By Jon Harries
Travelling to Hull and back with three points isn’t for everyone and in fairness no one outside Stadium MK gave the Dons a chance. The second placed Tigers were firm favourites going into Saturday’s game, but it was the away side who had the brighter start. Scott Fraser delivered a delicious ball into the box and Will Grigg volleyed a shot in at the far post which was brilliantly kept out by Matt Ingram. Hull had two great chances before the break. Firstly Keane Lewis Potter broke the offside trap and Fisher made a crucial save one on one, then after a rare Fisher misplaced pass Malik Wilks failed to hit the target from distance. Halftime and all square. The second half was end to end, the best chance falling to Greg Docherty who produced a great save from Fisher. Hull began to tire and then the golden chance for the Dons presented itself with ten minutes to play. Substitute Matthew Sorinola cutting the ball back for O’Riley who from the edge of the box had his shot blocked via a hand. Penalty…… and with Scott Fraser from 12 yards “you may as well turn around and walk back to the centre circle” from then on it was all controlled by the away side and our first ever win over Hull was complete. A fantastic win away from home and momentum building.
Northampton are in a really bad situation at the moment. No wins in the League since the 29th of December and it was almost inevitable that the Cobblers got rid of “Mysterious” Keith Curle last week. When you lose the spine of Vadaine Oliver, Callum Morton and Charlie Goode from a successful side and never really replace them for the step up you are always going to struggle. Jonathan Mitchell (on loan from Derby) seems to have nailed the number one spot between the sticks. Cian Bolger is a very experienced CB alongside Alan Sheehan. Joseph Mills, and Peter Kioso (on loan from Luton) provide the thrust from out wide and both possess great creativity. Ex Don Ryan Watson provides guile in midfield. Mark Marshall has come in from the cold to provide energy alongside the talented Bryn Morris. Up top, the annoying Danny Rose and one for the future Ricky Cordoba will be looking to score the goals to keep Northampton in League 1 for another year.
Their winless run continued with a fairly dull game against Ipswich at Portman Road. Northampton started the brighter with Jack Sowerby forcing a good save from Holy. The main talking point was in the second half when referee Darren Drysdale blew up after a blatant dive by Alan Judge to try and win a penalty. As Judge came to speak to the referee it appeared Drysdale went and put his head into Judge. Chaos ensued and although Ipswich finished with ten men, Northampton will be more satisfied with the point.
The plyer in focus is Sam Hoskins who is able to play several positions within their system. His strongest position is coming from deep following up on any crosses. Signed on a free from Yeovil six years ago he is a firm fans favourite for his work rate and energy. A one goal in ten matches ratio explains the struggles at Sixfields in fact when Oliver was at the club Hoskins thrived in the partnership. It will be an interesting battle with Lewington and definitely is one to watch.
Predicted Line Up
Laird – O’Hora – Darling – Lewington – Jules
Surman – O’Riley – Fraser
Grigg – Jerome
If Jerome has recovered sufficiently from illness then he has to start for me. There’s a potential partnership with Grigg ready to thrive. Watson will also have to decide which of O’Riley and Fraser he marks as both are threats.
I predict a 3-0 home win. The Cobblers will have played three games in a week after Saturday so fatigue will set in. They will be stubborn but if the Dons can wear them down there are goals and weaknesses. Grigg, Jerome, and Brown to score from the bench.
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