PAPA JOHN'S TROPHY
Tuesday December 8th, 7.00pm
St James Park
EXETER CITY 1
Nigel Atangana 51
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2
Danny Rose 22
Benny Ashley-Seal 83
Exeter: Jonny Maxted, Jake Caprice (sub Joel Randall 86), Jack Sparkes, Nigel Atangana (sub Jake Taylor 77), Rory McArdle, Nicky Law, Ben Seymour (sub Nicky Ajose 67), Alex Fisher, Harry Kite, Jordan Dyer, Alex Hartridge
Subs not used: Harry Lee, Sonny Cox, Louis Morison, Cheick Diabate
Cobblers: Jonathan Mitchell, Michael Harriman, Fraser Horsfall, Joe Martin, Mark Marshall (sub Ricky Korboa 54), Morgan Roberts (sub Caleb Chukwuemeka 73), Shaun McWilliams, Ryan Watson, Chris Lines, Danny Rose, Harry Smith (sub Benny Ashley-Seal 54)
Subs not used: Dylan Berry, Christopher Missilou, Liam Cross, Max Dyche
Referee: Carl Brook
Cobblers: Danny Rose (39), Harry Smith (51), Shaun McWilliams (90), Fraser Horsfall (90)
Keith Curle made six changes for the Papa John’s Trophy second round tie at Exeter City with Jonathan Mitchell, Joe Martin, Chris Lines, Ryan Watson, Morgan Roberts and Danny Rose all coming into the side. Despite being sent off at the weekend, Shaun McWilliams was eligible to play with his three-match ban only encompassing league matches. Academy players, goalkeeper Dylan Berry, midfielder Liam Cross and defender Max Dyche, were named on the bench.
Nicky Law went close with a strike from the edge of the area following a swift counter-attack from the home side in a largely uneventful opening twenty minutes.
The Cobblers made the breakthrough midway through the first half, a Morgan Roberts corner perfectly met by the head of Danny Rose.
Jack Sparkes saw a shot deflected wide as Exeter responded to falling behind but the Cobblers could have doubled their lead through Joe Martin, the defender unable to find the target after Jonny Maxted could only parry a cross/shot from goalscorer Rose.
Exeter equalised early in the second half, Nigel Atangana finishing on the follow-up after Jonathan Mitchell couldn’t hold on to the initial header. Ricky Korboa and Benny Ashley-Seal then replaced Mark Marshall and Harry Smith in a double change.
Nicky Ajose, having just come off the bench, had a chance to put the Grecians in front but having been put through one-on-one Mitchell got down well to make the save. Mitchell then made another good save this time to deny Nicky Law who was also one-on-one with the Cobblers keeper.
Caleb Chukwuemeka replaced Morgan Roberts in the Cobblers final change with the game still delicately poised and the possibility of penalties looming if neither side could find a winner.
Alex Fisher headed wide from an Ajose cross as Exeter probed but Benny Ashley-Seal put the Cobblers back in front with a terrific finish after latching onto a through ball from Michael Harriman, Ashley-Seal showing real strength to bring the ball down before unleashing a shot on the turn to beat Maxted.
That proved to be the winner as the Cobblers ensured their interest in this season’s Papa John’s Trophy would go into the New Year.
EXETER MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (0) 7
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (5) 6
CORNERS: (3) 6
FOULS: (9) 16
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 1
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 4
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 2
CORNERS: (1) 1
FOULS: (7) 16
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 4