Platt confident fortress Sixfields will prove the difference for Cobblers

HOME COMFORTS - Lee Nicholls kept a clean sheet as the Cobblers won their 12th home game of the season
HOME COMFORTS - Lee Nicholls kept a clean sheet as the Cobblers won their 12th home game of the season

Clive Platt is confident the Cobblers’ form at fortress Sixfields will be vital in the race for promotion this season.

Town beat Plymouth 1-0 on Saturday in what was their ninth win in 10 home games and only one team in the Football League - npower Championship leaders Cardiff City - has picked up more wins on their own ground than Northampton this season.

They have also improved their away form recently, taking four points from difficult road matches at Southend United and AFC Wimbledon, and currently sit fourth in npower League Two ahead of Tuesday night’s visit of Bristol Rovers.

Aidy Boothroyd’s men are a point behind third-placed Burton Albion (and eight off Port Vale in second) and a gap of five points has now been established between them and the team outside the play-off bracket, Southend,

Platt admits the games the team have yet to play on their own ground will not be as easy as the league table suggests but is confident the home form can provide the platform for a promotion push.

“Teams are coming here and they’re just trying to get a point or just see the game out,” he said. “It is a difficult place for any team to come to now and if we maintain that and keep picking up points away from home then we’ve got every chance of being successful this season.

“Any team that is right down the bottom is hard to play. I’ve been in that position with teams myself and you’re fighting for your lives.

“It becomes a lot harder. You want a couple of mid-table teams who have nothing to play for really, they are the games you want but they’re few and far between at this stage of the season.

Town’s goal that settled the Plymouth game seemed a controversial one at the time, with the visiting players strongly appealing for a foul on their goalkeeper Jake Cole, but repeated viewings show it was actually winger Paris Cowan-Hall who collided with Cole, causing him to spill to ball.

Platt tapped it in for his seventh of the season, and although midfielder Ben Harding admitted the game was not a pleasing one on the eye, he was delighted to contribute the vital set-piece.

“I just aimed to put it (the corner kick) on top of the goalkeeper and hopefully one of the lads could get a nick on it,” said Harding.

“We’ve got some big and strong lads in the team and luckily for us it went in and we got a goal from it.

“It wasn’t the loveliest game to watch but it was a massive three points for us that puts us in the mix and we just need to maintain that form.”