Defeat For Pools At Sixfields
Northampton Town took all three points from this afternoon's League Two match at Sixfields as two early goals proved enough to take the win.
Ronnie Moore's side grabbed a goal back before the break through Rakish Bingham but could not find an equaliser in a second half short on chances.
Pools were under pressure from the off here this afternoon as Northampton Town started at speed.
The hosts won their first corner in less than a minute and went close to opening the scoring; the corner came in from the right and found the lively Marc Richards unmarked. He hit a powerful header towards goal but it went just wide of the post in an early let-off for Pools.
Pools weren’t so lucky with the next chance as a ball over the top caught Pools out and allowed Nicky Adams to escape down the left where he crossed in for Richards who made no mistake this time as he fired home to make it 1-0.
Moore’s side had a couple of chances to equalise as first Rhys Oates tried his luck with a shot across goal that went just wide and then Andrew Boyce should have done better when he rose to meet a Jake Carroll corner central on goal. The big defender got up to meet the ball six yards out but sent his header over the bar.
But it was Northampton Town who held the biggest threat and it was 2-0 in the 18th minute and the goal came in confusing circumstances. Nicky Adams curled a corner in from the left which went through a sea of bodies before hitting the back of the net.
With a number of bodies in the line of fire, there were a number of contenders as to who got the final touch but it was 2-0 to the hosts.
Bradley Halliday put in a decent block to deny the Cobblers a third shortly after; Adam Bartlett could only claw away a Darnell Furlong cross into the box and Will Hoskins was waiting to pounce at the far post but Halliday stuck in to clear the danger.
There was a chance at the other end for Rakish Bingham as he forced his way through to send a low shot on goal but the striker was denied by Adam Smith in the home goal.
Billy Paynter picked out Bingham again just after the half-hour mark with a through-ball that allowed the Pools striker to put his pace to good effect. Bingham raced through to take the ball round Smith and slotted low into the far corner to give Pools a goal back.
Pools had looked shaky at the back early in this first half and were fortunate to be only the two goals behind but Bingham’s goal gave the team a chance to get back into it after the break.
Marc Richards went close again early in the second half as he met a cross from the right to shoot on goal but he fired wide when the hosts expected a third goal.
Billy Paynter came to the rescue after a Northampton freekick came over the wall to bounce nicely for Richards but the Pools skipper threw himself in and cleared the ball before Richards could shoot.
While the second half wasn’t quite as fast-paced as the first, it was Northampton Town who remained the bigger threat.
Rakish Bingham worked hard for Pools and chased every ball forward but the striker was watched closely by Ryan Cresswell who shadowed his every move.
And there looked to be little chance of Pools grabbing an equaliser in this game, as Pools spent the majority of the second 45 in their own half.
Jake Carroll got in a crucial header to deny the hosts a late goal as he sent a cross from the left away from the head of Richards at the far post.
There were a couple of half-chances at both ends in the closing minutes but not enough to change the result and the game finished in defeat for Ronnie Moore's side.
Full Time: Northampton Town 2 Pools 1
Booked: Oates (38), Smith (60), Oyenuga (76)
Attendance: 4477 (204 Pools)
Northampton Town: Smith, Cresswell, Byrom, Richards, Adams (Taylor 90), Hoskins (Calvert-Lewin 75), Buchanan, O’Toole, Hackett (D’Ath 68), Furlong, Brisley.
Diamond, Lelan, Watson, Clarke.Subs Not Used:
Pools: Bartlett, Halliday, Harrison, Boyce, Carroll, Smith, Woods (Walker 75), Featherstone, Oates (Oyenuga 66), Bingham, Paynter (Fenwick 90).
Subs Not Used: Carson, Bates, Jones, Hawkins.