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Match Report: 22 Jan 2013 Aldershot Town Football Club v Northampton Town
Aldershot Town Football Club's Badge Aldershot Town Football Club 1
Northampton's Badge Northampton Town 2
Fixture Type: npower League Two Venue: Away
Match Date: Tue 22 Jan 2013, Kick Off: 19:45

Tommy Wilkinson reporting from the EBB stadium.

Shots: Red Shirts, Blue Shorts, White Socks
Northampton: Lime Green Shirts, Shorts and Socks

Shots: Young, Herd, Morris, Brown, Vincenti, Mekki, Reid, Bradley, Rose, Lopez, Hector
Subs: Rankine, Risser, McNamee, Ainsworth, Cadogan, Morris, Cooksley

Northampton: Nicholls, Widdowson, Guttridge, Langmead, Harding, Platt, Hackett, Tozer, Robinson, Hornby, Carlisle
Subs: Demontagnac, Akinfenwa, Snedker, Wilson, Artell, Moult, Mayo

Officials
Referee: Darren Deadman
Assistant: Ian Cooper
Assistant: Stephen Rubery
4th Official: Ryan T Atkin

Att: 1191 (142 Northampton)

Despite being three points above the drop zone, the shots came into this game in positive form and unbeaten in their last five outings. Manager Dean Holdsworth made two changes from the team that gained a valuable point away to York, with both Aaron Morris and Adam Mekki coming in for Anthony Tonkin and Kieron Cadogan. There was a great motivation for the visitors, as they knew a win would see them move into the top three, something that they haven’t achieved in any division back since 2006.

GOAL: Shots 1-0 Northampton (Lopez 2)

The terrible weather conditions didn’t stop the shots from making the perfect of openings. The attack was launched by a great long pass by Vincenti from deep inside his own half. The pace of Mekki saw him round the goalkeeper before centering the ball to Lopez who was on hand to score.

6th place Northampton looked to hit back immediately, when Jake Robinson turned neatly after a scuffed cross from the right side, unfortunately for him through he was unable to direct his shot on target. Up for the corner, centre back Clarke Carlisle threatened moments later, but his right-footed drive fizzed past the post.

Exciting winger Adam Mekki, back in the team, was definitely taking his opportunity and was causing constant problems to the Northampton back line. However the youngster very nearly went from hero to villain when chasing back the full back run of Joe Widdowson, but the referee denied the penalty appeals, putting it down to the Northampton player falling due to the slippery conditions.

On the 18th minute the shots came very close to doubling their lead, when goal scorer Lopez ambitiously tried to catch Lee Nicholls off his line with a chipped effort from the right side. It wasn’t long until Mekki was back tormenting the Northampton left side, providing a similar cut back as to the goal, but this time Craig Reid was unable to convert from close range.

GOAL: Shots 1-1 Northampton (Hackett 21)

The away side weren’t to be denied with their next penalty appeal, as Troy Brown was adjudged to handling in the area. Chris Hackett stepped up and confidently finished into the top corner, leaving Jamie Young in goal with no chance.

With the momentum on their side Northampton went straight back for a second. Hornby’s shot from 16 yards took a sight deflection and ended up just wide of the target. The shots slowly began to edge their way back into the game and should really have retaken the lead. Mekki at the heart of things once again, providing an excellent free kick delivery from a wide left position. But unlike with his first goal, Lopez was unable to make a firm enough contact and the chance went begging.

GOAL: Shots 1-2 Northampton (Carlisle 34)

With the game very evenly contested, it was the visitors who were able to take their opportunity for a second goal. Clarke Carlisle reacted quickest at Northampton’s left side corner, making a near post dash and heading in from close range.

The Shots could of definitely counted themselves very unlucky to be trailing. This though didn’t seem to stop them from pushing on as Danny Rose continued to whip in dangerous left footed free kick deliveries, but the shots were missing that final finishing touch in front of goal.

HT: Shots 1-2 Northampton

With a slow start to the second half, the shots were unable to produce a similar opening as they displayed in the first. It was Northampton who were producing the better football in the half’s opening ten minutes. But all this was to change when Mekki pounced on a bouncing ball and accelerated through the middle, before playing through Lopez with a well weighted penetrative pass. Lopez again failed to make the most of the opportunity as another goal scoring chance went to waste. They failed to test Nicholas in goal once again soon after when Hector dragged his low shot well wide from a good position.

Holdsworth began to look to his bench for attacking inspiration, as he replaced Mekki with Lionel Ainsworth on the right side of midfield. The substitution didn’t have the desired effect, as the game turned into a scrappy affair, with the shots unable to gain any sufficient ball possession. If anything it was the visitors who looked the most likely, creating some half chances as they looked to extend their lead.

With the Northampton goal untested for a considerable amount of time, Danny Rose warmed the gloves of Nicholls after some neat footwork on the edge of the box. The shots made a second substitution bringing on Anthony McName for central midfield player Rose. The change saw Vincenti move into a more central position fulfilling the role of Rose, while McNamee operated a left wing position to make full use of his lighting speed.

The victory was very nearly sealed when Hackett raced through on goal and rounded the shots goalkeeper. With his shot goal bound, against the odds Troy Brown recovered and was able to prevent the ball from crossing the line. The shots were saved again soon after through another goal line clearance, to prevent Jake Robinson’s defected shot from hitting the back of the net.

With five minutes remaining Holdsworth made his last throw of the dice, which involved the introduction of Oliver Risser who took the place of Reid. The shots were not able to create any late equalizer opportunities, as Northampton showed all their experience and professionalism to see out their 2-1 victory. This defeat comes in what was a positive run for the shots, however they will have to put this result behind them as they prepare for their FA Cup 4th round fixture against Championship side Middlesbrough.

FT: Shots 1-2 Northampton

ISS Facility Services - Peter Vincenti