Team: Bulmer, Cox, ilesanmi, Smith, Harris, Wright, Parker, Davenport, German, Brittain, Nanetti.
Subs: Bailey, Ehmer, Perring, Waters, Fernandez.
Looking at the players before the kick-off, I didn’t recognise Christian Nanetti who now has his hair cropped very short. It was good to see Iain Dowie in attendance and Steve Gallen was involved with the U16’s on the adjacent pitch. The game kicked off a couple of minutes late which is not unusual but surely unnecessary. Receiving a wonderful 30 yard diagonal pass out on the right wing, Josh Parker cut in and headed for goal. He was then met by the keeper and as he prepared to shoot, the combined shot/challenge burst the ball. This was most unusual and there was some deliberation about the last time this had been witnessed ? The visitors corner kick was headed out by Antonio German and one of their players was well placed to line up a shot which Bulmer saw late but still managed to turn the ball round the post.
At the other end, Terry Smith’s effort from 25 yards suddenly dipped and then came off the bar. When it landed, the keeper didn’t know where it was momentarily but unfortunately no Rangers players had followed through. Northampton took the lead after about 25 minutes when Wes Emery flicked in with his head from a corner. A few minutes later the visitors went close when a good opportunity ended up hitting the cross bar. Elliott Cox was later booked. Half Time: 0-1 The U16’s had kicked off 15 minutes or so later against Leyton Orient so we went over and watched the closing stages.
The R’s drew level when Nanetti crossed into the box and Terry Smith knocked the ball home from close range. Smith was replaced by Perring and it has to be said that the Northampton number nine had an outstanding second half. He was everywhere and it was he that almost put them into the lead again. Niki Bulmer had to come out and spread himself well to make a good save with his legs. The visitors went close again soon after.
Rangers should of had a penalty when Nanetti was clearly tripped just inside the box close to where we were standing. QPR made their final change when Waters came on for Nanetti. Femi ilesanmi wasn’t getting forward so much since the interval but he did very well defensively against a lively Northampton attack. They were a formidable side and the game looked like it was heading for a draw but Danny Davenport was on hand to sweetly blast the ball into the net from fully 25 yards. German and Harris were also booked and the referee added on over five minutes.
On the final whistle, some of us walked over to catch the end of the U16’s game. Rob Bennett had managed to track both games and with no further goals, it finished 2-0 to the R’s with Adam Francis scoring one of them. Most of the U18’s didn’t look very happy as they trudged past us, so the message to them from Alan Barnes is: “Cheer Up”. Apart from Alan and myself, the Saturday Morning Mob also included Rob Bennett, Clive Senior, Roger Stokes and Clive.
There was news earlier in the week that the U18’s had reached the last sixteen of the Puma Youth Alliance League Cup after finishing third and will face Cheltenham away on 22nd November, kick off 11am. Big Paul later posted up on our board that Billy Coyne was now playing for Hornchurch alongside Lee Brown who was released last month after signing a pro-contract in the summer. Good news for those of us that set out for Harlington without any breakfast, the bacon/sausage baps have been re-introduced. Thanks as always to Roger for the lift back to the Bush.