Northampton Town 0 Charlton Athletic 2
That was a howler of a game that matched the weather, and the pitch, which was frankly Cobblers.
It was not pretty, but it was a handsome three points, and another bruising defensive display with Ryan Inniss monstrous at the back leading to a further clean sheet.
The first half was desperate and the initial pick of a midfield of Levitt, Williams and Forster-Caskey was far too lightweight. Darren Pratley changed the whole mentality when he was introduced for the 2nd half. His influence was all around him as Williams and Forster-Caskey were much busier and effective. Behind DP Inniss and Famewo dominated.
Pratley also got the goal that set us on our way walloping the ball high into the net after Inniss headed a JFC corner back across the goal. Bogle danced around the ball to give Pratley the space to release the trigger and boom.
Paul Smyth, who was again lively, should have made it 2-0 but missed when in front of goal.
Nonetheless the 2nd goal did come and it came from a moment of intelligence and no mean skill from Ben Amos. The number
one thirteen had already saved us early in the first period when he made a terrific double save, but as we approached the hour mark Amos came and caught a swirling deep cross, and then instantly kicked it low and wide for Doughty to chase.
Alfie made for the Northampton penalty box and hit a low hard cross that was turned into his own next by Jack Sowerby. Game over.
After that it was pretty comfortable as we won more first balls, and sensibly slowed the game down when we retrieved a second.
Gunter is going to be one of those players that won’t grab headlines but was untroubled. As for Maatsen on the other side, I think we’ll be reading about him plenty more in the future.
Omar Bogle fought a lone and windswept battle but stuck to his task and clocked 90 solid minutes with no Aneke to swap with him.
The only concern was Alfie being taken off injured. I didn’t look good on the pictures. After being at Bromley a year ago Doughty has become key player and we all hope he won’t be out for long.
That’s now three wins out of three, and importantly Bowyer is building a winning mentality among his new squad.
Bow’s thoughts: “But the most important thing is that we leave with three points. That’s all I care about. I don’t care how pretty it looked or how dogged of a fight it was.”
Photo credit: @K_AndrewsPhotos