SKY BET LEAGUE 1
Saturday January 20th, 3.00pm
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2
John-Joe O'Toole 16
Chris Long 41
MILTON KEYNES DONS 1
Alex Gilbey 18
Attendance: 7,231 (1,210 away supporters)
Cobblers: Richard O’Donnell, Shay Facey, Joe Bunney, Ash Taylor, Jordan Turnbull, Matt Crooks, Matt Grimes, Sam Hoskins (sub Hildeberto Pereira 57), John-Joe O’Toole, Sam Foley (sub Gboly Ariyibi 73), Chris Long (sub Alex Revell 90)
Subs not used: David Cornell, Brendan Moloney, Regan Poole, Shaun McWilliams
MK Dons: Lee Nicholls, George Williams, Scott Wootton, Ousseynou Cisse (sub Conor McGrandles 71), Osman Sow (sub Chuks Aneke 59), Peter Pawlett (sub Keiran Agard 83), Marcus Tavernier, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Callum Brittain, Alex Gilbey, Ike Ugbo
Subs not used: Ed Upson, Weiger Sietsma, Robbie Muirhead, Aidan Nesbit
Referee: Brett Huxtable
Cobblers: Hildeberto Pereira (90, 1st of the season), John-Joe O'Toole (90, 5th)
MK Dons: Kieran Agard (86), Alex Gilbey (90)
10 cautions on or before 37 games; 2 match suspension
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
MK Dons: Chuks Aneke (90)
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.
New signing left-back Joe Bunney came straight into the side for the visit of MK Dons with Jordan Turnbull moving across to partner Ash Taylor at centre-back. Nottingham Forest winger Gboly Ariyibi, re-called from a loan spell at MK Dons earlier in the week before being loaned out to the Cobblers, was named on the bench.
Just two places and one point separated the two sides before kick-off with the Cobblers knowing a win would lift them out of the relegation zone.
Matt Grimes had the first effort of the afternoon for the Cobblers, his curled free-kick palmed away by Lee Nicholls.
The Cobblers took the lead on 16 minutes, John-Joe O’Toole with a near post finish after some great work down the left from Sam Foley led to debutant Bunney providing the cross for O’Toole’s third goal in as many matches.
MK Dons were soon back on level terms however, Osman Sow crossing for Alex Gilbey to smash home and, despite some appeals for a foul on Ash Taylor in the build-up, the goal stood.
Sow spurned a good chance and Richard O’Donnell saved a rising effort from Scott Wootton as the Dons enjoyed a spell of pressure.
Chris Long put the Cobblers back in front before half-time, the striker stretching out a leg to get the final touch to a Sam Hoskins cross.
Peter Pawlett flashed a shot just wide for the Dons at the start of the second half before Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink introduced Hildeberto Pereira in place of Hoskins.
Pereira combined with Long to almost set up a chance for 3-1, Dons defender Callum Brittain somewhat fortunate not to put through his own net. Matt Crooks then also went close with a right-footed curler.
Gboly Ariyibi came on to make his debut with just under twenty minutes to play, the Forest loanee replacing Sam Foley.
Long volleyed over from close range as the Cobblers looked to put the game to bed. Ike Ugbo went down in the area in a bid to win a penalty and a fantastic save from O’Donnell to keep out a bullet header kept the Cobblers in front as the Dons rallied in a bid to snatch a late point.
Dons substitute Chuks Aneke was shown a straight red card in stoppage time after appearing to throw a punch at O'Toole but the Cobblers kept their nerve, O'Donnell saving a Marcus Tavernier free-kick to seal the three points and a third consecutive win.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets) SHOTS ON TARGET: (7) 13
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (2) 5
CORNERS: (3) 7
FOULS: (5) 13
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 2
MK DONS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (4) 9
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (0) 2
CORNERS: (4) 7
FOULS: (7) 15
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 0