NPOWER LEAGUE 2
Saturday March 23rd
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1
Ben Harding 45
OXFORD UNITED 0
Attendance: 6,151 (1,176 away fans)
Cobblers: Lee Nicholls, John Johnson (sub Luke Guttridge 71), Kelvin Langmead (sub Lee Collins 12), Clarke Carlisle, Joe Widdowson, Chris Hackett (sub Jake Robinson 83), Ben Tozer, Ben Harding, Ishmel Demontagnac, Adebayo Akinfenwa, Clive Platt
Subs not used: Dean Snedker, Roy O’Donovan, Claudio Dias, Lewis Hornby
Oxford: Luke McCormick, Damien Batt, Michael Raynes, Jake Wright, James Constable, Sean Rigg (sub Deane Smalley 63), Alfie Potter, Andy Whing, Liam Davis, Scott Davies, Tom Craddock.
Subs not used: Michael Duberry, Simon Heslop, Wayne Brown, Harry Worley, Luke O'Brien, Josh Parker
Referee: Mr D Webb
Cobblers: Ishmel Demontagnac (68, 7th of the season), Joe Widdowson (74, 12th)
Oxford: Damien Batt (59), Andy Whing (77), Tom Craddock (90), Michael Raynes (90)
10 cautions on or before 14 April; 2 match suspension
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
Sending offs: 2 cautions in one game; 1 match suspension but cautions do not count towards above totals. Other sendings off; 1 or 3 match suspension. Extra match ban for additional sendings off.
Despite some heavy overnight snow the game went ahead after some great work by all the groundstaff and around 40 volunteers who helped to clear the pitch.
Adebayo Akinfenwa and Clive Platt both came into the side while former Cobblers left-back Liam Davis lined up for the U’s.
Ben Harding went close early on as snow flurries continued to come down at a freezing Sixfields.
The Cobblers were dealt a blow on 12 minutes with captain and birthday boy Kelvin Langmead forced off injured, Lee Collins the man to come on.
Akinfenwa linked up well with Chris Hackett on 18 minutes as the home side continued to press but the striker’s effort was straight at Luke McCormick in the Oxford goal.
Lee Nicholls had to be alert to deny James Constable on 37 minutes while at the other end the Cobblers forced their sixth corner of the afternoon, McCormick blocking a shot from Hackett.
The Cobblers took the lead with virtually the last kick of the first half, Ben Harding lashing the ball home after Oxford failed to clear a Hackett cross.
Just a minute into the second half and with the snow still falling, referee David Webb made the decision to switch to an orange ball.
Akinfenwa had a good opportunity to double the Cobblers lead on 51 minutes but miss-kicked after a good nod down from Platt.
With Oxford looking to build up a head of steam, Andy Whing saw a header well palmed away by Nicholls.
Luke Guttridge replaced John Johnson on 71 minutes in the Cobblers second change, Ben Tozer switching to right-back. Chris Hackett then made way for Jake Robinson.
The U’s pressed forward in stoppage time but Nicholls made a great save to deny James Constable as the Cobblers claimed a hard earned three points.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (7) 8
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (5) 5
CORNERS: (7) 8
FOULS: (3) 13
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 1
OXFORD MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 8
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 6
CORNERS: (2) 7
FOULS: (4) 10
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (3) 7
The above stats are recorded by club staff. The stats shown elsewhere on this page are recorded by the Press Association.