SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Friday March 25th, 3.00pm
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1
John Marquis 22
NEWPORT COUNTY 0
Attendance: 5,630 (222 away fans)
Cobblers: Adam Smith, Brendan Moloney, Zander Diamond, Luke Prosser, David Buchanan, John-Joe O’Toole, Joel Byrom (sub Danny Rose 77), Ricky Holmes, Lee Martin (sub Lawson D'Ath 46), John Marquis, James Collins (sub Sam Hoskins 63)
Subs not used: Ryan Clarke, Rod McDonald, Jason Taylor, Marc Richards
Newport: Joe Day, Danny Holmes, Ben Davies, Medy Elito, Janoi Donacien, Andrew Hughes (sub Scott Barrow 53), Ayina (sub Yan Klukowski 67), Scott Boden, Alex Rodman, Mark Byrne, Jake Gosling
Subs not used: Joe Green, Tom Owen-Evans, Matt Partridge, Tom Meechan
Referee: Mr C Sarginson
Newport: Mark Byrne (19)
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
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.
Top scorer Marc Richards was back in the Cobblers matchday 18 for the Good Friday visit of Newport County following a six week injury lay-off. Richards started the afternoon on the bench with Chris Wilder making just one change to the side that started the previous game at Stevenage, Lee Martin coming in for Nicky Adams.
A sunny Sixfields was again packed to the rafters with the majority of the South Stand also taken up by home supporters.
A minute’s silence was held prior to kick off to remember those who tragically lost their lives in the Brussels terrorist attacks of 22 March 2016.
The Cobblers started on the front foot with Ricky Holmes firing wide with less than 30 seconds on the clock. Newport went close to breaking the deadlock when a quick counter-attack lead to a shot from Scott Boden clipping the outside of the post.
In the 14th minute the ground united in a minute’s applause to mark the passing of Johan Cruyff.
A John Marquis close range finish put the Cobblers in front midway through the first half, Lee Martin with the set up following a flowing move from the home side that also involved Ricky Holmes and Brendan Moloney in the build-up.
As Newport looked to respond to falling behind an acrobatic save from Adam Smith denied Alex Rodman while Jake Gosling saw a shot blocked by Zander Diamond.
Joe Day saved from Lee Martin on 43 minutes before Joel Byrom curled a shot from distance just wide. Ayina then spurned a chance to equalise for Newport in first half stoppage time, Smith making the save.
Lawson D’Ath replaced Lee Martin at half-time and not long into the second half Newport were forced into making a change, Scott Barrow coming on for the injured Andrew Hughes.
Sam Hoskins was introduced at the expense of James Collins, the Cobblers upping the tempo after a scrappy 15 minutes from both sides at the start of the second half.
Medy Elito rattled the crossbar as Newport threatened an equaliser, Adam Smith also making a good save from Mark Byrne. Exiles substitute Yan Klukowski then shot straight at the Cobblers keeper when well-placed in front of goal.
The Cobblers hadn’t been at their free flowing best but they saw the game out to move another step closer to promotion.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (5) 7
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (4) 7
CORNERS: (2) 6
FOULS: (3) 5
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 2
NEWPORT MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (5) 7
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 7
CORNERS: (5) 8
FOULS: (3) 8
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 4
The above stats are recorded by club staff. The stats shown elsewhere on this page are recorded by Opta