SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday April 29th, 3.00pm
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1
Max Dyche 64
BRADFORD CITY 2
Andy Cook 30
Romoney Crichlow 90
Attendance: 7,786 (948 away fans)
Cobblers: Lee Burge, Sam Hoskins, Shaun McWilliams (sub Danny Hylton 84), Max Dyche, Sam Sherring, Ryan Haynes, Marc Leonard, Will Hondermarck, Mitch Pinnock, Louis Appere (sub Harvey Lintott 63), Kieron Bowie
Subs not used: Tom King, Paul Osew, Josh Eppiah, David Norman, Tete Yengi
Bradford: Harry Lewis, Brad Halliday, Liam Ridehalgh, Richie Smallwood, Andy Cook, Jamie Walker (sub Matt Derbyshire 79), Alex Gilliead (sub Adam Clayton 90), Scott Banks, Romoney Crichlow, Thierry Nevers (sub Dara Costelloe 58), Sam Stubbs
Subs not used: Matty Platt, Tolaji Bola, Emmanuel Osadebe, Colin Doyle
Referee: Marc Edwards
Cobblers: Shaun McWilliams (72), Max Dyche (90)
Bradford: Dara Costelloe (75)
Northampton Town took on fellow promotion contenders Bradford City in their final home game of the 2022/23 season. Going into the game the Cobblers knew a win would secure automatic promotion with a game to spare but with Bradford needing a win to keep alive their push for a place in the top three both sides had it all to play for.
Shaun McWilliams replaced David Norman in the only change to the Cobblers starting XI for the sold out Sixfields clash while Harvey Lintott was back on the bench having missed the previous three matches through injury. With it being the last home game of the season, before kick off the club paid tribute to those members of the Shoe Army who have sadly passed away in 2023.
The atmosphere was electric as the game got under way and it was Bradford who had the first chance of the afternoon, Andy Cook dragging a shot wide. It was a tense tight start to the game and the Bradford defence were alert to the danger when Louis Appere looked to latch onto a ball over the top.
McWilliams had a shot blocked at close range and Harry Lewis denied Appere in a good spell of Cobblers pressure midway through the first half but it was Bradford who made the breakthrough on the half-hour mark, League 2’s leading goalscorer Andy Cook heading home from a corner.
Mitch Pinnock, on his 100th appearance for the club, had a shot blocked as the Cobblers looked to get themselves back on level terms before half-time but it was the visitors who lead 1-0 at the break.
A vital header at the back post from Sam Sherring denied Cook an opportunity to double his tally for the afternoon while Kieron Bowie, played in by Will Hondermarck, was thwarted by an excellent save from Harry Lewis. Bowie then flashed a header wide as the Cobblers continued to press for an equaliser.
Lintott came on for Appere in the Cobblers first change with Hoskins moving up front and moments later Jon Brady’s side were back on level terms from a free kick, Sherring heading the ball back across goal for Max Dyche to head in his first goal for the club.
The Cobblers were now in the ascendancy and with Sixfields rocking, Lewis made another good save to keep out a Lintott header. The Cobblers were doing absolutely everything they could to get that winning goal and Lewis made yet another superb save to deny Sherring while a volley into the ground from Hoskins flicked the top of the crossbar.
There was to be a late sting in the tail however with Bradford scoring a winner in stoppage time, Romoney Crichlow heading in from a highly debatable free-kick to snatch all three points for the Bantams. It was cruel on the Cobblers who had put in a herculean effort but now need a result at Tranmere on the final day of the season to guarantee promotion.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (1) 5
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 7
CORNERS: (3) 10
FOULS: (5) 12
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 1
BRADFORD MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 4
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (2) 2
CORNERS: (1) 1
FOULS: (4) 12
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 4