Northampton Town 2 Wycombe Wanderers 1
Let’s hope the Blues are saving themselves for the real thing next Saturday, because their pre-season campaign finished with a less than encouraging performance at Sixfields this afternoon.
The Cobblers hadn’t won any of their warm-up games until today, but despite falling behind to Gareth Ainsworth’s 18th minute strike, the League Two side had enough about them to deservedly turn the match around.
Ainsworth’s goal was a beauty. Taking a peach of a pass from Scott Donnelly in his stride, the veteran winger outfoxed his marker, cut inside, and planted the ball in the corner of the net.
The lead only lasted a few minutes before Adebayo Akinfenwa laid the ball on a plate for Ben Tozer to stroke it home through a crowded box.
The winner didn’t arrive until the 80th minute when Cobblers’ substitute Nick McKoy lunged at a cross and embarrassed keeper Steve Arnold who appeared to have it covered. It was a shame for Arnold who had kept the Blues in the game with a series of fine saves after replacing Nikki Bull at half time.
Bull had already made a superb save from Akinfenwa during the first half, diving low to his left and throwing out an arm to turn the ball round the post.
An unlikely looking footballer, Akinfenwa had an impressive game for the Cobblers, showing a deft touch, a predatory instinct and an agility that belies his physique.
Positives for Wycombe, were the performances of Joel Grant in attack and Marvin McCoy in defence. Grant’s trickery caused the Cobblers all sorts of problems and there was an end product too, with Stuart Beavon and Ben Strevens both squandering glorious chances that were teed-up by the former Crewe winger.
With the rehearsals now over, the serious business begins and Wycombe entertain Scunthorpe United next Saturday in their first league game of the season.
Bull (Arnold 46), McCoy, Tunnicliffe, Doig (Stewart 72), Sandell, Ainsworth (Harris 89), Halls, Donnelly, Grant, Beavon (Strevens 51), Rendell.