Cobblers sew up points with a late show
Leyton Orient 1 Northampton 3 ORIENT might be safe, but boss Geraint Williams was not happy with the way his side leaked three goals in the last 18 minutes on Saturday, WRITES TREVOR DAVIES. Northampton, battling to preserve their League One status, rippe
Leyton Orient 1 Northampton 3
ORIENT might be safe, but boss Geraint Williams was not happy with the way his side leaked three goals in the last 18 minutes on Saturday, WRITES TREVOR DAVIES.
Northampton, battling to preserve their League One status, ripped victory from Orient's grasp and the manager warned he would not tolerate any end-of-season slackness.
"I thought that we looked jaded mentally and our decisions weren't as good as they have been. We're very disappointed," he said.
"The players know what's expected of them and the standards they've set since I have been here. They have fallen below them as a unit today.
"I think it was a fair result. Northampton started brightly and created one or two chances before we scored - and that was the first time we got in their half.
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"We were fortunate to be one-nil up at half time and Northampton deserved their win."
With Orient's League One status secure following their win at Swindon Town, the pressure was off, and the O's came under pressure from the start in a scappy opening.
The impresive Ikechi Anya was a constant menace and when former O's player Luke Guttridge played him through with a slide-rule pass, Charlie Daniels did just enough to put him off as he fired over. Little was seen of Orient as an attacking force, and it came as a big surprise when they took the lead on 24 minutes.
Sean Thornton, one of the few to rise above the mediocrity, whipped in a free-kick from the left and Northampton defender Jason Crowe gave keeper Chris Dunn no chance as, under pressure, he headed the ball into his own net.
Andy Holt had a couple of chances to put the Cobblers in front before the break. However, he headed a Guttridge cross wide of the mark and then failed to find a finish at the far post after Anya crossed from the right.
Another ex-O's loan player and last summer's transfer target Adebayo Akinfenwa then shot tamely at Jamie Jones, after the industrious Anya provided the knock-down.
While Orient's only other first-half effort of note saw Scott McGleish have a shot blocked, after JJ Melligan provided the cross.
After the break, Orient did improve. McGleish and Melligan almost scrambled home a second and although Holt wasted another opportunity when he headed Danny Jackman's corner wide, the O's started to take a grip.
Dean Morgan, who provided some quality crosses into the box, started a flowing move.
Daniels joined in and Jimmy Smith was on the end of things, to fire in a shot that Dunn tipped away.
Simon Church, who had stretched the Northampton defence all afternoon, sent a header flashing wide and O's looked set to stretch their unbeaten run to six matches.
But the complexion of the game changed during a double substitution when Wayne Gray replaced Church and the Cobblers introduced Aleksander Prijovic for Holt, as within four minutes, Northampton were level.
Melligan conceded a free-kick and in a carbon copy of Orient's opener, Guttridge delivered the cross and this time Akinfenwa reacted first to send a header crashing into the net.
Two minutes later, Guttridge again was the provider as he played a neat ball into the feet of Prijovic, who swivelled on the edge of the area and planted the ball firmly in the corner of the net to turn the game on its head.
Jordan Spence almost opened his goal account seven minutes from time, but Jackman cleared his header off the line and Gray shot wide.
Then Northampton broke and Anya grabbed a third goal deep in stoppage time to keep his side's survival hopes alive.