SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday March 23rd, 3.00pm
Jonny Rocks Stadium
CHELTENHAM TOWN 3
Luke Varney 18, 41 pen
Tyrone Barnett 73
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1
Dean Bowditch 89
Attendance: 3,513 (638 Cobblers fans)
Cheltenham: Scott Flinders, Chris Hussey, Ben Tozer, Kevin Dawson, Ryan Broom (sub Conor Thomas 65), Will Boyle, Charlie Raglan, Jordan Tillson, Chris Clements (sub Jordan Foster 89), Tyrone Barnett, Luke Varney (sub Rakish Bingham 86)
Subs not used: George Lloyd, Jacob Maddox, Rhys Lovett, Cameron Pring
Cobblers: David Cornell, Charlie Goode, Ash Taylor, Ryan Hughes (sub Daniel Powell 74), David Buchanan, John-Joe O’Toole, Jay Williams (sub Dean Bowditch 46), Sam Foley, Joe Powell (sub Marvin Sordell 46), Sam Hoskins, Andy Williams
Subs not used: Luke Coddington, Jack Newell, Jack Bridge, Shay Facey
Referee: Charles Breakspear
Cheltenham: Luke Varney (30)
Cobblers: Charlie Goode (11, 8th of the season), Ryan Hughes (40, 1st), Ash Taylor (51, 6th), Sam Foley (72, 5th)
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.
With Aaron Pierre (Grenada) and Timi Elsnik (Slovenia under 21s) both away on international duty and Jordan Turnbull, Morgan Roberts and Shaun McWilliams unavailable through injury, manager Keith Curle handed a debut to 17 year old defender and Academy player Ryan Hughes for the trip to Cheltenham Town. Fellow Academy player Jay Williams also came in to the starting line up while Joe Powell replaced namesake Daniel. Cheltenham included former Cobbler Ben Tozer in their side.
On a pleasant spring afternoon at the Jonny Rocks Stadium, the home side were first to show, with Chris Hussey sending a dipping far post volley over the bar inside the first minute of the contest.
The Cobblers came close with ten minutes played. A powerful Joe Powell strike was blocked for a corner and from David Buchanan’s resulting delivery, a header from Jay Williams was saved on the line by keeper Scott Flinders.
David Cornell produced a good low save to push away a Luke Varney drive on 14 minutes, but four minutes later the Robins striker did find the net, being in the right place at the right time to turn home a low cross from Kevin Dawson.
Ash Taylor sent a volley over the bar as the Cobblers looked to respond, before goalscorer Varney had his name taken by the referee for pushing David Buchanan in to the advertising hoardings.
The Robins had only lost one home league game since October, and they were awarded a penalty on 40 minutes, debutant Hughes penalised for a foul on Tyrone Barnett for which he was cautioned. Luke Varney scored from the spot.
Keith Curle made a double substitution at half time with Marvin Sordell and Dean Bowditch replacing Jay Williams and Joe Powell and within four minutes of the re-start, Bowditch had sent a first time half volley just over the bar.
Sam Hoskins fired a free kick wide as the game approached the hour mark, while soon afterwards Conor Thomas was on for Ryan Broom as Cheltenham made their first change.
David Cornell made a smart save from Dawson with twenty minutes to play before tipping over a curling Chris Clements free kick moments later but from the resulting corner, Tyrone Barnett headed down and up in to the roof of the net to extend the lead for the Robins.
Daniel Powell replaced debutant Hughes in the final change for the Cobblers, while double goalscorer Varney left the field to a warm ovation when he was brought off for Rakish Bingham.
With a minute of the ninety to play, Dean Bowditch pulled a goal back for the Cobblers when his curling low free kick beat Flinders at his near post, but after four minutes of added time, referee Breakspear blew the final whistle and the Cobblers unbeaten run had come to an end.
CHELTENHAM MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 9
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 4
CORNERS: (2) 5
FOULS: (6) 15
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 3
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 4
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 5
CORNERS: (2) 3
FOULS: (5) 15
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 4