Cobblers slip to first league defeat as clinical Hull City claim victory

Ryan Watson challenges for the ball during the Cobblers' clash with Hull City (Pictures: Pete Norton)Ryan Watson challenges for the ball during the Cobblers' clash with Hull City (Pictures: Pete Norton)
Ryan Watson challenges for the ball during the Cobblers' clash with Hull City (Pictures: Pete Norton)
Cobblers suffered their first league defeat of the season on Saturday when beaten 2-0 by Hull City in a low-quality League One contest at the PTS Academy Stadium.

Town were on top for large portions of the first-half but twice they switched off at the back and both times Hull made them pay with Keane Lewis-Potter heading in and then George Honeyman slotting into the corner.

The hosts never regained the initiative and there was precious little to report from a poor second-half as Hull came away with all three points to maintain their perfect start to the season while Cobblers must stew on a first defeat.

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Harry Smith and Luka Racic returned from injury to start as Keith Curle reverted to a three-man defence for Hull's visit.

Mark Marshall battles for possessionMark Marshall battles for possession
Mark Marshall battles for possession

Blackpool loanee Joe Nuttall was also named in the matchday squad for the first time, joining the fit-again Nicky Adams on the bench.

Cobblers made a bright start in cold and damp conditions and an early chance fell the way of Sam Hoskins but his shot from inside the penalty box was blocked.

Hull came to the PTS as one of the so-called big boys of League One but they were made to look average by their hosts for the first half-hour, although Town didn't do enough in the final third to trouble former goalkeeper Matt Ingram.

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Lewis-Potter blazed just wide in Hull's first real sight of goal 19 minutes in before Joseph Mills' free-kick was beaten away Ingram.

The visitors had been second best but struck against the run of play on 34 minutes and it was a poor goal from Town's perspective.

Christopher Missilou conceded a cheap foul 30 yards out and George Honeyman delivered a terrific cross that was met by an unmarked Lewis-Potter.

Cobblers struggled to wrestle back control for the remainder of the half and Hull had a second a minute shy of half-time as Hakeeb Adelakun slipped through Honeyman and he beat Arnold.

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Greg Docherty slashed at a chance to kill the contest in first-half stoppage-time but the two goals had taken the sting out of Town's early purpose and the visitors were looking comfortable.

Nuttall was handed his debut 10 minutes after half-time, replacing Matty Warburton, but signs of a Cobblers fightback were few and far between in an extremely scrappy second-half.

Hull did a good job of taking the sting out of the contest, and with referee Alan Young's help, the home side were unable to build any momentum in their pursuit of a way back into the game.

Adelakun and James Scott threatened a third for Hull while the closest Northampton came was through substitute Nicky Adams whose cross-cum-shot deceived Ingram, only to land on the roof of the net.

Match facts

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Cobblers: Arnold, Racic (Adams 84), Bolger (c), Martin, Marshall (Chukwuemeka 72), Missilou, Watson, Mills, Hoskins, Warburton (Nuttall 54), Smith

Subs not used: Mitchell, Harriman, Lines, Adams, Roberts

Hull: Ingram, Elder, De Wijs, Burke, Honeyman (c), Emmanuel, Jones, Adelakun (Scott 70), Lewis-Potter (Batty 88), Magennis, Docherty

Subs not used: Long, Coyle, McLoughlin, Mayer, Jones

Referee: Alan Young

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