SKY BET LEAGUE 1
Saturday March 17th, 3.00pm
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 0
ROTHERHAM UNITED 3
Michael Smith 17
David Ball 62
Richie Towell 81
Attendance: 5,882 (1,129 away fans)
Cobblers: Richard O’Donnell, Brendan Moloney, Ash Taylor, Jordan Turnbull, Joe Bunney, Daniel Powell, John-Joe O’Toole (sub Kevin van Veen 70), Matt Grimes, Sam Hoskins (sub Gboly Ariyibi 59), Hildeberto Pereira, Kevin Luckassen (sub Boris Mathis 79)
Subs not used: David Cornell, Leon Barnett, Shay Facey, Shaun McWilliams
Rotherham: Marek Rodak, Josh Emmanuel, Joe Mattock (sub Michael Ihiekwe 66), Will Vaulks, Semi Ajayi, Matt Palmer, David Ball (sub Joe Newell 84), Jon Taylor (sub Anthony Forde 66), Richie Towell, Ryan Williams, Michael Smith
Subs not used: Richard Wood, Lewis Price, Jerry Yates, Caolan Lavery
Referee: Ben Toner
Cobblers: Kevin van Veen (72, 4th of the season)
Rotherham: Jon Taylor (14), Semi Ajayi (37), Joe Mattock (60)
10 cautions on or before 37 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.
Kevin Luckassen made his full debut with both Hildeberto Pereira and Daniel Powell also coming into the side for the visit of Rotherham United. Kevin van Veen, back from a knee injury, was named on the bench. Matt Crooks (suspension) and Chris Long (back) were unavailable for selection.
On a cold and windy afternoon at Sixfields there was a period of applause before kick-off to mark the passing of former player John Kurila.
After a fairly uneventful opening quarter of an hour it was Rotherham who took the lead, former Cobblers loanee Michael Smith capitalising on a long free kick to side-foot the ball home from close range. An instinctive save from Richard O’Donnell against his former club then prevented Jon Taylor doubling the Millers' lead.
Semi Ajayi also had a chance to make it 2-0 but the remainder of the first half was a little scrappy until John-Joe O’Toole saw a shot blocked at close range in stoppage time.
Ash Taylor, on the stretch, headed wide from a Daniel Powell cross and Pereira had a shot saved by Marek Rodak in a brighter start to the second half from the Cobblers.
O’Donnell again denied Taylor with a smart save on 57 minutes before Semi Ajayi was fortunate not to receive a second booking for a foul on Pereira.
David Ball doubled Rotherham’s lead just after the hour mark, the former Fleetwood striker scoring from 8-yards despite the best efforts of O’Donnell. Joe Mattock was then another Millers player who could maybe have been shown a second yellow card by referee Ben Toner.
Rotherham increased their lead on 81 minutes, Richie Towell curling in a shot from the edge of the area following a slick counter-attack. That was that in terms of goalmouth action and the team fourth in Sky Bet League 1 closed out the victory.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (0) 7
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (0) 1
CORNERS: (1) 2
FOULS: (6) 10
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 3
ROTHERHAM MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (5) 10
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 2
CORNERS: (5) 7
FOULS: (8) 17
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (3) 3