Lee Nicholls: Cobblers keeper 'as good as Ben Foster', says boss

Lee Nicholls

Northampton Town boss Aidy Boothroyd has praised on-loan keeper Lee Nicholls by comparing him to West Brom and England's Ben Foster.

The 20-year-old Wigan player saved a penalty in Sunday's League Two play-off semi-final win at Cheltenham to take the Cobblers to Wembley.

And Boothroyd, who brought Foster to Watford in 2005, made the comparison.

"I genuinely think Lee is as good as Ben Foster. He was outstanding," Boothroyd told BBC Radio Northampton.

Nicholls, whose penalty save from Cheltenham midfielder Marlon Pack helped him keep a 19th clean sheet in 50 appearances this season, will now turn his attention to Wembley over the next two Saturdays.

First, his parent club Wigan take on Manchester City in the FA Cup final on 11 May then, a week later on 18 May, the Cobblers will take on Bradford City for a place in League One.

"I hope Wigan and the Cobblers can both win at Wembley," said Liverpool-born Nicholls.

"I think I'll need about 100 tickets by the way everyone is talking.

"I can't give the fans enough praise," he added. "I've come out for the warm-up an hour before kick-off and there's fans singing."

Boothroyd was also impressed by the contribution of centre-halves Nathan Cameron and Clarke Carlisle to the Cobblers' fourth clean sheet in five matches.

"That triangle of Lee, Nathan and Clarke were immense," added Boothroyd.

"We've managed to persuade a lot of players to come to our club in League Two that probably shouldn't be here. They have played and can play at a higher level.

"But then they've got to perform and I think we have done."