By Chris Morley
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It was a night of firsts at Sixfields on Thursday, as maiden strikes from youngster Danny Batth and new boys Frank Nouble and Bakary Sako helped a Wolves side bearing the Solbakken stamp to a convincing win. Fellow debutants Georg Margreitter and Razak Boukari were handed starts, with Sako among the substitutes, in a much-changed side from that which had started the draw with Derby County.
It was the Cobblers who made the brightest start, though, Alex Nicholls blasting wide from 25 yards and Ben Tozer failing to make the most of Clive Platt's header down. Boukari then got his first chance to show Wolves fans what he was made of as he took control of keeper Carl Ikeme's ball upfield and set Anthony Forde on his way, the resulting shot wide of a post.
Ben Harding forced Ikeme to punch clear as the hosts enjoyed their hold on the game- rude awakening arriving in the sixteenth minute. Nouble won a first away corner of the game, Forde taking it and the ball appearing to find the net courtesy of Batth's knees to make it 1-0.
Boukari was producing an all-action display as he looked to justify his price tag, clearing under pressure from Luke Guttridge. Batth was forced to head behind a Ben Harding free-kick as Town threatened once more, the due reward arriving as Platt headed home an equaliser five minutes from half-time. Any celebration among those of a Cobblers persuasion was short-lived, though, Nouble restoring the advantage bang on half-time.
Stale Solbakken had clearly geed up his men at the break- Bjorn Sigurdarson seeing an early chance blocked by a defender and young keeper Dean Snedker making a great double save from Boukari and then David Davis- a double substiution with twenty minutes remaining seeing Eggert Jonsoon replaced by Tongo Doumbia and Boukari brought off for Sako, the visiting defence resisting any attempt by the hosts to break through- Slawomir Peszko on for Forde and the game wrapped up in the first minute of stoppage time as Sako introduced himself to English football with a 25 yard screamer to make sure of safe passage to the next round.
A trip to Chelsea is the reward, with Solbakken possibly motivated by the thought of his FC Copenhagen side's Champions League exit at the hands of the Blues prior to his ill-fated stint at Cologne.
Northampton Town- Snedker (gk), Widdowson, Guttridge, Langmead, Harding, Platt (Moult 73), Hackett, Tozer (Akinfenwa 57), Nicholls (Mukendi 45), Artell, East
Subs not used- Charles, Demontagnac, Heath, Wilson
Wolves- Ikeme (gk), Stearman, Elokobi, Davis, Mergreitter, Batth, Forde (Peszko 83), Jonsson (Doumbia 67), Nouble, Sigurdarson, Boukari (Sako 67)
Subs not used- Berra, Doherty, Hammill, McCarey
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