Northampton have returned to winning ways after a 2-1 victory against strugglers Charlton Athletic. The Cobblers came into the match in sour form, being defeated by Fleetwood and Oldham in the past two games, but it was the home side who came away with all three points in a tight game at the bottom half of the table.
A trio of changes were made by manager Justin Edinburgh following Tuesday’s defeat with Marc Richards, Aaron Phillips and the fit-again Luke Williams replacing Keshi Anderson, Neal Eardley and Hiram Boateng. Former Northampton winger Ricky Holmes started for Karl Robinson’s Charlton Athletic side.
After an opening twenty minutes without any clear cut chances for both sides, the Cobblers were forced to make a substitution after Gabriel Zakuani left the field with an injury. Scotsman Zander Diamond came on to partner loanee Lewin Nyatanga in central defence.
The breakthrough for the Cobblers came on 32 minutes, Michael Smith netting a powerful header into the top corner following an incredible right-wing cross from Aaron Phillips, giving Smith his first goal for the club.
Charlton were looking for a quick response and they got it when Jordan Botaka scored from close range after Adam Smith had initially denied Patrick Bauer.
Holmes smashed a free-kick over the bar and the score remained 1-1 as the teams left the field of play for half-time.
Neither side were sitting back as the second half started with both sides going for it, Charlton looking the most dangerous on the counter.
John-Joe O’Toole fired Northampton back in front on 62 minutes, the in-form midfielder with a great strike from around 14-yards that gave Charlton goalkeeper Declan Rudd absolutely no chance. Yet again, it was defender Aaron Phillips who provided the assist after a clean cross which landed at the feet of the goalscorer.
Paul Anderson was subbed on for Luke Williams with just over twenty minutes to go while the final Cobblers change saw Jak McCourt replace Millwall loanee Gregg Wylde.
Matt Taylor created a chance with another exemplary free-kick but Michael Smith couldn’t quite get enough contact on the ball. In the end, it did not matter though as the Cobblers saw the game out to claim an important three points, moving above Charlton in the league table as a result and more crucially further away from the relegation zone. Next up for Northampton is a tough trip to in-form side AFC Wimbledon.
Northampton Town 2
Michael Smith (32′)
John-Joe O’Toole (62′)
Charlton Athletic 1
Jordan Botaka (36′)
Attendance: 7,118 (1,424 away fans)
Cobblers: Adam Smith, Aaron Phillips, David Buchanan, Gabriel Zakuani (sub Zander Diamond 21), Lewin Nyatanga, Matt Taylor, John-Joe O’Toole, Luke Williams (sub Paul Anderson 68), Gregg Wylde (sub Jak McCourt 80), Marc Richards, Michael Smith
Subs not used: Keshi Anderson, Harry Beautyman, Brendan Moloney, David Cornell
Charlton: Declan Rudd, Lewis Page (sub Adam Chicksen 74), Patrick Bauer (sub Jorge Teixeira 46), Andrew Crofts, Josh Magennis, Ricky Holmes, Jordan Botaka, Ezri Konsa Ngoyo, Fredrick Ulvestad, Nathan Byrne, Lee Novak (sub Tony Watt 76)
Subs not used: Johnnie Jackson, Dillon Phillips, Joe Aribo, Jay Da Silva
Referee: Ben Toner
Charlton: Tony Watt (90)
Featured Image Credit: Matt Churchill