Jefferson Lake’s Cobblers view and player ratings: Platt and Charles shine at Sixfields

SOLID PERFORMANCE - Anthony Charles was impressive against Dagenham (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
SOLID PERFORMANCE - Anthony Charles was impressive against Dagenham (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

The Cobblers’ first game of 2013 produced a gritty victory with two unfashionable members of the first-team squad at its cornerstones.

Clive Platt has endured a constant battle to win over the hearts and minds of the club’s supporters ever since his eyebrow-raising summer arrival but is gradually building his standing among those in the stands.

Against Dagenham his quality manifested itself in two assists for goals - the first was a typical piece of play, a flicked header that spun into the away side’s net off the thigh of captain Abu Ogogo for the game’s opener.

The second was a moment of real class, a raking crossfield pass that was inch perfect for Chris Hackett to take and pin back his marker before unleashing an unstoppable shot.

So often Platt’s work is outside the box or in deeper areas and undetected by anyone unless they are a scout or have set out to specifically examine the striker’s skills.

But his big moments against Dagenham were impossible to ignore, as were those of another player who doesn’t get much fan mail from the Sixfields faithful - Anthony Charles.

Charles is often seen as the poor relation of the available centre-backs, one who only ever fills in when others are absent, and because of this transient nature of his role in the squad he does struggle to make good decisions on a consistent basis.

If he was given a long run in the side, such intricacies would become second nature as he gradually got into a central defensive groove.

Charles was good against Dagenham but is unlikely to get his much-desired run in the side, with Clarke Carlisle due to re-sign in time for Saturday’s game against Fleetwood and so the point is pretty much moot.

Carlisle is just one of a number of reinforcements the squad will receive in January. Luke Guttridge is fit again, John Johnson is a week or two away from fitness and David Artell is not far behind him.

Platt and Charles are almost starting again with the Cobblers supporters, gradually proving themselves even though the season is half complete.

With those players showing their true colours and three more coming back from long spells in the treatment room, the need for transfers is greatly reduced, even with the window now open.

As the old cliche goes, getting players back from lengthy injuries is like getting new signings. This year, that might prove more true than ever before.

Jefferson’s ratings

LEE NICHOLLS

Early shot meant he had no chance with Dagenham’s goal ...7

BEN TOZER

Competitive in defence and offered something going forward too ...7

KELVIN LANGMEAD

Got another crucial goal - or did he? Probably not, but he was a presence in both boxes ...7

ANTHONY CHARLES

Cool, calm, collected and also produced a near error-free performance ...8

JOE WIDDOWSON

A welcome return at full-back for one of the team’s truly consistent players ...7

CHRIS HACKETT

Took his goal excellently but this was one of his quieter games for the club ...7

BEN HARDING

Did everything he usually does with aplomb, and won countless second balls ...7

LEWIS HORNBY

Struggled to get into it during the first half and it seemed to pass him by at times ...6

JAKE ROBINSON

Defenders had done their homework, channelling him inside and into the traffic ...6

CLIVE PLATT

An exemplary number 10 performance and laid on two of the team’s three goals ...8

ADEBAYO AKINFENWA

Not his greatest game but - as usual - was being fouled almost constantly ...6

Substitutes:

LUKE GUTTRIDGE (for Hornby, 63mins)

Started off well but faded a little in what was essentially a fitness-building exercise ...6

LOUIS MOULT (for Platt, 79mins)

Gave it absolutely everything he had for the brief cameo he was afforded ...6

Not used: Demontagnac, Snedker, Turnbull, Dias, Moyo

Man of the match: Platt