Cobblers back into play-off places as Stevenage are swept aside at Sixfields

Cobblers moved into the play-off positions with a commanding 3-0 victory over Stevenage at a sodden Sixfields on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 9:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 9:52 pm
Kion Etete celebrates firing the Cobblers into the lead against Stevenage (Picture: Pete Norton)

Town were far from their best in a frustrating opening half-hour or so, but that all changed in the next 15 minutes as they took the game by the scruff of the neck.

Kion Etete finally bagged his first league goal for the club with a low finish and that lifted the home team whilst deflating the out-of-form visitors.

Sam Hoskins pounced on the stroke of half-time to give Cobblers breathing space and Fraser Horsfall's second in two games just beyond the hour-mark made the game safe.

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Paul Lewis tussles with Stevenage's Luke Prosser (Picture: Pete Norton)

This was easily Cobblers' most polished and convincing victory of the season so far and they held on for another clean sheet as well, their seventh in 13 League Two games.

Jon Brady named an unchanged team for the second game running but his side struggled to find any fluency in an sloppy and an error-strewn opening half-hour.

Kicking into the wind, Cobblers got little joy with long balls so tried to keep it on the deck but they were unable to penetrate Stevenage and create chance in the final third.

Hoskins and Aaron McGowan were never going to threaten when they took aim before Luther James-Wildon unleashed the game's first shot on target but it was straight down the throat of Liam Roberts.

Not a whole lot was happening but, much like against Mansfield at the weekend, Cobblers struck a bolt from the blue.

This time the breakthrough came a bit later, arriving on 34 minutes, when Mitch Pinnock lofted the ball into the path of Etete and he drove away from Boro's defence before firing low and hard through the fingers of Joseph Anang.

The goal visibly lifted Cobblers and they pinned Stevenage back for the rest of the half before scoring a second.

Pinnock was again heavily involved, pinching the ball off James-Wildon and firing towards goal, and though Anang saved, Hoskins was there to poke in the rebound.

The second-half returned to the scrappy and stop-start nature of the first 30 minutes but Cobblers were happy to keep Stevenage at arm's-length and comfortably maintain their advantage.

Things then got better for the home side thanks to a third goal just beyond the hour-mark. Pinnock was again involved, delivering a wicked corner and Horsfall rose superbly to power a header beyond the helpless Anang.

That effectively ended the game as a contest and whilst Cobblers could have scored more in the remaining time, they never once looked like conceding and eased to victory.

Match facts

Cobblers: Roberts, McGowan, Horsfall, Guthrie, Koiki, McWilliams (Kabamba 80), Sowerby, Lewis, Hoskins, Pinnock (Connolly 82), Etete (Rose 80)

Subs not used: Woods, Revan, Harriman, Pollock

Stevenage: Anang, James-Wildin, Coker, Prosser (c), Reeves, Taylor, Melbourne, Vancooten, Osborne (Andrade 52), Norris (Reid 52), List

Subs not used: Bastien, Smith, Marshall, Townsend-West, Tinubu

Referee: Samuel Barrott

Attendance: 4,123

Stevenage fans: 204