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Northampton 1 Town 1

17 April 2017

Sadler equaliser gives Town important point against 9 men Cobblers

Northampton Town:  Adam Smith, Brendan Moloney, David Buchanan, Paul Anderson, Zander Diamond, Hiram Boateng (Aaron Phillips 59), Marc Richards (c), Alex Revell, John-Joe O'Toole, Lewin Nyatanga, Matt Taylor

Subs: Keshi Anderson, Jak McCourt, Harry Beautyman, Shane McWilliams, David Cornell, Rod McDonald

Town: Jayson Leutwiler, Mat Sadler, Shaun Whalley, Abu Ogogo (c), Louis Dodds, Junior Brown, Jack Grimmer, Ryan Yates, Aristote Nsiala, Alex Rodman, Stefan Payne ( AJ Leitch-Smith 87)

Subs: Mark Halstead, Ryan McGivern, Stephen Humphrys, Bryn Morris, Gary Deegan,  Adam El-Abd

Ref: Charles Breakspear
Assistants: Simon Knapp and Garry Maskell
Fourth Official: Marvyn Amphlett

Attendance: 6,211 (with 676 from Town)

Paul Hurst makes two changes from the side that started against Walsall with Gary Deegan and Bryn Morris dropping down to the bench, in come Ryan Yates and there is a return for Abu Ogogo who had recovered from a ligament problem which has kept him out for over two months.

On the bench there are changes with injuries to Joe Riley (wrist) and Freddie Ladapo (foot) in training meaning a return to the squad for Ryan McGivern.

It was good to see Abu Ogogo back in action and from the start he was showing what he is all about and put in a number of crunching tackles.

The opening 10 minutes was a pretty even affair with both sides looking to take the advantage, first Northampton had a chance but Leutwiler was down quickly to block and flick it away, then Town had a couple of good openings at the other end with first Yates and then Payne going close.

Town had a good chance when the ball was swung in from the right hand side to find Rodman at the back post, he was under pressure but managed to flick it on to find Payne in space in front of goal but he couldn't stretch enough to turn the ball home.

It was Northampton who took the lead on 21 minutes, they where putting the pressure on and stretching the Town defence, the ball came to Boateng at the back post, he got it down and shot but Leutwiler was down to save, the ball came back to Boateng and he crossed to the back post to find Richards in space and he made no mistake heading the ball home for 1-0.

Town were creating chances and when Whalley played the ball to Payne he drove forward, he then played it Rodman who was in space to left, he drove into the box and then cut the ball onto his right and shot, but it was blocked for a Town corner.

It was the visitors who were pressing and looking to get back on level terms, the ball was being moved around the Northampton box well with Brown, Rodman and Payne combining well, Dodds was looking to make things happen and when the ball came to Whalley on the angle he took a touch to get in behind the defence and then drove in a low shot but Smith was down quickly to save.

Half-time: 1-0

Northampton got a chance early at the start of the half, the ball came in from the corner and was flicked on goal but a combination of Leutwiler and Yates kept the ball out on the line.

At the other end Town were getting forward quickly, the ball was moved around the box nicely to find Dodds in space, he got his shot in but it was blocked for a Town corner,  Whalley put in a great delivery and there was Yates running in on goal, he got a head to it but Smith was equal to it.  The corner came in again for Whalley and this time Payne was there with the header but it was wide.

Northampton were down to 10 men and it came in a 5 minute period of Shaun Whalley taking on David Buchanan and the Town man getting fouled.  First Whalley got the ball and turned Boateng and looked to get away, he took the ball past Buchanan who stopped Whalley in his tracks with a block and picked up a booking.  Moments later Whalley again had the beating of Buchanan who again fouled Whalley but this time ref Breakspear kept his cards in his pocket.  Then minutes later again Whalley put the ball past Buchanan and looked to get away but was fouled and this time the ref produced a second yellow and sent the Cobblers player off.

Paul Hurst made his first change with 30 minutes left on the clock bringing on Stephen Humphrys to replace Alex Rodman,  Humphrys was straight into the action with a header at the back post that went behind for a corner, and then when the ball dropped to him in the box he fired in a snap shot but it was over.

Town were on level terms on 63 minutes and it came after another free-kick to Town just outside the Cobblers box.  Whalley was over the ball and he whipped in a lovely ball and there was Sadler with the slightest of flicks to put the ball past Smith and make it 1-1.

Town were pushing and looking for another and when the ball found Humphrys on the edge of the box he played a lovely ball to put Dodds in, he took a touch to set himself but this let a Cobblers man get back and put the ball behind for a Town corner.

Northampton made changes and they were looking dangerous on the counter, McWilliams looked to get in down the left but Nsiala slid in and caught him, the ref played one and Northampton looked to capitalise but the Town defence did it's job and snuffed out the danger, but the ref called play back for the foul and booked Nsiala.

Town were looking to break and Payne had the ball, he drove down the middle and was taken out by O'Toole, the ref waved play on and when the move broke down he called O'Toole over and was reaching for his yellow card.

The ball was played back to Smith in the Cobblers goal and he looked to have a foot outside the area when he collected, the Town fans behind the goal appealed but the officials were having none of it.

Town were pushing and pressing and were putting the pressure onto the Cobblers goal, a ball from Brown found Yates in space in front of the goal but he put his header narrowly over the bar.

In the end an important point after coming back from being a goal down but in the end against 9 men maybe Town could have got more.

Full-time: 1-1