SKY BET LEAGUE 1
Saturday December 12th, 3.00pm
The Alexandra Stadium
CREWE ALEXANDRA 2
Owen Dale 53
Ryan Wintle 90
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1
Ricky Holmes 4
Crewe: Will Jaaskelainen, Harry Pickering, Ryan Wintle, Tom Lowery (sub Luke Murphy 90), Charlie Kirk, Mikael Mandron, Oliver Finney, Oliver Lancashire, Luke Offord, Owen Dale (sub Daniel Powell 81), Omar Beckles
Subs not used: Dave Richards, Offrande Zanzala, Rio Adebisi, Billy Sass-Davies, Travis Johnson
Cobblers: Steve Arnold, Michael Harriman, Cian Bolger, Fraser Horsfall, Joe Martin, Jack Sowerby, Christopher Missilou (sub Max Dyche 71), Sam Hoskins, Ricky Holmes (sub Caleb Chukwuemeka 62), Nicky Adams (sub Ryan Watson 62), Harry Smith (sub Benny Ashley-Seal 77)
Subs not used: Jonathan Mitchell, Danny Rose, Chris Lines
Referee: John Busby
Crewe: Harry Pickering (83)
Cobblers: Cian Bolger (15, 5th of the season), Joe Martin (26, 1st)
5 cautions on or before 19 games; 1 match suspension
10 cautions on or before 37 games; 2 match suspension
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
Cobblers: Joe Martin (68)
Sendings off: 2 cautions in one game; 1 match suspension but cautions do not count towards above totals. Other sendings off; 1 or 3 match suspension. Extra match ban for additional sendings off.
Captain Cian Bolger was passed fit for Northampton Town’s trip to Crewe Alexandra but Alan Sheehan was still unavailable for selection due to injury. Former Cobbler Daniel Powell was named on the Alex bench.
On the front foot from kick off, the Cobblers took the lead inside four minutes from a quickly taken Nicky Adams free-kick. Adams played the ball to Sam Hoskins and his ball into the box was turned in by Ricky Holmes for his first goal since returning to the club for a second spell.
Harry Smith and Christopher Missilou failed to find the target from distance before Crewe started to press forward, Mikael Mandron heading over from a corner and several players seeing shots blocked following a scramble in the Town area. In the midst of all that action Bolger picked up a yellow card, his fifth of the season incurring the defender a one-match ban.
Having seen off that period of pressure another Cobblers free-kick nearly led to a second goal, Fraser Horsfall’s volley just wide.
Missilou blocked a shot from Tom Lowery as the Cobblers continued to stand firm, Crewe failing to seriously test Steve Arnold despite forcing a couple of corners towards the end of the first half.
Owen Dale equalised for Crewe on 53 minutes, volleying in at the back post after getting on the end of a cross in from Charlie Kirk. Lowery then spurned a good chance to put the home side in front but with only Arnold to beat couldn’t keep his shot down as Caleb Chukwuemeka and Ryan Watson came on in a double change for the Cobblers, Adams and Holmes making way.
With twenty minutes to play the Cobblers were reduced to ten men, Joe Martin, booked in the first half for timewasting, shown a second yellow card for what the referee adjudged to be a foul on Luke Offord, although it appeared Martin had been pushed into him by another Crewe player.
Charlie Kirk struck the post as Crewe almost immediately made the most of their numerical advantage before 17-year old defender Max Dyche, son of Burnley boss and former Cobbler Sean Dyche, came on to make his professional debut.
Hoskins cleared a spectacular effort from Kirk off the line, Arnold made a terrific one-on-one save to deny Lowery and Mikael Mandron headed against the cross bar with Kirk’s follow-up effort wide as the Crewe pressure intensified, Bolger also forced into making a last-ditch clearance.
Arnold saved from Kirk and substitute Luke Murphy as Crewe continued to press hard for a winner but it looked as though the Cobblers were going to hold out with ten men until deep into stoppage time when Ryan Wintle scored from close range to seal all three points for the home side.
CREWE MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (4) 13
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 8
CORNERS: (4) 13
FOULS: (2) 8
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 1
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 3
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 3
CORNERS: (0) 0
FOULS: (6) 14
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 3