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Wimbledon snatch a point at Sixfields

Thursday 27th March 2014
Sammy Moore scored at the death to give AFC Wimbledon a hard-earned point away at Northampton, a result which could prove disastrous to the Cobblers' survival chances. Moore struck late on after a Darren Carter brace looked to have given Northampton the winning, turning the game around following George Francomb's early strike for the Dons.

Wimbledon came into the game in mid-table, but would have been just five points clear of relegation and their lowly hosts had they lost. Northampton's awareness that they need to start picking up wins in order to get out of trouble was shown by manager Chris Wilder's demand to get the ball back from the crowd quickly inside the first two minutes when the ball went out for a throw, and his constant exhortations to his players to speed the game up. It was, however, the Dons who started the game more brightly, and were rewarded when Michael Collins' pull-back was fell to George Francomb, who fired home emphatically.

Northampton were struggling to break down an organised Wimbledon defence, and could have fallen two behind when full-back Leon McSweeney was relieved to see his attempted clearance strike the woodwork as opposed to going into his own net. The home team were, however, given a lifeline on the half hour mark when Jack Midson was adjudged to have deliberately handballed in his own area, and was shown a straight red. Darren Carter struck the resulting penalty confidently into the top right hand corner, and Northampton were back in the game.

Playing against ten men for an hour, it seemed it would only be a matter of time until Northampton broke through the travelling defence. Wimbledon, however, had other ideas, with centre backs Andy Frampton and Alan Bennett dealing superbly with Northampton's long ball. The only times the Cobblers looked threatening were on the counter, as Wimbledon's two banks of four, and lone striker Charlie Wyke, worked hard to ensure that the home team could not break through. Northampton looked bereft of ideas, and Wimbledon were happy to let their hosts stroke the ball around at the back before dealing with the hopeful ball up to Emile Sinclair or Alan Connell.

Unimpressed with what he was seeing, Wilder made a triple change just before the hour mark in an attempt to spark some life into his team. Although any improvement was scarce, Northampton did go 2-1 up when Darren Carter found a pocket of space 25 yards out and brilliantly curled home to give the home fans some hope of survival. It was no less than Carter deserved, as he had been at the heart of Northampton's more positive moments in the game, both defensively and going forward. However, there was to be no first win in four for his side, as deep in injury time Alan Bennett's cross was flicked on, and Moore fired home.

Man of the match: Darren Carter (Northampton). Two goals and a tireless performance in midfield. Both of Wimbledon's centre backs were also superb.
Will Brown
Huge football fan, also a follower of tennis, cricket and athletics. Student at Durham University, where I study German and Spanish. Coventry City (live near Coventry during University holidays) and Union Berlin fan, after spending the summer of 2013 in Berlin. Currently living in Graz, Austria, and watching GAK 1902 from time to time.

Total articles: 14

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