Richards off the Marc as Cobblers are held by Alloa

Marc Richards puts the Cobblers ahead against Alloa (pictures: Pete Norton)
Marc Richards puts the Cobblers ahead against Alloa (pictures: Pete Norton)

Marc Richards scored his first goal of the pre-season schedule as the Cobblers were held to a draw with Alloa Athletic.

Richards notched after eight minutes but saw his effort cancelled out by Kevin Cawley late in the game at Recreation Park.

ALLOA, SCOTLAND-JULY 17:     'Kaid Mohamed of Northampton Town contests the ball with Steven Hetherington of Alloa during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Alloa Athletic and Northampton Town at Recreation Park on July 17 2014 in Alloa, Scotland.(Photo-Pete Norton) NNL-140717-215154006

ALLOA, SCOTLAND-JULY 17: 'Kaid Mohamed of Northampton Town contests the ball with Steven Hetherington of Alloa during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Alloa Athletic and Northampton Town at Recreation Park on July 17 2014 in Alloa, Scotland.(Photo-Pete Norton) NNL-140717-215154006

Town boss Chris Wilder named a side in an adventurous wing-back system for the game, with Ian Morris on the left and Danny Alfei on the right.

Three central defenders - Lee Collins, Zander Diamond and Gregor Robertson made up a three-man defence with Darren Carter and Ricky Ravenhill as the holding midfield players.

John-Joe O’Toole lined up as an advanced midfielder with Ivan Toney and Marc Richards as the forwards.

Richards got the ball rolling, scoring with a first-time shot over goalkeeper Craig McDowall after he had advanced off his line to meet the striker.

ALLOA, SCOTLAND-JULY 17:     'Ben Gordon of Alloa Ath heads the ball under pressure from Zander Diamond during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Alloa Athletic and Northampton Town at Recreation Park on July 17 2014 in Alloa, Scotland.(Photo-Pete Norton) NNL-140717-215204006

ALLOA, SCOTLAND-JULY 17: 'Ben Gordon of Alloa Ath heads the ball under pressure from Zander Diamond during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Alloa Athletic and Northampton Town at Recreation Park on July 17 2014 in Alloa, Scotland.(Photo-Pete Norton) NNL-140717-215204006

Alloa enjoyed a decent spell of possession after the goal, and although they didn’t really extend Matt Duke, it was a period of control that lasted the majority of the first half.

Darren Carter saw a free-kick deflected wide late in the first half and Danny Alfei saw a shot tipped over after a good run.

Richards had the ball in the back of the net a second time after heading in a Carter free-kick but the striker was flagged offside.

Ben Tozer scuffed a half-chance wide at a corner and Zander Diamond planted a header off target in what was a game of few opportunites.

Alloa took the one that came their way with 12 minutes to play, Cawley rattling in a left-footed shot from the edge of the box after Adam Asghar headed a deep pass back into his path.

And, despite a late scramble in the home side’s box, the honours ended even.

Alloa: McDowall, Tiffoney, Docherty, Gordon, Meggatt, Simmons, Cawley, Flannigan, Spence, Holmes, Buchanan

Subs: Hetherington (for Simmons 47), McCord (for Buchanan 58), Doyle (for Holmes 58), Asghar (for Tiffoney 58)

Not used: Hetherington, Wilson, Gibson

Cobblers: (3-4-2-1): Duke; Collins, Diamond, Robertson; Alfei, Carter, Ravenhill, Morris; O’Toole; Richards, Toney

Subs: Mohamed (for O’Toole 61), Sinclair (for Toney 61), Tozer (for Collins 61)

Not used: Snedker, Roberts, Nicholls, Moyo