SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday August 4th, 3.00pm
PTS Academy Stadium
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 0
LINCOLN CITY 1 (Matt Green 48)
Attendance: 6,242 (1,453 away supporters)
Cobblers: David Cornell, Hakeem Odoffin, Ash Taylor (c), Aaron Pierre, David Buchanan, Matt Crooks, Shaun McWilliams (Jack Bridge 22), John-Joe O'Toole, Daniel Powell (Dean Bowditch 78), Sam Hoskins, Andy Williams.
Subs not used: Lewis Ward, Leon Barnett, Sam Foley, Billy Waters, Kevin van Veen.
Lincoln: Josh Vickers, Luke Waterfall (c), Scott Wharton, Lee Frecklington, Matt Green (Bruno Andrade 63), Harry Toffolo, James Wilson, Michael Bostwick, Shay McCartan (Harry Anderson 70), Neal Eardley, John Akinde (Matt Rhead 73).
Subs not used: Michael O'Connor, Tom Pett, Adam Crookes, Grant Smith.
Referee: Lee Swabey
Lincoln: Matt Green 39, Lee Frecklington 90
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.
The Cobblers faced a tough opening game of the 2018/19 season as they welcomed one of the promotion favourites Lincoln City to the PTS Academy Stadium. Dean Austin handed competitive debuts to two of his summer signings, striker Andy Williams and right-back Hakeem Odoffin. On-loan Reading goalkeeper Lewis Ward had to be content with a place on the bench as David Cornell got the nod while Junior Morias and Shay Facey (ankle) were both unavailable. Former Cobbler Neal Eardley lined-up for the Imps.
The fans were in good voice as the game got underway on a hot and sunny afternoon in Northampton. John-Joe O’Toole couldn’t quite get enough power in his shot to trouble Josh Vickers from six-yards after Odoffin released Sam Hoskins down the right and Hoskins was denied when through one-on-one with the Imps keeper in an encouraging opening ten minutes for the home side.
A slack back pass from Luke Waterfall presented a good opportunity for Daniel Powell to open the scoring but Vickers made the save. Waterfall then had Lincoln’s first chance of the game, heading wide from a corner.
An injury to Shaun McWilliams forced Dean Austin into making a change with Jack Bridge entering the fray midway through the first half.
A rising half-volley from Harry Toffolo struck the stanchion behind the Cobblers goal before another good spell of pressure from Dean Austin’s side. Neither side could make the breakthrough before half-time though as the first half ended goalless.
Matt Green headed Lincoln in front early in the second half, rising well to meet Eardley’s cross.
Vickers saved comfortably from Williams and Matt Crooks fired over as the Cobblers tried to prise an opening to get themselves back on level terms.
Dean Bowditch replaced Powell in the Cobblers second change before Hoskins with a half chance couldn’t keep his shot down. Imps substitute Bruno Andrade then seemed to get caught in two minds as the visitors had an opportunity to double their lead.
Williams did well to get his head on a cross in from Odoffin with time ticking away but Vickers was there to make the save and despite some late Cobblers pressure, Williams denied deep into stoppage time, Lincoln held on to claim the honours on the opening day of the Sky Bet League 2 season.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (5) 10
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 6
CORNERS: (2) 6
FOULS: (5) 11
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 2
LINCOLN MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (0) 1
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (2) 2
CORNERS: (2) 1
FOULS: (8) 13
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 2
SCRATCH CARD GOAL TIME(S): 47:45