Tom Reed looks at the visit of MK Dons to Sixfields…
Junior Morias’ stoppage time chip ignited Sixfields under heavy winter skies and clinched a draw for Northampton in the ‘non-derby’ with Milton Keynes. Town fans won’t accept the match as a derby due to the contentious way their opponents from 20 miles down the M1 were formed and while the Cobblers didn’t quite give the plastics a leathering, the shoe army departed the happier.
The squat Morias, signed from Northampton’s proper rivals Peterborough, raced on to a 91st minute Sam Hoskins knock forward to chip the ball high over Milton Keynes stopper Lee Nicholls and into the North Stand net. The diddy striker, whose official height of 5ft 8 is stretching it, produced a massive finish and cupped his ears to raucous celebrations around Sixfields. The customers in the nearby multiplex cinema would have heard the home fans roar while the MK fans were left pig-sick after their side had dominated much of the meaningful play.
Milton Keynes had been given a leg up via an ultra soft penalty on 20 minutes that could have been sponsored by Andrex. Coggins, the ref last week V Swindon gave a penalty before changing his mind and the man in black V MK might have been minded to do the same after whistling for the slightest of shirt pulls from Ash Taylor on Chuks Aneke.
None of the MK players contested Taylor’s shadowing of Aneke, making the decision from Premier League whistler Graham Scott all the more confusing. The maligned Cobblers keeper Dai Cornell got down well to save Arsenal schooled Aneke’s spot kick but Town couldn’t mop up the rebound leaving Alex Gilbey to dispatch.
Milton Keynes always seem to dominate the play v Northampton and although the stats show 50-50 possession, MK boss Paul Tisdale, in his trademark titfer, would have been more content with his side’s impact at half time.
Cobblers gaffer Keith Curle is an uber-tinkerer and his side undoubtedly suffered from the bittyness of yet more changes. Billy Waters made one of his rare starts but the winger impacted little on an anxious Cobblers game all too attached to the long ball.
Things got worse for Northampton’s defence, tinfoil tearable under leaden skies on 69 minutes when Aneke doubled the MK lead with a cute turn and finish in the Town box. Ex-MK winger Daniel Powell, a makeshift Cobblers wing-back, was exposed on the retreat and wasn’t helped by pinball Town defending which enabled Aneke to notch.
The MK fans had been sent to the stadium via a marched escort from the train station and Northampton faced a similar slog to get back into the game.
Yet, Town targetman Andy Williams, on song once more, was given space wider than a mile for a 78th minute header that gave the Cobblers a route back in.
In Junior Morias and Sam Hoskins, Keith Curle has two rapid players capable of turning up the stress levels for the opposition in the dying minutes of matches and that proved to be the case.
The tiny pair, complete contrasts to the other lofty goal scorers Aneke and Williams, combined with the clock ticking to ensure it was honours even with regards local pride.
Milton Keynes remain in the top 2 in the division while Northampton are ten points off the playoffs. Both sides are targeting promotion but MK looks the likelier to worry League 1 at this stage. Draw specialist Cobblers need a wheeler-dealing transfer window to bring in players capable of bossing matches like this.
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