Northampton Town vs ASFC

League Two
vs
20/09/2014
Score: 4 - 5

Match Report

Stanley new boy John O’Sullivan and Rob Atkinson scored a double each while debutant Sean Maguire also chipped in to give John Coleman a dream start to his second spell at Stanley.

O’Sullivan, on loan from Blackburn, scored two superb solo goals while Atkinson got the first Stanley goals of his career and Maguire starred late on to give the Reds a superb win over promotion-chasers Northampton.

Coleman put his new signings O’Sullivan and  Maguire, on loan from West Ham, straight into the side and they repaid the faith with a stunning show.

It was all Northampton in the early exchanges without seriously testing Stanley keeper Joe Lumley.

However, in their first real attack on 21 minutes, the Reds took the lead. There was good build-up play which ended with Kal Naismith crossing to Atkinson who headed home the opener on 21 minutes – his first Stanley goal.

However they only held the lead for three minute when Chris Hackett won a corner and, from the resulting Joel Byrom flag kick, Marc Richards had the easy task to head home at the far post.

But, in a fast paced first half, Stanley were again ahead when a long ball forward found loanee O’Sullivan who raced free of the Cobblers defence on 28 minutes. He was one-on-one with Jordan Archer and kept his composure to slot the ball past the keeper and put the Reds back in front.

Stanley grew in confidence with Archer holding onto a Maguire effort at the second attempt as the home fans grew increasingly restless.

Marcus Carver was unlucky not to get a touch on a Naismith cross in front of goal – a defender got their first. But, from that corner, O’Sullivan’s cross found Atkinson whose header hit the post and bounced back off the keeper and into the net to put Stanley 3-1 ahead on 37 minutes.

Coleman will have been delighted at half-time but knew his side needed to hold firm at the start of the second half as Northampton carved out chances through Richards and Ryan Watson.

But Stanley always looked dangerous and Naismith and Maguire both came close.

And it was down to another solo effort on 75 minutes, when O’Sullivan got the ball with no one in support but managed to find the back of the net from a tight angle.

Northampton did respond with sub Ivan Toney scrambling the ball home from close range on 78 minutes but Stanley came straight back with Maguire getting onto the end of a long ball and forcing the ball home for his first league goal.

It was then a grandstand finish with Toney grabbing another with his head to make it 5-3 and it was 5-4 when Darren Carter scored in injury time hooking home from close range.

Thankfully Stanley held on to chalk up their third win in four games.

STANLEY: Lumley; Hunt, Aldred, Atkinson, Winnard; Joyce, Procter; O’Sullivan (Hatfield); Maguire (McCartan), Naismith, Carver (Windass)

Subs not used: Buxton, Simpson, Bowerman, Mingoia