Cobblers Cobbled by Alfie
Don Valley Stadium
13 April 2010 7.45pm
Attendance: 3, 325
Although an Adam Le Fondre penalty gave Rotherham United their first win in four against play-off hopeful's Northampton Town this evening at Don Valley, it will be the three red cards that will make the headlines tomorrow.
Northampton were the first to lose a man on sixty-two minutes when Craig Hinton received his marching orders for upending Le Fondre in the penalty area. Twelve minutes later, Danny Harrison, of the Millers was deemed to have fouled Luke Guttridge and in the aftermath, Guttridge himself was sent off for retaliating.
Both teams looked nervous at the start of the game, although it was the Millers who had the better start ten minutes in when Kevin Ellison found himself in front of goal but his header ended up in the side netting. From the start of the game Paul Rodgers seem to have it in for Gavin Gunning and on nineteen minutes he was booked after leaving Gunning in agony on the floor. Harrison then had a chance to put the Millers in front but his long range shot went well wide. Ten minutes from the end of the half, the visitors were awarded a penalty. Pablo Mills caught Guttridge who went down in the area and up stepped Gilligan to take it. The ball was thumped towards goal but Andy Warrington managed to get to it and palm it wide.
At the start of the second half, a Nicky Law corner found Mills who seemed to mis-kick the ball which forced Jason Steele, in the Cobblers goal, to make a good save. At the other end, Guttridge had a shot well saved by Warrington before John Johnson fired a shot towards goal that the Millers' 'keeper did well to tip the ball out wide. Then the second penalty of the game. Marcus Marshall found Le Fondre, with a good ball, in the area and, just as the striker was about to shoot, Hinton brought him to his knees. A red card for the Cobblers skipper and Le Fondre stepped up and put the ball just inside the post for his twenty-eighth goal of the season. A few minutes later, Le Fondre repaid the compliment and set Marshall off and running but, with just the 'keeper to beat, the Blackburn loanee saw his shot well saved. Fifteen minutes from time saw the second and third red cards, after Harrison was dismissed for a two-footed challenge on Guttridge, the visitors midfielder was involved in a brawl and was also shown red. Before the end of the game, Warrington did well to save from a Gilligan free-kick while Steele made a good stop from Abdulai Bell-Baggie, on for Nicky Law. In stoppage time, the vistors nearly grabbed an equaliser, when a Peter Gilbert header went just wide of the post.
A good win for the Millers and despite red and yellow cards being shown all over the place, it wasn't really a dirty game.