SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday December 29th, 3.00pm
PTS Academy Stadium
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2
Andy Williams 78
Junior Morias 90
MILTON KEYNES DONS 2
Alex Gilbey 19
Chuks Aneke 69
Attendance: 6,963 (1,449 away supporters)
Cobblers: David Cornell, Shay Facey, Ash Taylor, Jordan Turnbull, Aaron Pierre, Jack Bridge, Shaun McWilliams (sub Junior Morias 72), Matt Crooks, Billy Waters (sub Daniel Powell 64), Andy Williams, Kevin van Veen (sub Sam Hoskins 84)
Subs not used: Luke Coddington, David Buchanan, Dean Bowditch, Sam Foley
MK Dons: Lee Nicholls, George Williams, Dean Lewington, Mathieu Baudry, Alex Gilbey, Chuks Aneke (sub Robbie Simpson 74), Kieran Agard (sub Jordan Moore-Taylor 84), Conor McGrandles (sub Lawson D'Ath 88), Jordan Houghton, Baily Cargill, Rhys Healey
Subs not used: Ryan Watson, Peter Pawlett, Mitch Hancox, Stuart Moore
Referee: Graham Scott
Cobblers: Matt Crooks (26, 6th of the season), Kevin van Veen (70, 7th), Aaron Pierre (70, 3rd)
MK Dons: Conor McGrandles (56), Dean Lewington (72), George Williams (85)
5 cautions on or before 19 games; 1 match suspension
10 cautions on or before 37 games; 2 match suspension
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
MK Dons: 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.
Only three days after the Boxing Day draw with Swindon the Cobblers were back in action at the PTS Academy Stadium for their final game of 2018. Shay Facey, Billy Waters and Jack Bridge all came into the side as boss Keith Curle made three changes for the visit of local rivals MK Dons, who included ex-Cobblers players, Lee Nicholls, Lawson D’Ath and Ryan Watson in their matchday squad. Before the game got underway there was a minute’s applause to remember those supporters who sadly passed away in the second half of the year.
The first chance of the afternoon fell to the Dons with Baily Cargill going close with a shot from just outside the area.
Referee Graham Scott, pointed to the spot on 18 minutes for an apparent shirt tug by Ash Taylor on Chuks Aneke.
Aneke stepped up to take the penalty himself and although David Cornell made the save, the rebound fell straight to Alex Gilbey who kept his cool to loft the ball over the Cobblers keeper to give the Dons the lead.
A combination of Cornell and a goal line clearance from Taylor denied Aneke but with half-time approaching the Cobblers started to wrestle back the initiative, Andy Williams seeing a shot blocked at close range following some concerted pressure. Taylor also went close with a header just over the bar from a Bridge free-kick.
The Cobblers started the second half on the front foot with Kevin van Veen firing over following a corner. Dean Lewington on the half-volley then had a chance to double his team’s lead but from only 10-yards out dragged his effort wide.
Cornell made a good save to deny Kieran Agard after the Cobblers lost possession and it needed another good save from the Cobblers keeper to keep out an effort from Conor McGrandles. Daniel Powell then came on against his former club with Billy Waters making way.
MK Dons were enjoying a spell of pressure and Chuks Aneke doubled their lead on 69 minutes, providing the finishing touch to McGrandles lay-off. Town looked to respond and Junior Morias, on for Shaun McWilliams, saw a deflected shot saved by Nicholls.
Keith Curle’s side were back in the game with just over ten minutes to play, Andy Williams with a bullet header from a Bridge corner to set up a grandstand finale.
Rhys Healey had a shot saved by Cornell as the game entered six minutes of stoppage time but seconds later it was 2-2, Junior Morias with a delightful lob over Nicholls. It was a dramatic finish and Powell found the side netting via a deflection as the Cobblers forced a couple of corners in search of a winner. 2-2 was how it finished though the Cobblers having shown tremendous character to come from two goals down to ensure their fourth successive draw.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (0) 7
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (4) 10
CORNERS: (3) 9
FOULS: (9) 16
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 0
MK DONS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 8
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 3
CORNERS: (0) 0
FOULS: (4) 11
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 1
SCRATCH CARD GOAL TIMES: 18:31, 68:01, 77:50, ET2