SKY BET LEAGUE 1
Saturday March 10th, 3.00pm
BRISTOL ROVERS 1
Kyle Bennett 35
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1
Kevin Luckassen 62
Attendance: 9,054 (346 Cobblers fans)
Bristol Rovers: Sam Slocombe, Joe Partington (sub James Clarke 71), Tom Lockyer, Tony Craig, Lee Brown, Chris Lines, Stuart Sinclair (sub Dom Telford 76), Liam Sercombe, Kyle Bennett, Rory Gaffney (sub Byron Moore 76), Ellis Harrison
Subs not used: Adam Smith, Tom Broadbent, Bernard Mensah, Tom Nichols
Cobblers: Richard O’Donnell, Brendan Moloney, Ash Taylor, Jordan Turnbull, Joe Bunney, Gboly Ariyibi (sub Kevin Luckassen 61), Matt Crooks, Matt Grimes, Sam Hoskins, John-Joe O’Toole (sub Hildeberto Pereira 46), Chris Long (sub Shay Facey 78)
Subs not used: David Cornell, Leon Barnett, Daniel Powell, Shaun McWilliams
Referee: Mr Eddie Ilderton
Bristol Rovers: Stuart Sinclair (71)
Cobblers: Chris Long (22, 4th of the season), Matt Crooks (30, 9th), Hilderberto Pereira (84, 3rd)
10 cautions on or before 37 games; 2 match suspension
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
Bristol Rovers: none
Cobblers: Matt Crooks (74, 3 match ban)
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.
After an enforced two week break due to the snow the Cobblers returned to action with a trip to Bristol Rovers. New signing striker Kevin Luckassen was on the bench with boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink naming an unchanged side.
Chris Long drew an early save from Sam Slocombe and Gboly Ariyibi saw a shot deflected following a pacy run forward in a lively start. Rovers were also posing a real threat going forward, and Liam Sercombe clipped the cross bar with a fierce drive from 25-yards.
Burnley loanee Long had an opportunity to open the scoring midway through the first half but his shot was pushed away by Slocombe, the ball then just failing to fall for Matt Crooks on the follow-up.
Bristol Rovers broke the deadlock on 34 minutes, Kyle Bennett stabbing the ball home from close range after a good initial save from Richard O’Donnell.
O’Donnell did well to turn behind a shot from Ellis Harrison, prolific against the Cobblers in recent times, as Rovers looked to double their lead.
Hildeberto Pereira replaced John-Joe O’Toole in a half-time change for the Cobblers.
Rovers started the second half on the offensive and it needed a goal line clearance from Jordan Turnbull to prevent Sercombe making it 2-0.
Kevin Luckassen came on to make his Cobblers debut on the hour mark and within two minutes the Dutchman equalised, rising high to head home a pin-point cross from Brendan Moloney.
The substitute was certainly making an impact and his cross almost lead to a goal when Sam Hoskins volleyed inches wide. Harrison then had a chance to put the home side back in front but the striker couldn’t keep his shot down.
The Cobblers were forced to play the final quarter of an hour with ten men after Matt Crooks picked up a second booking, the midfielder sent off for the third time this season and incurring a three-match ban as a result.
O’Donnell made a terrific save to deny Rovers substitute Byron Moore as the game neared the 90-minute mark with an additional five minutes of stoppage time signalled by the fourth official. Sercombe fired wide deep into injury time but the game ended 1-1, the Cobblers ten men battling hard to claim a valuable point.
BRISTOL ROVERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (6) 12
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (5) 10
CORNERS: (5) 10
FOULS: (2) 6
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 4
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (5) 8
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (0) 3
CORNERS: (2) 4
FOULS: (5) 10
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 0