Wolves 2 (Dicko 66, Ricketts 67)
Northampton Town 3 (D’Ath 58, 74, Toney 74)
Wolves made an early exit from the Capital One Cup losing out to a Northampton Town team that had the better of the five goals that arrived in a 16 minute second-half spell – this after the Molineux side had found the net three times in seven minutes before the interval only to have each wiped out for offside.
Kenny Jackett made eight changes to the side that started against Norwich City at the weekend with just Lee Evans, Richard Stearman and Matt Doherty remaining. Samuel Ricketts returned to take the captain’s armband. Town were captained by former Molineux Academy graduate, Lee Collins.
There was a tremendous downpour as the teams took to the pitch and although it abated as Northampton kicked-off, the ball held up on the sodden surface with spray confirming just how wet it was.
Leon Clarke’s persistence saw him winning possession on the right and his low cross fell to Liam McAlinden who, with his back to goal, quickly turned and hit a shot that went straight to keeper Matt Duke.
A backpass from Gregor Robertson held up on the surface and Duke had to race from his area to clear as McAlinden homed in on the ball.
Clarke then set up a 13th minute opportunity when he switched the ball inside to James Henry who hit a crisp drive that wasn’t too far away from the far post.
A neat pass from Jack Price sent Michael Jacobs away on the left. He cut inside and from 20-yards hit a shot that struck a defender and trickled wide with Duke stranded in the middle of his goal.
Duke made a superb save to keep out a piledriver from Doherty that was destined for the top corner, before John-Joe O’Toole went into the book for a late challenge on Stearman.
On 30 minute Clarke nodded home a cross from Henry but the crowd’s cheers were cut short by the offside flag.
Wolves had been dominating the attacking play but there was a chance for Northampton when Evan Horwood’s short cross ran to Ivan Toney whose effort from just inside the area was deflected behind for a corner.
Poor Clarke must have wondered just what he had done to upset the powers that be as he had another ‘goal’ wiped out for offside as did, just a minute later, McAlinden. Clarke slid home a cross from McAlinden who then rolled in Henry’s low centre but all to no avail.
Shortly before the break, Aaron McCarey
got down well to save a 22-yard drive from Ricky Ravenhill that skidded across the greasy surface.
Half-Time: Wolves 0 Northampton 0
Twice in the opening stages of the second-half McAlinden created openings with low crosses from the left that were just too far in front of Clarke and then Henry.
Price saw his shot deflected behind and then Doherty dragged the ball wide from 20-yards as Wanderers continued to dominate although Robertson and Ravenhill both went close with efforts from the edge of the box.
After absorbing everything that Wolves could throw at them, Northampton stunned the home crowd with two goals in a five minute spell.
Substitute Lawson D’Ath had only been on the field for two minutes when he beat McCarey from 18-yards with a low shot that the keeper got a touch to but couldn’t keep out.
Then, in the 63rd minute, Toney headed home from Kaid Mohamed’s corner.
Immediately Nouha Dicko and Bakary Sako were sent on in place of Henry and Clarke respectively.
Inside a few minutes the game changed dramatically as Wolves drew level. In the 66th minute Dicko lashed McAlinden’s low cross into the roof of the net and, within two minutes, Ricketts tied things up when he picked his spot from 20-yards and curled home a beauty.
Dicko headed another McAlinden centre narrowly over the bar before Town retook the lead in the 74th minute with D’Ath again the man doing the damage, this time with a header that looped over McCarey.
Sako almost conjured up an equaliser but his shot curled over the bar and then Dicko just failed to reach one of his driven centres.
Wolves pressed hard as the game approached its conclusion but the League Two side held out.
Wolves: McCarey, Doherty, Ricketts (capt), Evans, Ebanks-Landell, Stearman, Henry (Sako 64), Price, Clarke (Dicko 64), McAlinden (Edwards 84), Jacobs.
Unused subs: Ikeme, Batth, McDonald, Van La Parra.
Town: Duke, Alfei (Tozer 69), Horwood (D’Ath 56), Collins (capt), Morris, O’Toole, Diamond, Robertson, Ravenhill, Mohamed , Toney (Richards 84).
Unused subs: Nicholls, Moyo, Warburton, Jackson.
Booking: O’Toole (22 – foul).
Referee: S. Attwell.