A first-half strike by Morecambe's A-Jay Leitch Smith sealed victory for the home side at the Globe Arena on Tuesday evening.
SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Tuesday August 21st, 7:45pm
(A-Jay Leitch-Smith 45)
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 0
Attendance: 1,594 (230 away)
Morecambe: Barry Roche, Zak Mills, Luke Conlan, Steve Old, Andrew Fleming, Jason Oswell (Alex Kenyon 73), Josef Yarney, Aaron Wildig (Carlos Mendes-Gomes 85), Liam Mandeville, Rhys Oates (Kevin Ellison 66), A-Jay Leitch-Smith.
Subs not used: Mark Halstead, Lamin Jagne, Ben Hedley, Jordan Cranston.
Cobblers: David Cornell, Shay Facey, Leon Barnett, Ash Taylor (c), David Buchanan, Sam Hoskins, Matt Crooks, Sam Foley (John-Joe O'Toole 84), Dean Bowditch (Daniel Powell 64), Kevin van Veen, Andy Williams (Junior Morias 64).
Subs not used: Lewis Ward, Hakeem Odoffin, Jordan Turnbull, Jack Bridge.
Referee: Mark Heywood
Morecambe: Liam Mandeville (9 mins) Steve Old (44 mins) Alex Kenyon (77 mins)
Cobblers: Dean Bowditch (55 mins) Leon Barnett (55 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
Morecambe: Barry Roche (85 mins)
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.
Dean Austin made three changes for the midweek trip to Morecambe with Shay Facey, Leon Barnett and Dean Bowditch replacing Hakeem Odoffin, Aaron Pierre and Daniel Powell. Shaun McWilliams (hamstring) remained unavailable for selection.
The in-form Kevin van Veen curled a shot just over from 25-yards before a Morecambe foray into the Cobblers box ended in Liam Mandeville being shown a yellow card for simulation. Van Veen again went close after being played in by Sam Hoskins and David Cornell comfortably saved a deflected effort from A-Jay Leitch-Smith as both sides looked for an opening.
Matt Crooks burst into the box but saw his shot well-parried by Barry Roche, the ball then falling kindly for a Morecambe defender to clear. Andy Fleming then thought he had put the home side in front only for Cornell to tip his flying header onto the crossbar.
Chances were being created by both sides and another fell to Crooks after a neat flick-on from Bowditch but the midfielder couldn’t find the target.
Morecambe ended the first half on top and took the lead in stoppage time, A-Jay Leitch-Smith latching onto a ball over the top before keeping his cool to slot home.
Boosted by that goal the home side started strongly in the second half and Cornell had to be alert to deny Rhys Oates and goalscorer Leitch-Smith.
Junior Morias and Daniel Powell came on in a double change for Andy Williams and Dean Bowditch as the Cobblers started to push Morecambe back. Clear cut chances were proving hard to come by though and John-Joe O’Toole replaced Sam Foley in a final throw of the dice.
The Shrimps were reduced to ten men when goalkeeper Roche was shown a second yellow card for bringing down Morias and with all three substitutions already made Alex Kenyon was forced to don the gloves for the final few minutes.
Kenyon made a fine save to deny Powell at the back post as the Cobblers threw everything at Morecambe, Morias also denied his first Cobblers goal by the stand-in stopper. O’Toole had the last chance of the night deep into stoppage time but couldn’t keep his shot down and the home side held on.
MORECAMBE MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (4) 7
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (0) 4
CORNERS: (4) 6
FOULS: (5) 8
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 1
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (1) 6
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (4) 6
CORNERS: (2) 6
FOULS: (3) 10
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 2