SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday March 19th, 3.00pm
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 0
BRISTOL ROVERS 1
Harry Anderson 1
Attendance: 6,405 (1,388 away supporters)
Cobblers: Liam Roberts, Aaron McGowan, Tyler Magloire (sub Peter Abimbola 19, sub Chanka Zimba 73), Fraser Horsfall, Jon Guthrie, Joseph Mills, Jack Sowerby, Mitch Pinnock, Sam Hoskins (sub Beryly Lubala 84), Paul Lewis, Louis Appere
Subs not used: Jonny Maxted, Michael Harriman, Danny Rose, Benny Ashley-Seal
Bristol Rovers: James Belshaw, James Connolly, Sam Finley, Aaron Collins, Elliot Anderson, Paul Coutts, Nick Anderton, Connor Taylor, Harry Anderson, Antony Evans, Luca Hoole
Subs not used: Leon Clarke, Trevor Clarke, Harvey Saunders, Cian Harries, Glenn Whelan, Jed Ward, Ryan Loft
Referee: Oliver Langford
Cobblers: Aaron McGowan (61, 5th of the season), Paul Lewis (71, 8th), Mitch Pinnock (90, 5th)
Bristol Rovers: Sam Finley (68), James Belshaw (75), James Connolly (81), Connor Taylor (90)
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
Bristol Rovers: none
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.
There was another big crowd in at a sunny but breezy Sixfields as two promotion contenders faced off. Northampton Town went into the game second in the table, three points ahead of in-form Bristol Rovers in 7th.
An injury picked up in midweek denied Ali Koiki the chance to play against his former club with Shaun McWilliams (knee) also still unavailable for selection along with Josh Eppiah (calf).
Jon Brady made two changes to the side that started against Stevenage in midweek with Joseph Mills replacing Ali Koiki and Tyler Magloire coming in for Beryly Lubala. Despite the changes Brady stuck with a back four with Magloire starting in central midfield.
In-form Bristol Rovers made an early breakthrough, stunning the Cobblers with a goal inside 40 seconds. Harry Anderson capitalised on a short back-pass from Fraser Horsfall before beating Liam Roberts from an acute angle.
The Cobblers were dealt a further blow when Magloire had to be replaced not long into the contest after picking up a serious looking injury, the loanee leaving the field after receiving treatment and a lengthy delay with 18-year old Peter Abimbola coming on for his league debut
Sam Hoskins headed wide after getting on the end of a good ball in from Mills, Jon Guthrie crashed a header against the underside of the crossbar from a pin-point Hoskins free-kick and James Belshaw made a sharp save to deny Paul Lewis as the Cobblers looked to get themselves back on level terms before half-time.
The second half was a bit stop start until Mitch Pinnock rattled the cross bar with a thunderous strike from 20-yards, the woodwork again denying the Cobblers after Guthrie’s first-half header had also hit the frame of the goal.
Chanka Zimba came on for Abimbola in the Cobblers second change before Liam Roberts pulled off a good save to prevent Elliot Anderson doubling the visitors lead. Hoskins then made way for Beryly Lubala with just over five minutes to play.
Despite battling hard the Cobblers weren’t able to score the equaliser their performance deserved and Bristol Rovers hung on to clinch all three points.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (1) 1
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (2) 4
CORNERS: (1) 2
FOULS: (6) 17
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 3
BRISTOL ROVERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (1) 2
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (0) 1
CORNERS: (3) 8
FOULS: (10) 14
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (3) 6
GOLDEN GOAL PEEL & REVEAL TIMES: 00:38