Pompey skipper’s joy – but he backs Cobblers to stay rivals

Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler

Michael Doyle toasted the result which toppled Northampton Town off the League Two summit.

Then he backed the Cobblers to still be one of the three sides automatically promoted come the season’s end.

To be fair to Northampton, they came out and for first five minutes I thought “Blimey” when I saw their movement

Michael Doyle

Paul Cook’s side recovered from falling behind on 17 minutes to win 2-1 at Sixfields on Saturday.

The match-winner was substitute Conor Chaplin, who popped up to net four minutes from time with his first touch of the match.

It ended a run of seven straight victories in all competitions for Chris Wilder’s table-toppers.

And for in-form Pompey, they are now just three points behind new leaders Plymouth Argyle.

Doyle said: ‘It is a brilliant result. We will see how big a three points it is at the end of the season.

‘As you’ve seen so far, there have been loads of twists and turns.

‘We’ve been top, Plymouth have been top, Oxford have been top, Northampton have been top.

‘We just want to build those points up and try to get away from the play-offs.

‘We are looking at what is ahead of us and trying to get away from them as well.

‘Of course we knew it was a big game and we wanted to win.

‘There is that little bit of extra edge when it is somebody from the top three – and I definitely think they will be one of the teams that will finish in the top three.

‘We played really well, showed great determination at times and got a bit of luck as well,

‘To be fair to Northampton, they came out and for first five minutes I thought “blimey” when I saw their movement!

‘We were stuck in our half but then grew into the game after 10 minutes and had them penned in, while Marc McNulty and Caolan Lavery again looked really sharp, every time we gave them the ball we looked so dangerous.

‘It was looking a draw all over, though, until Conor changed the game.’

Pompey had headed in at half-time on level terms following Gareth Evans’ headed goal.

However, there were anxious moments when the Cobblers twice struck the woodwork after the break.

Doyle added: ‘They had a couple of chances with set-pieces and when we scored it was very naive of us to let them go straight up the other end and they should have really scored.

‘For a while we were hemmed in, our ball retention wasn’t good enough, it was going out and coming straight back, we were struggling.

‘We rode our luck at times but deserved the victory.’

– NEIL ALLEN