Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

📝 Match Report: Northampton Town 1 Exeter City 2

Ten-man City pick up a fantastic win on final away match of the season!

20 April 2024

Match Reports

📝 Match Report: Northampton Town 1 Exeter City 2

Ten-man City pick up a fantastic win on final away match of the season!

20 April 2024

Exeter City finished the season on the road with a fantastic 2-1 victory, despite going down to ten-men in the first half.

Luke Harris put the Grecians ahead in the first half with a smart finish inside the box. Shortly before the half-time break, City went down to ten-men as Ryan Woods picked up a red card.

Northampton Town made the extra man count when Jon Guthrie's effort beat Vil Sinisalo; however, shortly after this, Will Aimson smashed the Grecians back from close-range. City held the lead for the remainder of the game and extended their unbeaten run to nine games and pick up City's first win away against Northampton since 2013!


The Sixfields Stadium and Northampton Town awaited Exeter City in their last away game of the 2023/24 League One campaign. The Grecians had hit fine form in the run-in, as they looked to go nine-games unbeaten in this fixture. Two league positions and one point separated the Grecians and the Cobblers going into this fixture, a win could see City leapfrog Northampton in the table.

Manager Gary Caldwell named four changes from the side that beat Port Vale the prior weekend as Jack Fitzwater, Tom Carroll, Dion Rankine, and Zak Jules came into the starting XI. This was Fitzwater’s first start since October 31st as he returned from a long-term injury. 

The Cobblers won the first corner of the game after Aimson was pressured into misplacing a pass back to Vil Sinisalo. Northampton’s corner was overhit, meaning they had to recycle it and Sinisalo did well to claim the subsequent delivery. Northampton Town continued to have the better of the chances for the opening 15 minutes, although Sinisalo’s brief knock gave time for Caldwell to speak to his men and from that moment, City looked more solid. 

In the 20th minute, Rankine found space for himself, turning and driving towards the penalty area. As the defender stepped up to challenge Rankine for possession, he slid through Harris who was at too tight an angle to squeeze it in at the back-post... or so everyone thought! Harris opened his body up a slotted a delightful low ball across the keeper. Millenic Alli, unmarked, stood over the ball as he watched it come off the back-post and nestle into the net. Had Harris not found the angle, Alli was there as back-up. 1-0 to the Grecians. 


After a well-balanced period, the Cobblers looked like scoring about five times within the space of 20 seconds. The ball ricocheted around the six-yard box as City threw their bodies on the line. At one moment, the home fans cheered as they thought the ball went in, before Sinisalo clawed it from above his head and denied again. City were riding their luck, but they kept their advantage. 

A rough and tumble in City’s area saw Ryan Woods receive a red card for violent conduct, meaning City would have to play out the second half with ten men. With City a goal to the good, but with a man disadvantage, the second half promised to provide a spectacle. As they were down to ten-men, Caldwell was forced to make a tactical change, bringing Cheick Diabate on, replacing Fitzwater at the back. 

City’s first promising attack of the second half was halted due to concussion protocol as Sam Sherring took a knock to the head. Thankfully, he was able to continue after checks were undertaken. 


The extra man was telling as City, despite keeping possession of the ball, were unable to proceed out of their own half as they lacked attacking outlet. They were about to lose another one as Rankine picked up an injury, meaning he was replaced by Ben Purrington. 

Northampton’s persistence in attack paid dividends in the 73rd minute when the ball fell kindly for Guthrie on the edge of the box and his shot wriggled through the crowded area. The ball revealed itself to Sinisalo too late, meaning the City keeper could not react and the ball bobbled in, levelling the game. 

Not content with the draw, Caldwell made offensive changes shortly after the Northampton goal. With ten minutes remaining of the game, Kite and Watts entered the field of play. Despite these changes it was two defenders that would make the difference for City... on the left-wing, Jules played an ambitious ball across the face of goal, Aimson was second-favourite to it but bust a gut to beat his man and smash the ball in at his near post! City were back ahead with ten-men and five minutes of normal time to play, although that soon proved to be 13 minutes. 


Northampton came back strong as the game entered the first of eight additional minutes. City were forced to shore up their defence – and that they did, playing out the added time without real concern. City extended their unbeaten run to nine games and finished the game in the top half of the table. A successful afternoon in Northamptonshire. 

Exeter City’s next match is at St James Park on Saturday 27th April at 15.00, where they face Oxford United. 

Exeter City: Sinisalo (GK), Rankine (Purrington 58’), Fitzwater (Diabate 46’), Aimson (C), Jules, Niskanen, Woods, Carroll (Kite 81’), Richards (Cole 64’), Harris (Watts 81’), Alli. 

Unused Subs: MacDonald, Borges. 

Port Vale: Burge (C), McGowan, Sowerby, Guthrie (C), Sherring, Appere, Pinnock, Koiki, McWilliams, Bowie, Leonard. 

Subs: Dadge, Hoskins, Fox, Willis, Odimayo, Hondermarck, Springett. 

Referee: Ruebyn Ricardo 

Attendance: 7,097 (647 away). 


Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account