Jefferson Lake’s Cobblers v Fleetwood view & ratings

GOAL JOY - the Cobblers players celebrate Luke Norris's late goal against Fleetwood (Picture: Kelly Cooper)

GOAL JOY - the Cobblers players celebrate Luke Norris's late goal against Fleetwood (Picture: Kelly Cooper)

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Kane Ferdinand hit the nail on the head on Saturday when he suggested on Twitter that the Cobblers’ win over Fleetwood had ‘ruined a few accumulators’.

For those unfamiliar with the betting parlance of our times, the midfielder was implying that a lot of punters would have backed an away win at Sixfields at the weekend and the fact that result did not materialise would have spoilt their betting slips.

The previous week, at Bishop’s Stortford, nobody expected Northampton to do anything but win and when they did it was to almost no fanfare whatsoever.

Against Fleetwood, the opposite was true.

Even the most optimistic of observers would have been happy with a draw against the league leaders and so, unless the team was routed, they were in a bit of a no-lose situation.

Sport has a habit, though, of going against the script; the only thing that prevented the home fans signing the old song about the division being upside down on Saturday was the timing of the goal but it would have been somewhat appropriate.

If Ferdinand was looking for the dominant reason why he and his team-mates had ruined those accumulators he needed only to look a few yards to his left and the granite-hewn figure of Ricky Ravenhill.

Rarely has such a new arrival transformed a team to such an extent. Where Northampton were once a soft touch, they now have a player who knows how to tackle and who doesn’t mind doing it.

Ravenhill has been a cornerstone of the recent back-to-basics approach and his willingness to put not only his own body on the line but that of his opponent angered and upset the Fleetwood contingent.

Alongside him, Ferdinand has provided plenty of energy in what has become a very useful midfield combination.

For most of the season the discussion has been about finding an experienced striker that can score lots of goals.

In consuming ourselves with this debate, where we really missing the big issue of a lack of a wise, old head in central midfield?

It’s a moot point now because the Cobblers have one. He is not their own, of course, but then neither is Luke Norris, whose goalscoring capabilities in what he calls a shop window loan will have alerted several potential purchasers.

There is a school of thought that it is foolish to build a side around so many temporary players but this is a club at the bottom of the League and they must do anything to alter that position.

On the evidence of this game, they might now have the team to do that.

Player ratings

MATT DUKE

Was a spectator for most of it and it’s hard to recall a single save he had to make ...6

BEN TOZER

Definitely his best game of the season and one of his best since joining the club. Excellent on and off the ball ...8

MATHIAS DOUMBE

Cool and composed on the ball and got physical when he needed to, treading a fine line at times ...7

PAUL REID

Neutralised Ball and then Parkin and applied the basics very well. Stamina seems to be improving ...7

JOE WIDDOWSON

Did more attacking on the overlap than he has in recent weeks and made some very useful tackles ...7

CHRIS HACKETT

Did well in patches but appeared to hurt his groin when tackling back and was withdrawn at half-time ...6

RICKY RAVENHILL

Carried the fight to Fleetwood and helped tilt the crucial midfield battleground in the Cobblers’ favour ...8

KANE FERDINAND

Plays with great energy and intensity - in many ways is the perfect complement to Ravenhill in the middle of the park ...7

DANNY EMERTON

Seems to be relishing his run in the side and embarked on several piercing counter-attacking runs before being withdrawn ...7

JACOB BLYTH

His physical style unsettled the full-backs and although it was a different story when up against Cresswell, he can be pleased with his contribution ...7

LUKE NORRIS

Gets in great positions and has no fear of failure, a fact underlined when he had the confidence to take the injury-time free-kick ...7

Substitutes:

STUART DALLAS (for Hackett 46mins)

Seems more comfortable on the right but only made an impact on the game in brief flashes ...6

ISHMEL DEMONTAGNAC (for Emerton 66mins)

No explosions from the winger but his pace unsettled Fleetwood and he put in one particularly devastating cross ...6

IAN MORRIS (for Norris 90mins)

Not used: Carter, Hooper, Deegan, McNamara