We deserved the win – Wilder delighted after Cobblers see off Mansfield

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Cobblers boss Chris Wilder (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder felt his side fully warranted the three points after “creating the better chances” in their hard-fought 1-0 win over Mansfield Town.

Marc Richards’ fourth-minute header ultimately proved the difference in a game of two halves with a scrappy opening period followed by a more open and entertaining second 45 minutes in which both sides had chances.

But the clearer opportunities fell to Northampton, in particular Joel Byrom who three times came close to adding to Richards’ opener, while Adam Smith didn’t have a save to make in the home goal.

The win extends Northampton’s excellent form and now makes it just one defeat in the last 10 league games - a run which has seen them march up to third in Sky Bet League Two.

Wilder was in high spirits post-match, saying: “I don’t think it was a backs to the wall win, if I’m honest.

“I thought it was a competitive game and they’re a decent side who play an expansive game and have a lot of good players but the better chances fell to us.

“My goalkeeper hasn’t had a save to make and they haven’t had any shots on target. They had a bit of the ball in certain areas but we’ve created the clearer chances and scored the goal which won the game.

“Conditions first half were difficult and they pinned us back because they have a lot of pace at the top of the pitch and I think people have to realise that we’re a genuine team here so they have to bring their best game to Sixfields if they want to get something.

“We’ve got the big results and it is a big result for us on an a wet and windy afternoon.”

The game also saw Northampton keep a clean sheet for the first time since their 1-0 win over Oxford United in September, something which particularly pleased Wilder.

“It’s about time we kept a clean sheet which is a massive bonus for us especially as Adam (Smith) didn’t have much to do,” added the Town boss.

“With the defenders we have here we should be keeping more clean sheets. We had three in the first three games but that was in August and we should be doing it more.

“I’m pleased for the likes of (David) Buchanan and Brendan (Moloney). We could have played Darnell (Furlong) today but we wanted to give Brendan some momentum in the team because I thought he was unbelievable last week.”

The victory was played out in front of Northampton’s biggest crowd of the season with over 5,400 fans inside Sixfields, just 300 short of the current capacity.

“It was a great crowd,” noted Wilder. “I think we were 300 shot of it being a sell-out which is an incredible achievement by the supporters and you can’t underestimate what a buzz that gives everybody when they see this place rocking.

“Yes, we were a little bit disappointing at times when we had the ball but we’re there to be shot at and we got the win and over the finish line.

“We had a couple of chances. Joel (Byrom) should have scored and Dom (Calvert-Lewin) should have scored but we’re a team that’s going well and sometimes you have to dig out a result and we had to do that today.

“It’s a tough competition and there’s a lot of really good teams in this league. Mansfield are up their on merit so we have to turn up week in, week out.

“They were up for it but the result in any game is the most important thing and we’ve managed to get that.”