First half started brightly and Robinson had a good little run down the right, found Revell in the box who was upended by the Northampton Centre back when there was little danger! Hammond tucked away the penalty giving the keeper no chance.
So 2 mins gone and it looked good, but then we sat back and stopped playing any football. We had Cox and Robinson out wide but resorted to long balls and hoofing for the next 45 minutes. Northampton took control (despite looking a poor side) and it was no surprise when they equalised. I think it was Butters beaten to a header and it sneaked in off the post.
Kuipers made a couple of good saves to keep us level at half time. It was a very poor first 45 mins and less than 5k albion fans highlights the problems of Withdean and poor results at the end of last season. This did nothing to inspire people. As for Northampton, well 300 for a reasonably local game, but I guess they have been several times before and decided to give it a miss!
Second half and it took some flare up on the pitch to spark the crowd (and match into life). Elphich was the centre of attention with Northampton claiming an elbow was used which resulted in 2 Northampton players being booked, 1 for running and confronting Elphick from 30 yards away, and the other for the player they claim was fouled!
The players then came over to get a drink and a chat with the bench. The south stand reacted with with a show of passion with much singing and urging the players on. It seemed to make a difference and the players responded as soon as the game got under way. We looked alive and up for it.
Not long after and Rents swings in the one good cross of the day and Revell heads the ball into the net superbly. Wilkins had switched the formation just after the break with Cox moving more central and Robinson over to the left wing and it made a big difference, we looked like a team that knew what each other wanted to do!
After that we should have scored 2 more, Forster rounded the keeper and squared to Revell who found the only man between him and goal. Savage (on for Robinson) then set up Forster who weakly shot when he just had the keeper to beat. We survived the 7 minutes injury time (Hammond was down and received treatment for about 5 mins)
So a welcome 3 points and the players were applauded off (unlike at half time where we all said it was like watching a pre-season friendly or end of season meaningless match - oh how it changed 2nd half!)
Kuipers - 7 some good stops
Whing - 6 solid
Butters - 5 off game
Elphick - 8 great 2nd half
Rents - 6 looked nervous at times
Cox - 6 worked hard
Hammond - 7 only man for the 1st 45 mins who did anything!
Robinson - 6 good first 2 mins, looked better when switched wings with Cox
El-Abd - 7 solid defensive role
Forster - 6 bad service, should have open his account at the end
Revell - 7 battled and deserved his goal
Savage (For Robinson) - 7 made an impact as soon as he came on
Fraser (for Hammond) - 7 worked hard for last few minutes
Sullivan, Mayo and Elder not used