Cobblers cruise to victory in Carling Cup

GOALS from Michael Jacobs and Billy McKay saw the Cobblers cruise to victory over Brighton in the first round of the Carling Cup.

Town beat Albion 2-0, set-up by a storming first half performance from Ian Sampson's men, geed up from their horror show at Torquay on Saturday.

Nathaniel Wedderburn and Michael Jacobs both started for Town as the manager made changes from the team that succumbed 3-0 at Plainmoor.

Paul Rodgers was dropped to the bench while Liam Davis was left out of the squad all together after his public bust-up with the manager on Saturday.

And those changes paid off with immediate effect, with Jacobs opening the scoring when the game was just 13 minutes old.

His left-footed strike from the edge of the box lacked power, though, and should have been dealt with but for a horrible error from Brighton 'keeper and former Town loanee Michael Poke.

Poke allowed the ball to go straight through his legs in an error entirely of his own making.

There was little fortune about the Cobblers second though as some superb play from the excellent Ryan Gilligan, playing on the right wing, saw him cross to McKay to head in at the back post.

To compound the misery of the away side, Matthew Sparrow was sent-off with 10 minutes left of the first half for violent conduct following an incident with Abdul Osman.

There was plenty of attacking play from both sides in an entertaining second period, but following Sparrow's red card, the game as a contest was effectively over.

Town had the best chances to add to their lead from a number of corners, but the Brighton defence held firm, while Oscar Jansson in the Town goal was rarely tested with most of the visitors efforts missing the target.

COBBLERS: Jansson, Hall, Holt, Beckwith, Johnson, Jacobs, Osman, Wedderburn, Gilligan (for Thornton, 61 mins), McKay (for Herbert, 79 mins), Guinan (for Purcell, 72 mins). Subs not used: Rodgers, Walker, Konstantinou, Harris

BRIGHTON: Poke, Whing, Elphick, Battipiedi, El-Abd, Sparrow (Sent-off, 35), Baz (Bennett, 46 mins), Hart, Dicker, Holroyd (for Navarro, 46 mins. Navarro for Smith 56), Paintyer. Subs not used: Barnes, Walker, Cook, Thomson

Attendance: 2,431

Away Fans: 537