SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday April 9th, 3.00pm
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2
Nicky Adams 23
Sam Hoskins 49
BRISTOL ROVERS 2
Matty Taylor 76
Ellis Harrison 88
Attendance: 7,579 (925 away fans)
Cobblers: Adam Smith, Brendan Moloney, Zander Diamond, Rod McDonald, David Buchanan, John-Joe O’Toole, Danny Rose, Ricky Holmes, Nicky Adams (sub Lawson D'Ath 77), John Marquis (sub Jason Taylor 82), Sam Hoskins (sub James Collins 77)
Subs not used: Ryan Clarke, Luke Prosser, Joel Byrom, Alfie Potter
Bristol Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Daniel Leadbitter, Lee Brown, Tom Lockyer, Mark McChrystal, Ollie Clarke, Matty Taylor, Chris Lines, Liam Lawrence (sub Ellis Harrison 56), Billy Bodin (sub Jermaine Easter 71), Rory Gaffney (sub Christian Montano 56)
Subs not used: Tom Parkes, Jake Gosling, James Clarke, Will Puddy
Referee: Mr T Harrington
Cobblers: Nicky Adams (37, 4th of the season), John Marquis (81, 5th)
Bristol Rovers: Daniel Leadbitter (79)
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
Bristol Rovers: none
Sendings off: 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.
In-form Bristol Rovers were the visitors to Sixfields on a day when a win would secure Northampton Town promotion, regardless of results elsewhere. Three points for Chris Wilder’s side would also see the Cobblers crowned as Champions if Oxford failed to win their game at Crawley.
John Marquis and Sam Hoskins came into the Cobblers side, replacing James Collins and Marc Richards with Richards set to undergo an Achilles operation in the coming days, ruling him out for the rest of the season.
There was an air of excitement inside the ground as the game got underway but it was Rovers who came out of the blocks quickest and the Cobblers survived an early scare when Billy Bodin’s left-wing cross struck the crossbar.
The Cobblers took the lead midway through the first half, a Nicky Adams close range header breaking the deadlock.
The atmosphere was electric inside Sixfields and news soon came through that Oxford had fallen behind at Crawley.
Bodin fired wide for Rovers before a quickly taken Cobblers free-kick saw the ball fed to Ricky Holmes and his shot rattled the bar. Oxford were back on terms in West Sussex but as the half-time whistle went Chris Wilder’s side were on course to seal promotion and the league title.
The attendance confirmed at half-time of 7,579 was the biggest ever at Sixfields, and the biggest league crowd in Northampton since 1987.
Sam Hoskins doubled the Cobblers lead four minutes into the second half, side-footing home a John Marquis cross. Meanwhile at Crawley, two quick goals saw Oxford lead 3-1.
Christian Montano and Ellis Harrison came on in a double change for Bristol Rovers before Hoskins drew a good save from Steve Mildenhall.
The Cobblers were on top and following another fine free-flowing move, only a tip round the post from Mildenhall denied Nicky Adams a second goal.
Matty Taylor scored for Bristol Rovers to set up a tense last 15 minutes, the league’s leading goalscorer with a smart finish to beat Adam Smith.
Lawson D’Ath and James Collins then replaced Hoskins and Adams before Marquis made way for Jason Taylor.
Ellis Harrison equalised for Rovers on 88 minutes, turning in Lee Brown’s cross.
The afternoon though belonged to the Cobblers and although mathematically the title would have to wait, results elsewhere meant a point was enough to seal promotion with five games to spare.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 5
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (2) 6
CORNERS: (2) 5
FOULS: (4) 11
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 3
BRISTOL ROVERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (1) 3
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (5) 7
CORNERS: (3) 3
FOULS: (6) 12
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 2
The above stats are recorded by club staff. The stats shown elsewhere on this page are recorded by Opta