SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday April 30th, 3.00pm
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1
Mitch Pinnock 29
EXETER CITY 1
Sam Nombe 71
Attendance: 7,764 (1,449 away supporters)
Cobblers: Liam Roberts, Aaron McGowan (sub Joseph Mills 28), Fraser Horsfall, Jon Guthrie, Ali Koiki, Jack Sowerby, Shaun McWilliams, Mitch Pinnock, Sam Hoskins, Josh Eppiah, Louis Appere
Subs not used: Jonny Maxted, Max Dyche, Danny Rose, Idris Kanu, Chanka Zimba, Scott Pollock
Exeter: Cameron Dawson, Jack Sparkes (sub Jake Caprice 55), Matt Jay (sub Josh Coley 55), Archie Collins, Josh Key, Timothee Dieng, Offrande Zanzala (sub Sam Nombe 69), Jevani Brown, Pierce Sweeney, Chieck Diabate
Subs not used: Padraig Amond, Harry Kite, Scott Brown, Alfie Pond
Referee: Simon Mather
Cobblers: Jon Guthrie (88, 4th of the season), Jon Brady (90)
Exeter: Timothee Dieng (21), Jack Sparkes (54), Jevani Brown (68), Cameron Dawson (87), Archie Collins (88), Josh Key (90)
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.
Jon Brady named a fourth consecutive unchanged starting XI for a sold-out final home game of the Sky Bet League 2 season against already promoted Exeter City.
The Cobblers almost made a dream start in a meeting between the division’s two most in-form sides, but goalkeeper Cameron Dawson beat Louis Appéré to the ball as he ran in on goal after just 20 seconds.
Ali Koiki made a goal-saving challenge to prevent the visitors from scoring straight up the other end, clearing before Jevani Brown could capitalise on beating the offside trap.
Appéré slipped in Josh Eppiah, who scored his first two goals in senior English football against Leyton Orient last week, but the Leicester City loanee’s shot across goal was well-saved by Dawson eight minutes in.
The end-to-end start to the game continued as Grecians captain Matt Jay fired straight at Liam Roberts from Josh Key’s cutback on the quarter-of-an-hour mark.
Aaron McGowan picked up a knock early on and was eventually forced off midway through the first half, being replaced by club captain Joseph Mills.
Mitch Pinnock opened the scoring with his second goal of the season contender in as many games a few minutes later, flicking the ball over Jay and finding the bottom corner with a sensational half-volley that sent the home fans wild.
Roberts made a great stop to deny Timothee Dieng an equaliser early in the second period, making himself big and saving an effort from six yards with his left foot.
Appéré showed good skill on the halfway line and played the ball over the top of the defence to Eppiah soon after, but the striker was tackled by Jonathan Grounds as he drove towards goal.
The pair linked up again on the hour mark when Appéré pressed Pierce Sweeney and played the ball across goal to his strike partner, who was again denied from close range by Dawson.
Jack Sowerby finished from close range 10 minutes later after Koiki’s scuffed shot deflected off Pinnock and fell kindly for the midfielder, but the flag was up for the tightest of offsides in the build-up.
The Cobblers were made to pay for not taking advantage of their good start to the second half when two Exeter substitutes combined for an equaliser moments later. Jake Caprice squared for Sam Nombe, who scored from close range.
Both sides pushed for a winner late on with Dieng heading over and Fraser Horsfall having an effort blocked on the line, but neither were able to find a vital third goal and the game ended level.
Jon Brady’s Cobblers end the season away to Barrow next week with everything still all to play for.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 7
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (2) 4
CORNERS: (2) 7
FOULS: (3) 12
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 2
EXETER MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 4
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 3
CORNERS: (4) 4
FOULS: (2) 9
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 4
GOLDEN GOAL PEEL & REVEAL TIMES: 28:53, 70:52