Dean Holdsworth raps Shots for a load of CobblersBy Jon Couch
March 12, 2012
DEAN HOLDSWORTH gave his Aldershot Town troops a dressing-room dust down after they were out-powered by relegation-threatened Northampton at Sixfields.
The Shots boss rapped his men for failing to deal with two routine long throws into the box which culminated in Kelvin Langmead and Adebayo Akinfenwa giving the Luke Guttridge-inspired Cobblers a deserved 2-0 half-time lead.
Burly front man Akinfenwa put the game beyond doubt with a third from the penalty spot after midfielder Josh Payne needlessly scythed down Michael Jacobs.
Indeed, not even Danny Hylton's consolation goal in the final minute of stoppage time could save the Shots from a post-match tongue-lashing.
"I love my players to death and they are a great bunch but today they have had some criticism from me and they have had a few home truths in there," Holdsworth said.
"It's not often I have to lose my rag but I'm not happy about a few things and they know it. We win together and we lose together. I have said my piece and it stays in the dressing room.
"We didn't deal with two long throws into the box and got punished for it. We started really well but our inability to deal with those two set pieces has cost us.
"Give them their due, they [Northampton] look like a team fighting for their lives and they probably wanted it 10% more than us."
Holdsworth's mood soured even before kick-off after seeing Guttridge's name on the Northampton team sheet - this despite a gentleman's agreement with the midfielder not to play against his former team-mates this season upon his release in January.
"I have no complaints with Aidy Boothroyd or Northampton at all," Holdsworth said. "I had an agreement with Luke Guttridge, It was a gentleman's agreement but that's that, we let it go, I'm not bothered. All I will say is that I'm a man of my word."
If Holdsworth was angry to start with then he was almost fit to burst just eight minutes in when Akinfenwa played Guttridge through, only for the midfield man to shoot narrowly wide of Jamie Young's goal from 15 yards.
At this point the Shots were well in the game with Aaron Morris missing a golden opportunity to put them in front, blazing over the bar from 12 yards out.
And they were severely punished five minutes later when Ben Tozer's long throw in to the box was flicked on by Clarke Carlisle and an unmarked Langmead on the far post volleyed home into the roof of the net.
Guttridge, it had to be said, behaved himself impeccably but still proved to be a thorn in Aldershot's side, firing another fierce drive just over the bar and contributing to Shots captain Ben Herd limping off the pitch with a calf injury following a fair, full-bloodied clash.
Indeed, while Herd was getting treatment off the pitch, the Cobblers won another throw on the right-hand side of the pitch, Tozer hurled the ball into the box and Akinfenwa climbed above Peter Vincenti to power home.
A half-time war of words in the tunnel kept the game stoked up for a fascinating second half, but the game was all but over 12 minutes into the restart when Jacobs skipped past Morris into the box, only to be felled by Payne and Akinfenwa slotted past Young from the spot.
The Shots though, to their credit, never gave up the ghost and might have even set up a tense finale had Hylton not looped a header tamely over Matt Duke's goal and then fired wide when put clean through by Guy Madjo's flick-on.
Hylton did, however, eventually net his 14th of the season, a six-yard tap-in after Duke failed to hold onto Michael Doughty's effort, but it was much too little, much too late to prevent a second away defeat in four days ahead of Tuesday night's tough rearranged trip to Crawley Town.
ALDERSHOT: Young, Herd (Mekki 41), Straker, Jones, Bradley, Morris, Smith (Doughty 58), Vincenti (Murphy 83), Payne, Hylton, Madjo. Subs: Clement, Risser.
Ref: Andy Haines. Att: 5,071 (365)