THE MYSTERY of what happened to late world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier’s boxing trunks was solved at the County Ground on Easter Monday.
Northampton striker Adebayo Akinfenwe is a big lad and he has not got any smaller since starting to spend more time in the gym. He came with a record of being one of the division’s top scorers with 17 goals – considerably more than any of Swindon’s front men – but although he occasionally proved a handful, Alan McCormack and Aden Flint coped with him very well.
Swindon Town’s 1-0 win, which leaves them seven points clear at the top of League 2 with a game in hand of second-placed Torquay, was again built on a miserly defence. That’s now 23 clean sheets from 41 games – and nine in the last 11 – in the league this season. Macca deservedly won the man of the match award and Flint is fast getting back to his best form, too. Joe Devera may not give us the attacking thrust that injured skipper Paul Caddis brings to the party, but he was very solid defensively and Jay McEveley already seems well at home in the left back role.
The value of whipping crosses in at pace was first demonstrated by McEveley in the opening half when he almost set up a goal for Paul Benson. When the winner did come, it was from a similar cross from Lee Holmes, who is in the enviable position of picking up two league winners’ medals this season – for his home club Southampton in the Championship and Swindon. I’d have to say Holmes’s effort looked more cross than shot, but it was hit with pace and swerve (using the wind) and proved impossible to defend, as it cleared the Cobblers’ defensive line and bounced into the net.
It was Town’s only goal but they were fairly comfortable winners. Benson, Raffa De Vita and Alan Connell, particularly the latter pair, should at least have tested the keeper instead of being wasteful in the second half.
In the first period, Northampton’s threat came from the wind-assisted torpedo throw-ins of former Town starlet Ben Tozer. Ultimately, all were well dealt with.
It was an efficient professional job done on a team in a rich vein of form and Aidy Boothroyd can have no complaints about the result. The score was the same as for the Good Friday win over Morecambe and pleased the manager Di Canio much more, if not having him gushing with praise.
Di Canio seems to have fallen out of love with his January signing Luke Rooney, who was summarily withdrawn after showing, in the boss’s view, it seemed, less than 100 per cent commitment on a charge into the box early in the second half. Rooney has to buck up his ideas if he wants to play a permanent role. Within seconds of his substitution we were in front.
It is now unlikely that we can ensure promotion next Saturday in the home game with Plymouth – but it is only a matter of time.