Cobblers slump to home defeat as play-off chasing Blackpool edge Sixfields clash

Cobblers were beaten 1-0 by play-off hopefuls Blackpool at Sixfields on Tuesday.
Cobblers defender Harvey Lintott battles for the ball in the Sixfields clash with Blackpool on Tuesday night (PIcture: Pete Norton)Cobblers defender Harvey Lintott battles for the ball in the Sixfields clash with Blackpool on Tuesday night (PIcture: Pete Norton)
Cobblers defender Harvey Lintott battles for the ball in the Sixfields clash with Blackpool on Tuesday night (PIcture: Pete Norton)

Town did a good job of nullifying Blackpool’s threats in the first half but both sides lacked a spark in attack and subsequently there was little to get excited about before the break.

The key moment arrived shortly after the restart when Matt Pennington’s scruffy goal gave Blackpool the lead and with Cobblers completely blunted as an attacking forced throughout, that was enough for the visitors to take victory and boost their chances of making the play-offs.

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Jon Brady made both tactical and personnel changes as he switched to a back three with Sam Sherring, Shaun McWilliams and Louis Appéré all coming in, replacing Ben Fox, Sam Hoskins and Tyreece Simpson.

Mitch Pinnock was back on the bench after illness.

Blackpool made the more purposeful start at Sixfields but Cobblers were first to threaten when Kieron Bowie held off a defender and set his sights from the edge of the box, shooting powerfully but straight at Dan Grimshaw.

The visitors saw more of the ball but Cobblers were structured and disciplined out of possession and the first half was one of few chances and hardly any goalmouth action.

That said, Blackpool were perhaps wrongly denied an opener 27 minutes in when Marvin Ekpiteta’s effort from a corner seemed to cross the line after being superbly tipped onto the bar by Louie Moulden, but none of the officials were in a position to give the goal.

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Pennington headed over Karamoko Dembele’s free-kick but it was slim-pickings in the opening 45 minutes and there was nothing between the teams going into half-time.

The pattern of the game continued in a similar vein after the break with Blackpool carrying a slightly greater threat but only creating half chances, one of which was fired into the side-netting by Jordan Rhodes.

The visitors broke the deadlock 10 minutes after the restart though when Dembele’s wicked free-kick caused an almighty scramble in the penalty box and with Moulden unable to gather, Pennington was on hand to stab the loose ball into the net.

Cobblers had struggled to get anything going in attack all game and that continued after the goal with Blackpool’s defence and goalkeeper virtually untroubled.

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The away side might have added a second through substitute Matty Virtue who darted through a gap in Town’s defence but shot too close to Moulden.

Cobblers finally managed some sustained pressure in the last five minutes and a couple of half chances fell to Pinnock and Harvey Lintott but neither could hit the target and that was about all the hosts could muster on a frustrating night.

Match facts

Cobblers: Moulden, Moore (Monthé 67), Sherring, Guthrie ©, Lintott, Brough (Pinnock 45), Sowerby (Fox 73), McWilliams, Leonard, Appéré (Hoskins 77), Bowie (Simpson 67). Subs not used: Dadge, Hondermarck

Blackpool: Grimshaw, Gabriel, Pennington, Ekpiteta, Norburn © (Virtue 73), Byers, Dembele (Hamilton 83), Casey, Coulson, Rhodes (Lavery 90), Beesley (Joseph 83). Subs not used: O'Donnell, Connolly, Carey

Referee: James Bell

Attendance: 5,472

Blackpool fans: 323