SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday January 1st, 3.00pm
SWINDON TOWN 5
Harry McKirdy 28, 51, 55, 66
Tyreece Simpson 60
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2
Sam Hoskins 37
Jon Guthrie 50
Attendance: 9,071 (746 Cobblers fans)
Swindon: Jojo Wollacott, Akin Odimayo, Ellis Iandolo, Jordan Lyden, Tyreece Simpson, Jack Payne (sub Romoney Critchlow 59), Harry McKirdy, Jonny Williams (sub Ben Gladwin 68), Kaine Kesler-Hayden, Rob Hunt, Louis Reed (sub Ryan East 80)
Subs not used: Lewis Ward, Jayden Mitchell-Lawson, Alex Gilbert, Anthony Grant
Cobblers: Liam Roberts, Aaron McGowan, Fraser Horsfall, Jon Guthrie, Ali Koiki, Jack Sowerby (sub Dylan Connolly 65), Shaun McWilliams (sub Jordan Flores 69), Sam Hoskins, Paul Lewis, Mitch Pinnock, Danny Rose (sub Nicke Kabamba 65)
Subs not used: Jonny Maxted, Michael Harriman, Joseph Mills, Max Dyche
Referee: Sam Allison
Swindon: Rob Hunt (49), Kaine Kesler-Hayden (88)
Cobblers: Shaun McWilliams (17, 7th of the season), Jack Sowerby (34, 4th), Ali Koiki (62, 4th)
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.
After an enforced three week break with Covid-19 hitting the squad hard, the Cobblers returned to action on New Years Day with a trip to Swindon Town. Kion Etete, Scott Pollock, Dominic Revan, Benny Ashley-Seal and Sid Nelson were all unavailable for selection due to injury but there was a welcome return to the bench for skipper Joseph Mills and Michael Harriman.
Tyreece Simpson curled wide for Swindon early on while Jack Sowerby saw a well-struck effort saved by Jojo Wollacott.
Harry McKirdy shot just wide in a good spell from the home side and it was McKirdy who made the breakthrough from close range on 28 minutes, Jack Payne’s ball into the box creating the opportunity for McKirdy to tuck home.
Sam Hoskins appealed for a penalty as the Cobblers responded to falling behind before Sowerby joined fellow central midfielder Shaun McWilliams in the referee’s notebook.
The Cobblers equalised on 37 minutes, McWilliams with a superb pass to set up Hoskins who blasted the ball into the bottom right corner. Boosted by the goal, Jon Brady’s side then went agonisingly close to taking the lead when Paul Lewis saw a shot blocked. Mitch Pinnock then nearly caught out Wollacott in first half stoppage time with the Robins keeper just getting back in time to tip over his free-kick from near on the half-way line.
It was from a Pinnock set-piece that the Cobblers did get themselves in front from on 50 minutes, Jon Guthrie scoring on the half-volley.
The Robins were quickly back on level terms however, Harry McKirdy scoring for the second time despite the best efforts of the Cobblers to clear their lines.
McKirdy then completed his hat-trick as the goals continued to flow in a frantic start to the second half.
A looping header from Rob Hunt came back off the cross bar as Swindon pressed for a fourth goal which they got on the hour-mark, Ipswich Town loanee Tyreece Simpson with a fine strike into the top corner.
Nicke Kabamba and Dylan Connolly came on for Danny Rose and Jack Sowerby in a double change before McKirdy made it 5-2 after Roberts' initial save to keep out Louis Reed’s free-kick.
Simpson struck the post and Wollacott saved a header from Kabamba as both sides continued to create chances with McKirdy also denied by the woodwork after a finger-tip save from Roberts. 5-2 was how it finished though, the Cobblers visibly tiring towards full-time following the three week Covid lay-off.
SWINDON MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 8
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (4) 9
CORNERS: (2) 3
FOULS: (3) 8
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 1
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (5) 9
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 6
CORNERS: (3) 6
FOULS: (9) 11
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 1