Richards on the Marc as Cobblers claim point

Cobblers players celebrate with supporters after Marc Richards' late equaliser at York (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Cobblers players celebrate with supporters after Marc Richards' late equaliser at York (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

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Marc Richards scored the first Cobblers goal of his second spell with the club, curling in an excellent free-kick to earn a draw at York City.

In truth it was perhaps more than Northampton deserved at Bootham Crescent but they came up with a moment of magic to cancel out an unfortunate but entirely deserved Anthony Straker goal for the home side.

York v NTFC NNL-140816-172802005

York v NTFC NNL-140816-172802005

York will feel aggrieved by the result, having had the majority of the play, but the late response from the visitors is an indicator of their resilience and ability to take points in games in which they do not perform to their full capabilities.

Town used their wing-backs system for the first time this season, with Danny Alfei and Evan Horwood either side of a three-man central unit that contained Zander Diamond, Lee Collins and Gregor Robertson.

The allowed Marc Richards and Ivan Toney to play up front together with John-Joe O’Toole also in the side.

And it was Toney had a good chance to open the scoring in the game when he was picked out by a sprinting Darren Carter on three minutes but his early left-footed shot flew wide of the target.

But Lindon Meikle should have got his name on the scoresheet moments later when he latched onto a good pass from Michael Coulson in behind the defence before planting a shot straight at Matt Duke.

Coulson himself then found Duke’s hands with a low shot after a short corner routine and Tom Platt hit a low skimmer from distance that didn’t trouble the keeper.

It was a busy game for the winger-turned-striker, who drew a good but fairly standard save from Duke with a free-kick after Lee Collins, who had allowed a long ball to bounce in front of him, had pulled back Jake Hyde.

Marvin McCoy produced the best piece of defending in the game when he somehow cleared off his line with John-Joe O’Toole breathing down his neck and after Toney had sprayed the ball goalwards from a back-post run.

York v NTFC NNL-140816-160412006

York v NTFC NNL-140816-160412006

Toney was harshly booked for diving after skipping away from centre-back John McCombe on the edge of the box, to the fury of the Cobblers bench and especially manager Wilder, whose rage was palpable.

The second half was an equally nip-and-tuck affair, and Danny Alfei should have done better when he was threaded in on goal by Toney after good build-up play by Marc Richards, but the full-back slashed his effort horribly high and wide.

York spurned a good chance of their own on the hour mark when Meikle blazed over after a piercing Anthony Straker run had caused all kinds of problems for the visiting defence.

In attempting to make a covering tackle earlier in the move, Carter pulled his hamstring and was replaced by Ian Morris, with Kaid Mohamed introduced for Horwood a couple of minutes later.

York v NTFC NNL-140816-172646006

York v NTFC NNL-140816-172646006

Straker had really started to enjoy himself down the York right when he won the corner that he put in for the goal, a horrible one to concede and one that could have been avoided had Alfei cut out the ball as it entered his front-post area.

Although there was a good chunk of the game left at that point, the Cobblers comeback never really materialised and instead it was York who had the majority of the attacking play.

But the twist came bang on 90 minutes. O’Toole, who had been ponderous in possession for most of the game, was tripped on the edge of the box by Russell Penn.

The position of the ball suited the left-footed player and Morris had a good long look at it but it was Richards who struck it, and struck it perfectly over the wall and past keeper Jason Mooney’s left hand.

York City: Mooney, McCoy, McCombe, Lowe, Ilesanmi, Meikle, Platt, Penn, Straker, Coulson, Hyde

Subs: Fletcher (for Hyde 70)

York v NTFC NNL-140816-172635006

York v NTFC NNL-140816-172635006

Not used: Parslow, Summerfield, Montrose, Winfield, Hirst, Ingham

Cobblers: Duke, Alfei, Collins, Diamond, Robertson, O’Toole, Ravenhill, Carter, Horwood, Richards, Toney

Subs: Morris (for Carter 61), Mohamed (for Horwood 63), D’Ath (for Ravenhill 74)

Not used: Sinclair, Tozer, D’Ath, Moyo, Archer

Attendance: 3,448

Away fans: 581

Referee: Darren Handley