfield had settled well and they almost pulled level when the ball fell kindly to Craig Westcarr 20 yards out but the striker could only bend an effort narrowly wide.
Matt Green’s pace was causing a few problems for the home defence and his good work won a corner, from which Ryan Tafazolli headed just wide in another reminder of Mansfield’s offensive threat.
Green’s looping header then landed on the roof of Adam Smith’s net as Mansfield continued to make much of the running against a Cobblers side who seemed to be struggling to adapt to the slippery and blustery conditions.
But they did come close to adding to their slender lead shortly before half-time when some high pressing won the ball back in a good position and space opened up for Nicky Adams but his shot was palmed away by Brian Jenson.
Aside from the early goal, neither keeper had much to do in a scrappy first half, but Mansfield came within inches of levelling right on half-time when former Cobblers loanee Blair Adams’ free-kick was headed onto the crossbar by Green in the last action of the first half.
Wilder switched things up at half-time and went to a more straightforward 4-4-2 with Dominic Calvert-Lewin partnering Richards up front having replaced Potter at half-time.
Much like the first, the Cobblers made a bright start to the second half and they came close to doubling their lead when Richards, Lawson D’Ath and Adams linked up in a slick counter-attacking move but a trip on Adams brought the attack to an end, with Byrom seeing his shot blocked from the resulting free-kick.
The switch to 4-4-2 had certainly made a difference in the early stages of the second half and Northampton were a whisker away from a second when Adams’ first-time cross was flicked onto the crossbar by Calvert-Lewin after a free-flowing Cobblers move.
Byrom then had a shot blocked from a tight angle as Town maintained their fast start to the second half.
But Mansfield then turned the tables on their hosts and had a good spell of their own as only a diving Smith prevented Green from having a simple tap-in at the back post.
The momentum had suddenly switched to the visitors who sensed an equaliser and piled on the pressure with corner after corner.
But Northampton withstood the pressure and had a glorious chance themselves to put the game beyond doubt as Adams delivered in a free-kick which found Rod McDonald but despite having acres of space inside the Mansfield penalty area, the centre-back failed to connect and the ball drifted wide.
Back at the other end, Mansfield substitute Adi Yussuf was played through on goal but under pressure from McDonald, he skewed his shot well wide.
In what was now an end-to-end affair, the Cobblers came straight back at the visitors and were again denied by Jenson, who produced a fine save from Byrom after the midfielder had been played through on goal by a smart flick from Richards.
Given their failure to score a second, it was inevitable that Northampton would come under some late pressure as Mansfield flooded men forward, but the home side remained resolute with McDonald producing one goal-saving challenge in the final minute of stoppage time to preserve the points.
Cobblers: Smith, Moloney, Diamond, McDonald, Buchanan, D’Ath (Taylor 65), O’Toole, Byrom, Potter (Calvert-Lewin 45), Adams (Cresswell 90), Richards (c)
Subs not used: Clarke, Watson, Furlong, Hoskins
Mansfield: Jensen, Hunt (c), Collins, Tafazolli, Adams, Chapman, Clements, Rose (Yussuf 70), Lambe (Pearce 89), Westcarr (Blair 45), Green
Subs not used: Shearer, McGuire, N Thomas, J Thomas
Referee: Darren Bond
Mansfield fans: 892
Defiant Northampton Town fight on in bid to avoid extinction as Cobblers maintain good run of form with victory over Mansfield
Northampton's exist will be decided on Monday in the High Court
Cobblers were issued a winding-up petition last month for unpaid tax bill
League Two side still owe Northampton Borough Council £10.25million
The 1-0 victory over Mansfield was Northampton’s sixth win in nine games
Dozens of fans raised money for Supporters’ Trust fund before the kick-off
By JAMES RESTALL FOR THE DAILY MAIL
It seems strangely appropriate that a Big Top has been erected on the hill overlooking Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium given the off-field circus which has engulfed the club this season.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3319677/Defiant-Northampton-Town-fight-bid-avoid-extinction-Cobblers-maintain-good-run-form-victory-Mansfield.html#ixzz3rhBekcK4
On Monday, the future existence of the League Two outfit will be ruled upon in the High Court after the 118-year-old club were issued a winding-up petition by HMRC last month for an unpaid tax bill of £166,000.
Yet that sum is a drop in the ocean compared with the £10.25million the Cobblers owe Northampton Borough Council. Two years ago, Northampton took out a loan from the council to build a new East Stand, only for contractors to twice down tools claiming to have not been paid what they were owed, leaving behind an unfinished concrete skeleton.
The council have since demanded their money back after it emerged that Northampton had not been meeting their loan repayments, and the PFA stepped in last week to cover the players’ salaries which had not been paid since September. The staff, including manager Chris Wilder, are yet to receive last month’s wages.
Unsurprisingly, there was a fear at Sixfields on Saturday that the game against Mansfield would be the club’s last.
Dozens of fans braved the driving rain and rattled buckets for an hour and a half before kick-off to raise money for the Supporters’ Trust fighting fund. A special edition of the fanzine was also on sale.
At a nearby pub, a signed shirt donated by former striker Adebayo Akinfenwa went under the hammer alongside other memorabilia. It is estimated around £55,000 has been cobbled together in just a few weeks. On the field, the players are doing their bit, too.
Wilder has encouraged an exciting, attacking brand of football - displayed in the fourth minute by winger Alfie Potter, who embarked on a dazzling run from inside his own half down the left flank.
The 26-year-old, who once put non-League Havant and Waterlooville ahead against Liverpool at Anfield in the FA Cup, reached the byline and lofted a left-footed cross which Marc Richards met with a towering header to seal a 1-0 victory.
It was Northampton’s sixth win in nine and Wilder believes the efforts of supporters have kept the players going through such turbulent times.
‘It filters through to the players,’ said the manager. ‘If you have the team on the pitch and the team off the pitch dragging yourself in the right way it gives you a great opportunity of succeeding and that is helping.
‘I’ve got an outstanding amount of respect for the staff who are coming in and turning up day in, day out and trying to keep this club running and giving me the best opportunity of preparing the team to go and get a result.’
It would be an even greater result if the club were to avoid liquidation. Last week the council lodged a petition for the club to go into administration, which would allow time for a rescue package to be assembled, and talks are ongoing for a takeover by former Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas.
The circus performing on the hill above Sixfields rolls out of town next week. What the future of Northampton Town will look like by then remains unclear.
Latest | November 2015