Amongst a massive outbreak of ‘handbags‘ yesterday at Adams Park, a game of football took place and finished honours even. Aaron Holloway’s well taken injury time header extended The Chairboys unbeaten run to eight games and what a way to score your first league goal. More plaudits should be given to Gareth Ainsworth for giving this discarded rough diamond a chance, if Aaron can achieve full fitness he could be real threat in League Two.
Most people knew what to expect from a Chris Wilder side and the Cobblers manager got his tactics spot on. Paul Hayes has been the fulcrum of Wycombe’s attacking play and Ricky Ravenhill was deployed in front of the back four to shut this supply line down. The Chairboys skipper has been excellently dropping off in the space between the defence and midfield, holding the ball up and bringing in other players. By squeezing that space in the middle, Northampton blunted Wycombe’s attack whilst nicking a goal of their own through the impressive Ryan Cresswell, shortly after D’ath had missed a glorious chance.
The Chairboys appeared in the second half visibly energised by the gaffers half time talk and with Northampton sitting back Wycombe edged the second half. The introduction of Aaron Holloway for the subdued Matt McClure on sixty four minutes added to the pressure on the visitors. Ten minutes from time, Northampton were rescued by the linesman’s flag which was waved correctly for offside after Paul Hayes had nodded in a rebound from close range. This incident really lit the blue touch paper on an already feisty match which the referee never had control of. The dismissal of Gregor Robertson for a second yellow, punishing supposed time wasting, was harsh as the full back was waiting for a substitution to be made. It summed up the referees afternoon as he had been far too lenient and got the card out at the wrong moment. The home side grabbed the initiative and Jordan Archers excellent save from a Sam Wood shot gave Holloway his chance to shine from the corner.
I don’t like to talk about referees. It’s a tough job and I wouldn’t fancy having a go at it, but yesterday Pat Miller had a bad day at the office. His afternoon could have been made a lot easier had he grasped control of the game in the first half. A glaring example was the Cobblers forward Ivan Toney who littered his display with persistent fouls and kicking the ball away after the whistle. He wasn’t booked until ten minutes from time. The over zealous celebrations at the end sparked a melee which resulted in the comedic site of poor Pat waving his yellow card around at will, albeit about seventy minutes too late.
A point earned for Wycombe and a fair result on reflection. The team spirit was there for all to see at Adams Park and it is this that will stand them in good stead as the long winter approaches.
For my post match interview with Gareth Ainsworth click here
Here are the commentary highlights from Bill Turnbull and myself. Many thanks to Keith Cummings for the audio.
Mobile & tablet version here