📝 Match Report: Northampton Town 1 Exeter City 1

An entertaining away encounter saw City head top of the league thanks to a second half equaliser from substitute Sam Nombe.

Despite some promising chances for City, the defining moment of the first half came in the 29th minute as Mitchell Pinnock opened the scoring for the Cobblers. The midfielder produced a beautiful finish into the bottom left corner from just outside the right of the box following a quick throw-in.

The second period continued in dramatic fashion, with an energetic Northampton looking to grab a second. Following a disallowed goal for the opponents, City quickly broke down the left with Jake Caprice finding Sam Nombe in the box. A deft flick from the super sub creeped past the gloves of The Cobblers keeper to take City level.

Northampton continued to press the City back line, but a resilient City performance secured the point and took the Grecians top of the league for the first time this season.

Matt Taylor decided to bring the experience of Jonathon Grounds into the starting eleven with Sam Stubbs missing out as a precaution. Promising academy products Harry Kite and Alfie Pond were given a spot on the bench for the Grecians.

Changing to the blue strip for the visit to the Sixfields Stadium, City had to deal with a lively end to end opening ten minutes which featured two corners in the opening three minutes for newly promoted Grecians.  

The eight-minute saw Josh Eppiah through on goal, following a ball through the Grecians back line from Louis Appéré. However, Cam Dawson continued his good form to produce a great save low to the left post.

As the game looked to settle down, City were able to break down the right side in the 17th minute thanks to a superb ball from Tim Dieng. The Frenchman’s lofted pass found Josh Key who played an intricate ball back to Matt Jay but unfortunately for City, the skipper was only able to find the gloves of Liam Roberts.

Following a stoppage in play, The Cobblers looked to change the momentum which was edging towards City. In the 29th minute, Northampton were awarded a throw in on the right, deep into the City half. The ball was given quickly to midfielder Mitchell Pinnock who was able to cleverly draw in Jay and dink the ball over the skipper, producing an impressive finish into the bottom left corner from the right edge of the box.

Despite the setback, it didn’t deter the Grecians as they continued to persevere attacking the Cobblers goal. Ten minutes following the hosts goal, Oz Zanzala was able to wriggle into the box and play a high ball across the box which ultimately fell to a Northampton defender, preventing a tap in for City.

Just one minute into the second half, saw a Grecian free kick from the left drop to the in-form Dieng. The midfielder tried to tap the ball past Roberts from close range, but the opposition keeper produced a great save to claw it away from danger, denying a great chance for City.

The lively nature of the match continued as Eppiah used his speed to get past Cheick Diabate, but a great challenge inside the box from Jonathon Grounds denied the quick striker from getting a shot on target.

The 60th minute saw The Cobblers with a glorious chance to put the match the bed. A ball was squared to Appéré with heaps of space inside the box. A one on one with Dawson was wasted as the shot stopper produced a vital save from six yards out.

Following a disallowed goal for Northampton in the 70th minute, City looked to break quickly down the left. Substitute Jake Caprice, produced a turn of speed to get past his opponent and produce a great ball into the near post towards fellow Sam Nombe. The fellow sub was able to produce a clever backheeled flick in little space to get the ball past the gloves of Roberts and level the game, resulting a jubilation from the away end.

The goal seemed to change the entire mood around Sixfields Stadium, as City were now fighting to take home all three points. Ten minutes later, another break into the hosts half saw Caprice with space to produce a ball with Coley in a promising position but a disappointing ball only found the gloves of Roberts.

Feeling the effects from the pivotal encounter on Tuesday night, the City back line seemed to be tiring as the hosts looked to take advantage. Multiple threatening efforts from the Cobblers put pressure on the exhausted Grecian eleven with a corner in the last minute. Another shot on target for the hosts was cleared by Sam Nombe off the line to hold out for a point in an entertaining away encounter.

Northampton Town: Roberts, McGowan (Mills 27’), Sowerby, Guthrie, Horsfall ©, Hoskins, Pinnock, Koiki, McWilliams, Eppiah, Appéré

Subs: Maxted, Pollock, Zimba, Kanu, Mills, Rose, Dyche

Exeter City: Dawson, Sparkes (Caprice 54’), Sweeney, Diabate, Grounds, Key, Collins, Dieng, J. Brown, Jay © (Coley 54’), Zanzala (Nombe 68’)

Subs: S. Brown, Caprice, Pond, Coley, Nombe, Amond

Referee: Simon Mather

Attendance: 7,764 (1,449 away)