SKY BET LEAGUE 1
Saturday September 12, 3.00pm
PTS Academy Stadium
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2
Matt Warburton 19
Ricky Korboa 31
AFC WIMBLEDON 2
Ethan Chislett 1
Nesta Guinness-Walker 23
Cobblers: Steve Arnold, Michael Harriman, Mark Marshall, Luka Racić, Cian Bolger, Fraser Horsfall, Ryan Watson, Christopher Missilou, Ricky Korboa, Benny Ashley-Seal (sub Sam Hoskins 63), Matt Warburton (sub Caleb Chukwuemeka 83)
Subs not used: Jonathan Mitchell, Joe Martin, Chris Lines, Morgan Roberts, Ethan Johnston
AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev, Luke O’Neill, Alex Woodyard, Terell Thomas, Ethan Chislett (sub Anthony Hartigan 75), Nesta Guiness-Walker, Shane McLoughlin, Ryan Longman (sub Adam Roscrow 86), Paul Kalambayi, Callum Reilly, Joe Pigott
Subs not used: Daniel Csoka, Will Nightingale, Cheye Alexander, Jaakko Oksanen, Matthew Cox
Referee: Ollie Yates
Cobblers: Fraser Horsfall (12, 1st of the season)
AFC Wimbledon: Joe Pigott (35)
5 cautions on or before 19 games; 1 match suspension
10 cautions on or before 37 games; 2 match suspension
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
AFC Wimbledon: 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.
AFC Wimbledon were at the PTS Academy Stadium for Northampton Town's first game back in Sky Bet League 1. Recent signing from Wolves Benny Ashley-Seal came straight into the side while young striker and academy graduate Caleb Chukwuemeka was named on the bench. Nicky Adams, Harry Smith, Joseph Mills, Scott Pollock, Shaun McWilliams and Joe Nutall were all unavailable through injury.
Less than 30 seconds in Wimbledon took the lead, Ethan Chislett finding the bottom right corner with a low drive.
Ashely-Seal volleyed just wide as the Cobblers responded well to falling behind and when Matt Warburton’s sweetly struck free-kick curled passed Nik Tzanev they were back on level terms.
Ryan Lognman spurned a good opportunity to put the Dons back in front but it wasn’t long before their lead had been restored, Nesta Guiness-Walker with a low finish.
Things could have got worse had Shane McLoughlin not fired over from six-yards and when Ricky Korboa scored his first ever league goal, a fine strike into the bottom corner, the Cobblers were back on level terms for a second time.
There was a moment of concern for boss Keith Curle when skipper Cian Bolger received treatment after going down injured but he was able to continue and it was the Cobblers who finished the first half the stronger, Michael Harriman heading wide from a Mark Marshall cross.
Warburton had the ball in the back of the net in the early stages of the second half but his cute overhead kick was ruled out for off-side.
Sam Hoskins, on for Ashley-Seal, volleyed just wide while it needed a vital touch from Luka Racic to deny Lognman a chance for Wimbledon at the back post.
Ryan Watson had a shot deflected behind before Caleb Chukwuemeka came on to make his Cobblers debut, replacing Warburton for the final few minutes.
Neither side was settling for a point but 2-2 was how it finished, a thoroughly entertaining game to kick off the new league season.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 4
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (4) 8
CORNERS: (2) 5
FOULS: (7) 10
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 3
AFC WIMBLEDON MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 4
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (2) 5
CORNERS: (1) 7
FOULS: (7) 12
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 2