Tuesday October 9th, 7.45pm
OXFORD UNITED 1
James Henry 24
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2
Kevin van Veen 54
Aaron Pierre 65
Attendance: 929 (117 Cobblers fans)
Oxford: Simon Eastwood, Luke Garbutt, Rob Dickie, Jamie Hanson (sub Jon Obika 74), Cameron Brannagan, Sam Smith, Samir Carruthers (sub John Mousinho 62), James Henry (sub Marcus Browne 74), Charlie Raglan, Sam Long, Shandon Baptiste
Subs not used: Jack Stevens, Curtis Nelson, Aaron Heap, Slavi Spasov
Northampton: Lewis Ward, Shay Facey, Aaron Pierre, Jordan Turnbull, David Buchanan (sub Jack Bridge 53), Daniel Powell (sub Hakeem Odoffin 80), Dean Bowditch, Sam Foley, John-Joe O’Toole, Kevin van Veen (sub Andy Williams 87), Billy Waters
Subs not used: David Cornell, Sam Hoskins, Matt Crooks, Shaun McWilliams
Referee: Kevin Johnson
Oxford: James Henry (25)
Cobblers: Aaron Pierre (25), Dean Bowditch (25), John-Joe O'Toole (25), Shay Facey (29), Kevin van Veen (31)
Cobblers: John-Joe O'Toole (90, misses the next Checkatrade Trophy game)
The Cobblers focus switched from league action as they travelled to Oxford United for their second group game in the Checkatrade Trophy. Lewis Ward, Dean Bowditch, Daniel Powell, Billy Waters and Kevin van Veen all came into the Cobblers side as Keith Curle made five changes.
Daniel Powell had an early header saved by Simon Eastwood and John-Joe O’Toole made a good run into the area before his shot was deflected behind via the post by U's centre-back Charlie Raglan in a strong start from the Cobblers.
Eastwood made a smart save to prevent van Veen opening the scoring while it needed a last-ditch tackle from Raglan to halt the run of Powell.
Oxford took the lead when James Henry’s deflected shot gave Lewis Ward no chance in the Cobblers goal. Soon after play had re-started there was a coming together that resulted in Aaron Pierre, Bowditch, O’Toole and Henry all being shown yellow cards. A cross from goalscorer Henry then bounced back off the post as the hosts nearly doubled their lead.
Ward tipped over a header from Sam Smith in first half stoppage time, having earlier made a good save from Shandon Baptiste to keep the scoreline at 1-0.
After a bright start to the second half Kevin van Veen equalised with a wonder strike, winning back the ball before curling a shot into the top corner from 25-yards.
Town were on top and Powell had a shot blocked after being played through by Jack Bridge, on for David Buchanan. U's substitute John Mousinho then had a shot deflected behind in the home side’s first meaningful foray forward in the second half.
Aaron Pierre put the Cobblers in front on 65 minutes, the defender applying a neat finish to Sam Foley’s cross.
Powell went down in the area under a challenge from Eastwood but referee Kevin Johnson waved away the Cobblers appeals for a penalty. Powell then had to be replaced with Hakeem Odoffin coming on.
Luke Garbutt lined up a shot from distance that came back off the inside of the post as the hosts tried to rally in search of an equaliser of their own. Marcus Browne flashed a shot just wide with stoppage time approaching and the Cobblers saw out injury time to claim a win that kept their hopes of progression in the Checkatrade Trophy alive going into the final group game against Fulham under 21s at the PTS Academy Stadium in November.
They did however end the game with ten men after O’Toole picked up a second yellow card deep into injury time, meaning he will miss that game with the Fulham youngsters next month.
OXFORD MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (4) 7
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 6
CORNERS: (2) 3
FOULS: (6) 12
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 2
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 6
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (4) 6
CORNERS: (4) 8
FOULS: (8) 11
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 1