SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday August 3rd, 3.00pm
PTS Academy Stadium
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 0
James Clarke 13
Attendance: 6,260 (1,455 away supporters)
Cobblers: David Cornell, Reece Hall-Johnson (sub Ryan Watson 78), Charlie Goode, Scott Wharton, Joe Martin, Sam Hoskins, Alan McCormack (sub Shaun McWilliams 60), Chris Lines, Nicky Adams, Matt Warburton (sub Andy Williams 64), Harry Smith
Subs not used: Steve Arnold, Jordan Turnbull, Scott Pollock, Morgan Roberts
Walsall: Liam Roberts, Cameron Norman, Cameron Pring, Mat Sadler, James Clarke (sub Zak Jules 86), Dan Scarr, Stuart Sinclair, Liam Kinsella, Josh Gordon (sub Rory Holden 90), Elijah Adebayo, Danny Guthrie (sub Gary Liddle 72)
Subs not used: Jack Rose, James Hardy, Callum Cockerill-Mollett, Wes McDonald
Referee: Nicholas Kinseley
Cobblers: Alan McCormack (56, 1st of the season), Reece Hall-Johnson (67, 1st)
Walsall: Elijah Adebayo (38), Liam Kinsella (72), Dan Scarr (76), Josh Gordon (80)
5 cautions on or before 19 games; 1 match suspension
10 cautions on or before 32 games; 2 match suspension
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.
It was a new look Cobblers team that kicked off the 2019/20 season against Walsall at the PTS Academy Stadium. Only David Cornell, Sam Hoskins and Charlie Goode, who ended the previous campaign on-loan at the Cobblers before agreeing a permanent switch in the summer, remained with 8 new signings making their competitive debut for the club, returnee Nicky Adams for a second time.
There was a cracking atmosphere inside the PTS Academy Stadium as the game got underway. Elijah Adebayo couldn’t keep his shot down for Walsall after linking up with strike partner Josh Gordon while Sam Hoskins curled an effort over in the first sight at goal for the Cobblers. A tantalising cross from Nicky Adams then nearly created the opening goal with Hoskins, Matt Warburton and Harry Smith just unable to get a touch.
Walsall took the lead from a corner on 13 minutes, centre-back James Clarke heading home via the underside of the cross bar.
Hoskins was denied by Liam Roberts after a good nod down from Smith with the Walsall keeper then saving Charlie Goode’s header from the subsequent corner as the Cobblers pressed for an equaliser. With half-time approaching Smith then had a couple of half chances but a vital interception from goalscorer Clarke and a block from a Walsall defender prevented a clear shot on goal.
Liam Kinsella had a goalbound effort blocked by a team mate following a fragmented start to the second half before the Cobblers were forced into making a change, Shaun McWilliams replacing Alan McCormack who had picked up an injury.
Smith drove a shot narrowly over from 25-yards while at the other end David Cornell did well to hold on to a shot from Cameron Pring with Adebayo lurking for any scraps on the follow-up. Keith Curle then made his second change, Andy Williams on for Warburton.
Hoskins fired over from the edge of the area after Roberts could only punch clear a cross from Adams and Joe Martin curled a free-kick just wide before another summer signing, Ryan Watson, came on for Reece Hall-Johnson.
A point blank save from Roberts kept out a header from Williams and Goode headed over as the Cobblers forced a couple of corners, still probing hard for the equaliser but with time now against them. Although there were an additional Seven minutes signalled by the fourth official they couldn’t quite carve out the goal the performance deserved and Walsall claimed the opening day three points.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 5
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (2) 9
CORNERS: (2) 5
FOULS: (3) 8
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 3
WALSALL MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 4
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 5
CORNERS: (3) 4
FOULS: (9) 19
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (3) 5
SCRATCH CARD GOAL TIMES: 12:43