SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday December 14th, 3.00pm
PTS Academy Stadium
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1
Sam Hoskins 45
FOREST GREEN ROVERS 0
Attendance: 4,534 (139 away supporters)
Cobblers: David Cornell, Michael Harriman, Charlie Goode, Jordan Turnbull, Scott Wharton, Nicky Adams, Sam Hoskins, Ryan Watson, Chris Lines (sub Andy Williams 79), Paul Anderson (sub Shaun McWilliams 66), Vadaine Oliver (sub Harry Smith 72)
Subs not used: Steve Arnold, Matt Warburton, Reece Hall-Johnson, Joe Martin
Forest Green: Adam Smith, Liam Shephard, Dom Bernard, Matt Mills, Carl Winchester, Matty Stevens (sub Junior Mondal 70), Aaron Collins (sub Elliott Frear 57), Ebou Adams, Liam Kitching, Joseph Mills, Jack Aitchison
Subs not used: Farrend Rawson, Joe Wollacott, James Morton, Kevin Dawson, Nathan McGinley
Referee: Antony Coggins
Cobblers: Shaun McWilliams (76, 4th of the season)
Forest Green: Ebou Adams (30)
10 cautions on or before 37 games; 2 match suspension
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
Forest Green: 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.
The Cobblers in seventh, took on third-placed Forest Green Rovers at the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday. Ryan Watson and Michael Harriman came into the side with Alan McCormack (hamstring) missing out as a precaution and Andy Williams dropping to the bench. Former Cobbler Adam Smith started in goal for Forest Green.
Smith saved an early Harriman header before the woodwork denied Rovers defender Liam Shephard when his shot came back off the post. The Cobblers then had a shout for a penalty turned down when Sam Hoskins had a shot blocked by an arm at close range.
After a slight lull in the action following a frenetic start, Hoskins flicked the ball on to Paul Anderson who, from a tight angle, forced Smith into a low save.
With the first half nearly done and dusted the Cobblers made the breakthrough from a Nicky Adams corner. There was some doubt to who actually got the final touch with Sam Hoskins claiming the goal but the ball having possibly gone in off Rovers defender Matt Mills.
Rovers started the second half brightly and went close to an equaliser when Jack Aitchison’s dipping shot from 20-yards kissed the top of the cross bar.
The visitors were getting closer and with almost an hour on the clock Ebou Adams spurned a good chance, his shot from inside the penalty area coming back off the bar. The game was all set up for a tense finish and it needed a smart stop from David Cornell to deny Aitchison who was through one-on-one with the Cobblers keeper.
Harry Smith had a chance to ease the Cobblers nerves only for a Rovers player to just about get back in time to deflect the ball behind for what looked like a certain corner although to much surprise a goal kick was given.
Forest Green had thrown everything at the Cobblers including Liam Kitching’s header in stoppage time that went straight into the arms of Cornell but despite some nervy moments in the second half the Cobblers defence wasn’t to be breached and a vital three points in the promotion race belonged to Keith Curle’s side.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 4
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (4) 6
CORNERS: (5) 7
FOULS: (9) 15
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 2
FOREST GREEN MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 8
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 8
CORNERS: (2) 9
FOULS: (4) 9
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 2
SCRATCH CARD GOAL TIMES: 44:23