Bowie and Hoskins goals light up Blackpool as Cobblers claim superb win
and live on Freeview channel 276
The Seasiders had won their last two matches 4-0 and were overwhelming favourites to make it three on the bounce at Bloomfield Road, but they did not count on a superb team performance from Town as every man contributed to a memorable away win.
The Cobblers were excellent at both ends of the pitch in the first half, defending stubbornly and continually causing problems on the break, and they took a surprise lead into half-time thanks to Kieron Bowie’s second goal in two games.
Blackpool inevitably responded and many would have expected them to go on and take all three points after Jordan Rhodes’ equaliser, but Cobblers came again as Hoskins pounced on a defensive error to make it 2-1 with 15 minutes to play, his 11th of the season.
The hosts laid siege on the Town goal thereafter and they missed a couple of good chances to take at least a point, but the visitors defended desperately and brilliantly to claim a fine away win, one of their best in the club's recent history.
That’s now three in a row for Jon Brady’s men and this was by far the best of the lot.
The points lift them all the way up to 13th in League One and well away from trouble for now.
Jon Brady was planning to name the same team for the third successive league game but he was forced into a late change when Patrick Brough pulled up with soreness 50 minutes before kick-off.
He was not risked and so Akin Odimayo came in at left-back, leaving Cobblers with only six players on the bench.
The visitors were so close to a shock early lead at Bloomfield Road when Marc Leonard pounced on a loose pass inside three minutes and drove towards goal before unleashing a sweet shot that was heading for the top corner before Dan Grimshaw tipped it over his crossbar.
At the other end, Shaun McWilliams tracked back diligently to block from Karamoko Dembele just as the Blackpool man was about to pull the trigger before James Husband volleyed over when left unmarked from a corner.
Cobblers carried a threat on the break throughout the first half while the home side caused problems with direct balls over the top of Town’s defence and one of those almost saw Jake Beesley nip in but Max Thompson was off his line quickly to snuff out the danger.
Beesley should have given Blackpool the lead midway through the first half when set up by Dembele after Sam Sherring missed his attempted interception, but he scuffed his shot into the ground and Thompson was able to gratefully collect.
The home side looked to be turning the screw but it was the visitors who struck the first blow on the half-hour mark. Hoskins brought down a high ball and slipped a lovely pass through to Bowie inside the penalty box and he made no mistake, calmly slotting under the outrushing Grimshaw.
Blackpool were rattled for the next 10 minutes and there were half chances for Cobblers to capitalise, but the hosts regained their composure and finished the first half on top with Owen Dale and Sonny Carey firing over.
But Northampton’s threat never went away and they almost had a second goal in first half stoppage-time when Hoskins flashed a low cross-shot narrowly wide.
Cobblers continued to hold their own at the start of the second half and they seemed just as likely to score the next goal as Blackpool struggled to sustain attacks.
But the hosts were level somewhat out of the blue on 65 minutes.
Kenny Dougall was afforded too much time and space to deliver a cross for Rhodes who planted a quality header into the bottom corner.
Jack Sowerby’s long-range shot was easy for Grimshaw as Cobblers responded well, but the momentum was now with Blackpool and substitute Kyle Joseph’s first-time flick hit the wrong side of the net.
Cobblers were visibly tiring after putting in a big shift and there only looked to be one outcome as time ticked away.
However, the visitors were gifted the lead back with 15 minutes to play. A short back pass was pounced upon in a flash by Hoskins and he kept his composure to round Grimshaw before finishing from an acute angle.
Blackpool were going to throw the kitchen sink at Cobblers in the remaining time and there were several goalmouth scrambles and some desperate last-ditch defending.
Cobblers were all hands on deck in six minutes of stoppage-time and Dale really should have snatched a point for Blackpool but he headed over with the last action of the game, and the full-time whistle followed shortly afterwards, much to the jubilation of the magnificent away fans at Bloomfield Road.
Blackpool: Grimshaw, Husband ©, Ekpiteta, Pennington, Dale, Dougall (Morgan 82), Hamilton, Dembele (Lyons 81), Rhodes, Beesley (Joseph 64). Subs not used: O’Donnell, Connolly, Weir, Casey
Cobblers: Thompson, McGowan ©, Willis (Haynes 90), Sherring, Odimayo, Sowerby, McWilliams, Leonard (Monthé 87), Pinnock, Hoskins, Bowie (Appéré 67). Subs not used: Dadge, Hondermarck, Simpson, Appéré
Referee: Geoff Eltringham