Northampton 0 Swindon Town 1

By Peter Mitchell

At the end of the season we may look back and see this as a highly important away win for Swindon, beating the Cobblers by the single goal. With Exeter, Crewe and Plymouth all winning again, taking games in hand for all three into account, the top four could now be extremely close.

The first half of this game was scrappy, drab, and frankly it reminded me of a bad local Sunday league match. I felt very fortunate that I was paying to watch this remotely, rather than travel like 1,500 loyal fans did. Swindon couldn’t put any sustained pressure on the Northampton defence and relied on a few, almost half-hearted, breakaways. The home side looked the most likely to score and Steven Benda in the Swindon goal made two or three vital saves when Northampton broke through.

Lloyd Isgrove made a start for Swindon, and was much more in the game than of late. Once again Anthony Grant, acting as stand-in captain, was tremendous in both his endeavour and his effectiveness. I love watching this player. He wins 95% of all his tackles, either with a good strong challenge or by falling over and winning the free kick.

For once Eoin Doyle was the provider of a vital goal, rather than the scorer. Receiving the ball wide on the left he floated a perfect high cross into the goal mouth, and the unlikely Jordan Lyden, totally unwatched, stole in to power home a strong header.

Northampton didn’t come close to equalising in the remaining twelve minutes, but Town almost doubled their lead in injury time. Jerry Yates, on as a late sub, received the ball in his own half and took it into the home box before firing against the cross bar.

Swindon entertain the disappointing Scunthorpe on Saturday, and a new injury concern is Paul Caddis who was forced off after half an hour with a possible hamstring problem. With others breathing down their neck, Town cannot afford to slacken off the pace.