SKY BET LEAGUE 1
Saturday March 6th, 3.00pm
PTS Academy Stadium
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 4
Ryan Watson 20, 23
Fraser Horsfall 32
Ryan Edmondson 43
Ellis Harrison 73 pen
Cobblers: Jonathan Mitchell, Peter Kioso, Lloyd Jones, Fraser Horsfall, Joseph Mills (sub Michael Harriman 68), Shaun McWilliams (sub Danny Rose 75), Jack Sowerby, Ryan Watson, Mickel Miller, Sam Hoskins, Ryan Edmondson
Subs not used: Steve Arnold, Ricky Korboa, Caleb Chukwuemeka, Mark Marshall, Alex Jones
Portsmouth: Craig MacGillivray, Lee Brown, Tom Naylor, Jack Whatmough, John Marquis (sub Ellis Harrison 59), Ronan Curtis (sub Jordy Hiwula 59), Andy Cannon, Rasmus Nicolaisen (sub Harvey White 59), George Byers (sub James Bolton 59), Marcus Harness, Sean Raggett
Subs not used: Ryan Williams, Charlie Daniels, Lewis Ward
Referee: Andy Haines
Cobblers: Mickel Miller (85, 3rd of the season), Jonathan Mitchell (88, 3rd)
Portsmouth: John Marquis (34)
10 cautions on or before 37 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.
Jon Brady, having been confirmed as caretaker manager for the rest of the season, named an unchanged starting eleven for the visit of promotion chasing Portsmouth with Caleb Chukwuemeka replacing Bryn Morris on the bench. Morris, on-loan from Pompey was ineligible to feature against his parent club.
Sam Hoskins dragged a shot wide and Jonathan Mitchell made a comfortable save from a John Marquis header in a fairly uneventful opening quarter of an hour, both sides feeling their way into the contest.
The Cobblers broke the deadlock with man of the moment Ryan Watson scoring his fifth goal in as many games, this one a terrific curling free-kick into the net.
Four minutes later it was 2-0 with Watson again on target, the midfielder heading home from a Mickel Miller corner to double the Cobblers lead and his tally for the afternoon.
Craig MacGillivray made a good save to deny Hoskins but it was only a temporary reprieve for Pompey, the Cobblers increasing their lead from the subsequent Miller corner, Fraser Horsfall getting the final touch to make it 3-0.
In search of a fourth goal, MacGillivray saved a Ryan Edmondson overhead kick with Miller also seeing a deflected effort saved by the Pompey keeper.
It was 4-0 before half-time however, Hoskins with a superb chip over MacGillivray that Ryan Edmondson bundled home to beautifully cap a scintillating first half display.
An overhead kick from Watson fell at the feet of Peter Kioso at the start of the second half but his shot was straight into the arms of MacGillivray.
Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett made a quadruple change in an attempt to turn the tide with Harvey White, Jordy Hiwula, Ellis Harrison and James Bolton all coming on, ex-Cobbler John Marquis one of the four to make way.
Hiwula flashed a shot just wide as Portsmouth threatened to pull a goal back, Sean Raggett also failing to find the target when the ball fell kindly for the defender. Joseph Mills made way for Michael Harriman in Jon Brady’s first change of the afternoon.
Substitute Harrison scored from the penalty spot to make it 4-1 after Horsfall was penalised for a foul on White, Mitchell getting a touch but just unable to keep the ball out. Danny Rose then replaced Shaun McWilliams who had picked up a knock.
The remaining fifteen minutes plus five of stoppage time was played without any real scares for the Cobblers who went close to a fifth in injury time, MacGillivray making a good save to deny Edmondson.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (7) 8
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (2) 5
CORNERS: (5) 7
FOULS: (7) 14
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 2
PORTSMOUTH MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 3
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 4
CORNERS: (0) 1
FOULS: (8) 13
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 4