Cobblers beaten again after Fleetwood strike late to nick all three points

Cobblers are still waiting for both their first point and goal of the season after succumbing to a third successive 1-0 defeat, this time at the hands of Fleetwood Town in Saturday's Sky Bet League One clash at Sixfields.

Saturday, 12th August 2017, 5:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:17 pm
Billy Waters takes aim in the first-half of Saturday's game. Pictures by Sharon Lucey

The Cobblers shaded much of an entertaining contest but Devante Cole pounced on a mistake in the Northampton midfield with 15 minutes remaining to score the only goal of the game and keep Justin Edinburgh's side without anything to show from their first two league games.

The defeat was all the more frustrating given that Town had more of the play and created the better chances but a combination of brilliant goalkeeping and poor finishing kept them at bay before Cole's late sucker-punch.

Earlier, Regan Poole replaced the suspended Leon Barnett for his Cobblers debut in the only change to the side which narrowly lost at Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday.

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Yaser Kasim holds off the challenge

But Northampton were on the back foot in the opening exchanges of Saturday's contest and only a combination of David Cornell and some last-ditch defending prevented Cian Bolger's close-range header from crossing the line inside the first five minutes.

The troublesome Jordy Hiwula was proving an early menace for Town and his well-hit drive had to beaten away by Cornell before the hosts finally got a foothold in the game.

Yaser Kasim's free-kick clipped the top of the wall and Ash Taylor headed over the subsequent corner before visiting goalkeeper Alex Cairns tipped Chris Long's low shot around the post.

And Cairns was to be in the thick of the action again when, following a cagey period of few chances, a breathtaking passage of play saw Town create four glorious opportunities to score, all inside 20 seconds.

Aaron Pierre heads clear

Long's header from Aaron Phillips' cross was cleared off the line before Cairns brilliantly saved from Aaron Pierre twice and then Billy Waters, all from close-range, in a sensational triple save.that somehow, remarkably, kept Fleetwood on level terms going into half-time.

The visitors threatened themselves early in the second-half when Hiwula worked his way through to goal but Pierre got across quickly to sniff out the chance.

Despite Northampton edging it, clear-cut chances were few and far between in the second period as Alex Revell and Long both slashed wildly off target amid some tight Fleetwood defending.

But the visitors, who had created little of note since early in the first-half, moved ahead against the run of play on 75 minutes remaining.

Yaser Kasim holds off the challenge

Shaun McWilliams, who replaced Kasim barely moments earlier, lost possession in midfield and Aiden O'Neill drove forward before slipping through Cole, who clinically beat Cornell.

That left Northampton with 15 minutes to find an equaliser but despite throwing bodies forward, they were unable to really test Cairns and Fleetwood held on, meaning the Cobblers go to Charlton next week still searching for their first goal.

Cobblers: Cornell, Poole (Richards 90), A Taylor, Pierre, Phillips (Moloney 74), Kasim (McWilliams 74), Crooks, Buchanan (c), Waters, Revell, Long

Subs not used: Goff, M Taylor, Lobjoit, Bowditch

Aaron Pierre heads clear

Fleetwood: Cairns, Bolger, Pond (c), Eastham, Coyle, Dempsey, Glendon (O'Neill 45), Bell, Grant, McAleny (Burns 35), Hiwula (Cole 67)

Subs not used: Neal, Ekpolo, Schwabl, Nadesan

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 5,124

Fleetwood fans: 103