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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:57 31st December 2011

Report: Northampton 1 Swindon Town 2

Alan McCormack netted an injury-time winner to hand Swindon all three points at Sixfields on New Year's Eve.


The game saw the Robins go behind to a first half penalty before Connell's leveller in a second period which also saw Oliver Risser dismissed with ten minutes of the game remaining. McCormack then sealed the victory with a late finish. Town boss Paolo Di Canio made three changes to the side that lost at Torquay United with Aden Flint and Simon Ferry making way for Joe Devera and Risser. Liam Ridehalgh, who has returned to Huddersfield Town, was replaced by Callum Kennedy.


The game started brightly with both sides doing their best to make an early impression but it was on-loan stopper Wes Foderingham who made the first save of the game. A weaving run from Michael Jacobs saw the midfielder weave past two challenges on the left before forcing a smart stop from the Swindon 'keeper.

Swindon then surged forward with Murray breaking clear but his finish clipped the top of the crossbar with only Shane Higgs to beat. Matt Ritchie then tried his luck from 40-yards but Higgs got back in time to claim.


Foderingham was called into action again on 15 minutes when a downward header from former Swindon player Ben Tozer who saw his downward header pushed away to safety. The end to end action continued with Murray then forcing a fine low save from Higgs after firing across the face of goal. It was the home side who scored the opening goal of the game - from the spot -with 21 minutes on the clock. A run into the box by Jacobs was ended by a trip from Ritchie and the midfielder picked himself up to send the ball past Foderingham into the net for the opener.


The Swindon response saw a snapshot from Murray blocked on 25 minutes after what had been a lively start to the game for the Irishman. An inswinging cross from Kennedy almost saw Town back on level terms eight minutes before the break but his effort bounced just in front of Murray and Higgs was able to claim. After going in a goal down at the interval, Di Canio made one change to his side for the start of the second period with Alan Connell replacing Magera in the frontline.


The change seemed to spark Swindon into life with Murray going close at the near post five minutes in to the second half in front of around 1,000 Robins fans behind the goal. Foderingham was then called into action again minutes later as he turned a powerful header from Saido Berahino around the post. Di Canio then made another change on 55 minutes with Ferry stepping off the bench to replace Smith in the heart of the Robins midfield. The Robins' improved second half effort continued with a header from Ferry drifting agonisingly wide with Di Canio's side doing everything to get back into the game.

The goal Town had longed for came on 67 minutes. Having kept a keen eye on the offside trap, Connell timed his run to perfection from a Ritchie through ball before bringing the ball down beautifully. He cut inside the challenge inside the box before striking a left footed effort home to make it 1-1.


Shortly after the goal the home side made a double switch which included the introduction of former Town transfer target Adebayo Akinfenwa. Di Canio then brought Aden Flint off the bench in place of Devera with 74 minutes on the clock. The visitors were down to ten men with ten minutes left on the clock with a red card shown to Risser after an aerial challenge with Johnson saw the Northampton man felled by an elbow.


It was a frantic close to the game with Swindon, despite their numerical disadvantage, still applying the pressure but were almost frustrated in their efforts. The home side could have won the game inside the four minutes of injury time but having been played through, Berahino blazed over. Swindon's supreme efforts were rewarded in the third minute of injury-time. A lung-busting run from McCormack saw a one-two played in to the midfielder at the back post and he finished with aplomb to seal victory amid ecstatic scenes of celebration.

    Data provided by Press Association