Cobblers up to sixth as fans’ commitment is repaid with Burton win

The Cobblers players matched the efforts of their supporters as they beat Burton to move to sixth in npower League Two..

A group of fans were at the ground at 8am, armed with shovels and wheelbarrows, to clear a pitch that had been covered by 24 hours’ worth of white stuff.

Such commitment to the claret cause was repaid by the first team, who defeat the Brewers thanks to Adebayo Akinfenwa’s 15th goal of the season, leapfrogging their opponents in the league table in the process.

The game’s first meaningful action saw Chris Hackett step inside off his wing and clip a left-footed cross to the back post for Clive Platt, whose firm downward header was well saved by Dean Lyness.

The Burton stopper was beaten seconds later though, when Adebayo Akinfenwa’s glanced header struck the top of his left-hand upright and was bundled away for an inconsequential corner.

Hackett then used his speed and trickery to create a shot for Jake Robinson at the back post, only for his eventual effort to fly past the post.

As usual, everything good was going through Hackett. On the 20-minute mark he opted to beat his marker on the inside and attempt to lob Lyness, the effort missing the back post by the narrowest of margins.

Town played some good, passing football in the first half and almost profited from it when Luke Guttridge hooked a volley a couple of yards wide from Joe Widdowson’s left-wing cross.

Chances did not flow as freely after the interval, with players all too often electing for a more comfortable passing option than to take on the responsibility of a shot.

At the one of one such deliberation-packed move, the ball eventually came to Ben Tozer at right-back, who looped a deep cross in that was met by Akinfenwa to loop over Dean Lyness in the visitors’ goal.

Lyness had made the crucial mistake of starting to advance off his line and the trajectory left him in no man’s land.

The visiting keeper did substantially better with an effort from Harding after excellent work by Robinson down the inside-left channel to deny the home side the chance at a second goal that would have made the final stages substantially more comfortable.

There were one or two dangerous moments but nothing Lee Nicholls could not deal with, and a win that was well earned by all concerned was duly secured.

Cobblers: Nicholls, Tozer, Langmead, Carlisle, Widdowson, Hackett, Harding, Guttridge, Robinson, Akinfenwa, Platt

Subs: Demontagnac (for Platt 81mins), Hornby (for Robinson 90+2mins)

Not used: Snedker, Wilson, Turnbull, Moyo

Burton: Lyness, O’Connor, Diamond, Stanton, McCrory, Drury, Weir, Webster, Bell, Maghoma, Zola

Subs: Kee (for Bell 74mins), Phillips (for Maghoma 78), Paterson (for Zola 88)

Not used: McGrath, Tomlinson, Phillips, Paterson, Holness, Dyer

Attendance: 4,090

Away fans: 167