Wilder lauds “outstanding” Cobblers after Luton win

Chris Wilder
Chris Wilder

Northampton manager Chris Wilder hailed both his side’s performance and character after their exhilarating 4-3 win over Luton Town at Kenilworth Road, a victory which sees them sit top of Sky Bet League Two.

In a topsy-turvy, breathtaking encounter, Luton took an early lead but Cobblers came fighting back with a superb attacking display that saw them deservedly take a 3-1 lead into half-time after goals from John-Joe O’Toole, Lawson D’Ath and Marc Richards.

The home crowd were left jeering as their team left the pitch at half-time but those jeers soon turned to roars of delight when two goals in 10 minutes had the hosts level at 3-3.

Now anyone’s game, it was Northampton who seized the initiative and a sensational 25-yard strike from Ricky Holmes earned the Cobblers a seventh straight win.

“It was a great game of football and I thought we were outstanding first half,” said Wilder afterwards.

“I felt a couple of decisions were a bit against us, I didn’t think their first goal was a free-kick and I didn’t think it was a penalty, but yet again we came back so strong.

“I thought we were really in control in the first half and went into half-time deservedly 3-1 up.

“I know what Jon (Still) is all about and what his players are all about and I wasn’t surprised by their reaction at half-time and they really did rock us and push us back.

“To get back to 3-3 was great credit to them but yet again we’ve come again and it’s an outstanding performance apart from maybe a 15 minute spell.”

Northampton had to weather a Luton storm in the second half as the home fans roared their side on but the visitors refused to buckle before going on to claim all three points, helped by the noisy 1,032 Cobblers fans who had made the short trip down the M1.

Wilder added: “Sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition and their attitude because at half-time were was a lot of noise coming out of this place which was all directed at the players.

“The job wasn’t done but we managed to get over the line.

“The atmosphere was made by our fantastic support that we brought. I know it’s only 45 minutes down the road but they didn’t half make a racket and drive the players on and get behind them.

“The first goal knocked us back but we came back and I thought we were outstanding for 45 minutes.

“We had the double whammy of them getting the two quick goals but then we went again and we played pretty well in the second half.

“It was a really good game between two sides having a go and I always enjoy coming here.

“Their support is sometimes is difficult to deal with when they get up a head of steam and it was today but we made a little change and freshened it up a little bit.

“Ricky has come on and first touch he’s got into a great position with a great turn and fantastic finish and from then we were comfortable winners.”

The win takes Northampton top of the table, two points ahead of Oxford, for the first time in 25 years.

“We’ve had an outstanding first 21 games,” continued Wilder. “Getting to the top of the league with 43 points is a great effort and you look at the points totals in all three divisions and that’s right up there.

“We’re on a roll and we have a lot of momentum going forward and we have a lot of exciting games coming up.”