SKY BET LEAGUE 1
Saturday September 9th, 3.00pm
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1
Matt Crooks 1
DONCASTER ROVERS 0
Attendance: 5,843 (736 away fans)
Cobblers: Matt Ingram, Brendan Moloney, David Buchanan, Ash Taylor, Aaron Pierre, Matt Crooks (sub Marc Richards 76), Shaun McWilliams, Matt Grimes, George Smith (sub Daniel Powell 88), Chris Long (sub Billy Waters 57), Alex Revell
Subs not used: David Cornell, Leon Barnett, Yaser Kasim, Regan Poole
Doncaster: Ian Lawlor, Andrew Butler, Rodney Kongolo, John Marquis, Tommy Rowe, Ben Whiteman, Liam Mandeville (sub Alfie May 60), Joe Wright, Matty Blair, Harry Toffolo (sub James Coppinger 46), Tyler Garratt (sub Jordan Houghton 60)
Subs not used: Craig Alcock, Niall Mason, Andrew Williams, Marko Marosi
Referee: Darren Handley
Doncaster: Ben Whiteman (31)
5 cautions in 19 games; 1 match suspension
10 cautions in 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.
Doncaster Rovers were the visitors to Sixfields as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink took charge of the Cobblers for the first time.
Matt Ingram, signed on-loan from QPR on transfer deadline day, made his debut in goal while summer signing George Smith made his first start for the club. Doncaster included two former Cobblers loanees in their starting line-up, John Marquis and Matty Blair.
The Cobblers got off to a terrific start and had the lead through Matt Crooks after 21 seconds, George Smith providing the set up with a pacy run and ball across to Crooks who finished neatly.
Alex Revell had a shot blocked and Brendan Moloney dragged an effort wide as Hasselbaink’s side continued to play with real energy and at a high tempo.
After a lengthy stoppage when one of the assistant referees had to be replaced by the fourth official because of injury, Ash Taylor made a vital interception to rob John Marquis. Doncaster were being given no time on the ball with the Cobblers players quick to harry and close down the opposition.
Andrew Butler blocked a shot from Crooks and the same player almost made it 2-0 after getting on the end of a cross from Chris Long, his diving effort going just the wrong side of the post.
Joe Wright had a chance to level for Doncaster early in the second half but put his header over.
Billy Waters replaced Chris Long in Hasselbaink’s first change, the Burnley loanee coming off to rapturous applause.
A vital block from David Buchanan denied Rovers substitute Alfie May and Matt Ingram made a fine save to keep out a header from Tommy Row amidst a flurry of corners for the visitors.
Goalscorer Matt Crooks left the field to a standing ovation as Marc Richards came on for the final fifteen minutes.
James Coppinger drew a save from Ingram before the Cobblers were denied a penalty when Rowe appeared to bring down Waters. Daniel Powell replaced George Smith in the Cobblers final change, Smith also receiving a tremendous reception from the fans on his full Cobblers debut.
Another fine save from Ingram preserved Town's lead going into the 90th minute and they saw the game out to make it a winning start for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 3
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (4) 4
CORNERS: (3) 3
FOULS: (3) 11
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 3
DONCASTER MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 7
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (0) 6
CORNERS: (0) 9
FOULS: (2) 3
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 2