SKY BET LEAGUE 1
Saturday November 11th, 3.00pm
OXFORD UNITED 1
Wes Thomas 44
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2
Ash Taylor 11
Chris Long 45
Attendance: 8,267 (1,125 Cobblers fans)
Oxford: Simon Eastwood, Dwight Tiendalli, Curtis Nelson (sub Aaron Martin 43), Rob Hall, Ryan Ledson, Wes Thomas, Jack Payne (sub Jon Obika 63), James Henry (sub Xemi Fernandez 82), Joe Rothwell, Ricardinho, John Mousinho
Subs not used: Scott Shearer, Josh Ruffels, Alex Mowatt, Canice Carroll
Cobblers: Matt Ingram, Brendan Moloney, Ash Taylor, Aaron Pierre, David Buchanan, Lewis McGugan, Matt Grimes, Billy Waters, John-Joe O’Toole (sub Sam Foley 57), Daniel Powell (sub Dean Bowditch 20), Chris Long (sub Marc Richards 90)
Subs not used: David Cornell, Shaun McWilliams, Matt Crooks, Ryan McGivern
Referee: Mr Kevin Johnson
Cobblers: Matt Grimes (80, 5th of the season), Lewis McGugan (83, 1st), Sam Foley (90, 1st)
5 cautions on or before 19 games; 1 match suspension
10 cautions on or before 32 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.
After back-to-back cup games in the Emirates FA Cup and the Checkatrade Trophy, the Cobblers returned to league action at Oxford United. Sam Hoskins, Alex Revell, Leon Barnett and Aaron Phillips were all unavailable for selection due to injury but John-Joe O’Toole (ankle) was passed fit. With the game falling on November 11th there was a perfectly observed minute’s silence to mark Armistice Day before the game got underway.
Home goalkeeper Simon Eastwood made a good early save to deny Chris Long, David Buchanan providing the cross for Long’s volley. A terrific interception from Brendan Moloney prevented a strike on goal from Oxford in an open start to the contest.
The Cobblers took the lead through Ash Taylor on 11 minutes, Taylor finishing at the far post after the U’s failed to clear a Lewis McGugan corner.
O’Toole headed just wide from a devilish McGugan free-kick before the Cobblers were forced into making a change after Daniel Powell picked up an injury, Dean Bowditch coming off the bench.
Eastwood made another terrific save to prevent McGugan doubling the Cobblers lead midway through the first half, McGugan’s powerful shot from distance seemingly destined for the top corner before Eastwood managed to get across and tip the ball behind.
Wes Thomas equalised for Oxford on 44 minutes but the Cobblers were soon back in front, Chris Long with a superb solo effort, the on-loan Burnley striker robbing the ball back from a U’s player before embarking on a mazy run that ended with a cool strike to beat Eastwood.
The Cobblers remained in the ascendancy at the start of the second half and when Chris Long put a cross into the box Billy Waters looked certain to make it 3-1, U’s defender Ricardinho getting a vital touch for the home side.
Sam Foley replaced O’Toole in the Cobblers second change while after a bit of a lull in the game Matt Ingram comfortably saved a Wes Thomas header in a rare chance for Oxford.
Ingram had to be at his best to palm over a shot from Rob Hall as the game entered the final five minutes, Dwight Tiendalli also going close for the U’s as they pressed for a second equalising goal of the afternoon. It wasn’t to come though as the Cobblers remained resolute to claim the three points their performance thoroughly deserved.
OXFORD MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 8
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (2) 4
CORNERS: (2) 6
FOULS: (6) 8
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (4) 7
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (6) 11
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 4
CORNERS: (4) 8
FOULS: (4) 10
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 1