Second half goals from Matt Crooks and Billy Waters secured the three points against Colchester United on Saturday afternoon.
SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday August 25th, 3.00pm
JobServe Community Stadium
COLCHESTER UNITED 1
Sam Szmodics 90+4 mins
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2
Matt Crooks 48 mins
Billy Waters 90 mins
Attendance: 3,791 (480 Cobblers fans)
Colchester: Dillon Barnes, Ryan Jackson, Tom Lapslie, Luke Prosser, Frankie Kent, Courtney Senior (Tom Eastman 62), Harry Pell, Samme Szmodics, Brennan Dickinson, Kane Vincent-Young (Mikael Mandron 63), Frank Nouble (Luke Norris 78).
Subs not used: Ethan Ross, Brandon Comley, Diaz Wright, Aaron Collins.
Cobblers: David Cornell, Shay Facey, Ash Taylor, Aaron Pierre, David Buchanan, Sam Hoskins, Matt Crooks, Sam Foley, Jack Bridge (Billy Waters 73), Kevin van Veen (John-Joe O'Toole 82), Junior Morias (Andy Williams 73).
Subs not used: Lewis Ward, Hakeem Odoffin, Leon Barnett, Dean Bowditch.
Referee: Alan Young
Cobblers: Jack Bridge (56 mins) Sam Hoskins (76 mins)
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.
Aaron Pierre returned in central defence for the trip to Essex with Jack Bridge and Junior Morias also named in the starting line-up as boss Dean Austin made three changes. Colchester, who went into the game unbeaten and on the back of a 6-0 win against Crewe, included two former Cobblers loanees, Luke Prosser and Brennan Dickenson, in their side with a third, Luke Norris, on the bench.
Kevin van Veen had an early sight at goal after linking up well with Morias and Bridge tested Dillon Barnes in the U’s goal following a slick counter-attack in an encouraging opening ten minutes for the Cobblers.
Sam Hoskins cut inside before shooting just wide as Town continued to make all the early running. The first chance for Colchester arrived on 17 minutes, David Cornell saving comfortably from Sammy Szmodics.
Van Veen had a shot blocked at close range shortly after Sam Foley went close with a half-volley as the Cobblers continued to create chances.
The Cobblers took the lead at the start of the second half, Matt Crooks finding space and arrowing a shot into the bottom corner.
Barnes had to be at his best to deny Crooks a second goal and Foley fired over from 25-yards before Cornell made a fine finger-tip save to keep out a Harry Pell header.
Pell curled a free-kick just wide and Cornell tipped a header onto the bar with Dickenson shooting wide on the follow-up as the home side enjoyed a period of pressure.
John-Joe O’Toole, on as a substitute, appeared to be fouled inside the area as he dragged a shot wide but the referee was unmoved.
Fellow substitutes Andy Williams and Billy Waters combined to double the Cobblers lead as the game entered six minutes of stoppage time, Waters calmly tucking the ball home to effectively seal all three points despite Sammy Szmodics netting a late consolation for Colchester.
COLCHESTER MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (1) 5
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 5
CORNERS: (3) 8
FOULS: (1) 4
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 2
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 9
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 6
CORNERS: (3) 5
FOULS: (6) 11
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 1