Holmes strikes as Cobblers down Dagenham

Ricky Holmes celebrates after putting the Cobblers ahead against Dagenham (pictures: Sharon Lucey)
Ricky Holmes celebrates after putting the Cobblers ahead against Dagenham (pictures: Sharon Lucey)

Ricky Holmes’ first goal in Cobblers colours was enough to down Dagenham & Redbridge at Sixfields as Town recorded back-to-back wins for the first time in more than four months.

Holmes notched on the hour mark to settle the contest in Northampton’s favour and extend their winning record against the Daggers.

Cobblers V Dagenham and Redbridge. NNL-150117-161137009

Cobblers V Dagenham and Redbridge. NNL-150117-161137009

It also represented the first successive victories since two wins earlier in the season, which were also against Exeter City and Dagenham.

The same starting 11 was selected for a third game on the spin and the players repaid Chris Wilder’s faith in them with another three-point haul.

Ryan Cresswell had three excellent chances to put the Cobblers in front in the first five minutes, twice having efforts blocked at close range and a header off target, all after well-timed runs at corners.

They were almost made to paid when a mix-up between Cresswell and goalkeeper Matt Duke saw Rhys Murphy break onto a ball over the top and lob the stranded Duke only for the shot to drop wide of the target.

Cobblers V Dagenham and Redbridge. NNL-150117-161103009

Cobblers V Dagenham and Redbridge. NNL-150117-161103009

Lawson D’Ath filed a miss-of-the-season contender on 36 minutes when he met an Evan Horwood cross on the stretch but diverted it well wide of the target from eight yards out.

The game quietened down after those early fireworks until the moment Marc Richards planted a copybook header past Mark Cousins from a left-footed Ricky Holmes cross, but the effort was ruled out for offside.

The breakthrough, though, was not far away. John-Joe O’Toole did well to find space down the right before playing a pace infield to Holmes, missing out Richards on the edge of the box.

Holmes had lots of options but selected the best of them, twisting and turning before firing in a left-footed shot which squeezed past Cousins’ left hand and went in off the post.

Cobblers V Dagenham and Redbridge. NNL-150117-161114009

Cobblers V Dagenham and Redbridge. NNL-150117-161114009

O’Toole then saw a header well held by the goalkeeper from a Joel Byrom free-kick and Brendan Moloney let fly with a right-footed shot from fully 30 yards which whistled wide.

Town pressed for a result-sealing second goal and almost got it when D’Ath’s deflected shot squirmed up and onto Cousins’ bar after more good play by O’Toole.

The forward had a chance to put the game beyond all doubt in the final minute when he spearheaded a counter-attack but Scott Doe recovered to make an excellent saving tackle on the edge of his own box.

One goal, however, was enough.

Cobblers V Dagenham and Redbridge. NNL-150117-161148009

Cobblers V Dagenham and Redbridge. NNL-150117-161148009

Cobblers: Duke; Moloney, Cresswell, Collins, Horwood; Holmes, Taylor, Byrom, D’Ath; O’Toole; Richards

Subs: Hackett (for O’Toole 84), Toney (for Holmes 90)

Not used: Snedker, Robertson, Carter, Tozer, Diamond

Dagenham: Cousins; Batt, Doe, Obileye, Connors; Jakubiak, Labadie, Boucard, Bingham, Hemmings; Murphy

Subs: Yusuff (for Jakubiak 67), Cureton (for Murphy 67), Chambers (for Hemmings 82)

Not used: O’Brien, Saah, Howell, Widdowson

Cobblers V Dagenham and Redbridge. NNL-150117-161052009

Cobblers V Dagenham and Redbridge. NNL-150117-161052009

Attendance: 4,122

Away fans: 156