SKY BET LEAGUE 1
Saturday December 23rd, 2.00pm
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1
Sam Foley 21
BLACKBURN ROVERS 1
Bradley Dack 48
Attendance: 6,541 (1,445 away fans)
Cobblers: David Cornell, Brendan Moloney, David Buchanan, Ash Taylor, Aaron Pierre (sub Regan Poole 34), Lewis McGugan (sub Shaun McWilliams 89), Matt Grimes, George Smith (sub Sam Hoskins 71), Sam Foley, John-Joe O’Toole, Chris Long
Subs not used: Luke Coddington, Raheem Hanley, Marc Richards, Billy Waters
Blackburn: David Raya Martin, Ryan Nyambe, Derrick Williams, Richard Smallwood, Danny Graham (sub Willem Tomlinson 64), Peter Whittingham (sub Joseph Nuttall 64), Elliott Ward, Marcus Antonsson, Bradley Dack, Paul Downing, Craig Conway
Subs not used: Rekeem Harper, Sam Hart, Jayson Leutwiler, Paul Caddis
Referee: Mr Gavin Ward
Cobblers: John-Joe O'Toole (90, 3rd of the season)
Blackburn: Elliott Ward (36), Paul Downing (43)
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.
George Smith replaced the suspended Matt Crooks for the Cobblers pre-Christmas home fixture versus in-form Blackburn Rovers. David Cornell continued in goal with Matt Ingram (shoulder) still sidelined.
There was a good crowd at Sixfields for the 2pm kick-off and before the game got underway there was a minute’s applause to remember those Cobblers fans who sadly passed away in 2017.
Marcus Antonsson played in Richard Smallwood for the first chance of the afternoon for the visitors, Brendan Moloney getting back to make an important block. Chris Long’s deflected effort was then well saved by David Raya Martin in the Rovers goal.
The Cobblers took the lead from a Matt Grimes corner on 21 minutes, Sam Foley seemingly with the final touch following Aaron Pierre’s initial header.
David Buchanan made a good block to deny Bradley Dack before an injury to Pierre forced Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink into making a change, Regan Poole coming on with ten minutes of the first half still to play. Cornell made a good save to prevent Dack levelling things up in first half stoppage time, the Cobblers 1-0 up at the break.
Raya Martin saved with his legs from Foley at the start of the second half and having survived that chance Blackburn equalised, Bradley Dack with a fine strike from 20-yards.
Lewis McGugan blazed over after being played in by Long as Willem Tomlinson and Joseph Nuttall came on in a double change for Rovers. Sam Hoskins, back from injury, came on for the final 20 minutes in place of George Smith.
Elliott Ward made a vital interception to clear a dangerous looking Hoskins cross into the box and Cornell saved comfortably from Craig Conway with the game still in the balance. Conway then looked set to score but could only find the side netting after being fed in by Dack.
Referee Gavin Ward pointed to the spot when Marcus Antonsson went down over David Cornell but the Cobblers keeper kept his cool, despite feeling hard done by, to save Antonsson’s penalty.
Cornell’s penalty save proved crucial as there were no more goals and the game ended all-square, the Cobblers thoroughly deserving of a point.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 6
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (2) 6
CORNERS: (1) 1
FOULS: (7) 13
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 2
BLACKBURN MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 8
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (0) 2
CORNERS: (2) 4
FOULS: (6) 13
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 3