Hoskins on target as Cobblers start pre-season with narrow win over Leyton Orient

Sam Hoskins improvises brilliantly to volley home for the Cobblers on Saturday. Picture: Pete NortonSam Hoskins improvises brilliantly to volley home for the Cobblers on Saturday. Picture: Pete Norton
Sam Hoskins improvises brilliantly to volley home for the Cobblers on Saturday. Picture: Pete Norton
New-look Town team given a tough workout by League Two visitors

An excellent early goal from Sam Hoskins was enough for the Cobblers to begin their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 victory over Leyton Orient on Saturday.

Hoskins improvised superbly to volley home on just eight minutes as a somewhat makeshift and new-look Cobblers XI came out on top in the behind closed doors friendly at the PTS Academy Stadium.

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New faces Jonathan Mitchell, Fraser Horsfall, Joseph Mills, Christopher Missilou and Cian Bolger, who captained the side, all started for Northampton, with Brentford loanee Luka Racic the only summer recruit not to be involved.

New signing Cian Bolger captained the team.New signing Cian Bolger captained the team.
New signing Cian Bolger captained the team.

Town's squad also included four trialists. Antonio German, who played on loan at Sixfields in 2014, started up front, while former MK Dons player Samir Carruthers and non-league duo Connor Johnson and Ricky Korboa were on the bench.

Orient missed a glorious chance to go into a 14th minute lead when Ousseynou Cissé headed wide from a few yards out, and they were made to pay just 90 seconds later thanks to Hoskins' smart finish as he volleyed Michael Harriman's cross into the top corner.

Lee Angol cracked the crossbar with a superb free-kick for the visitors and Matty Warburton ballooned over at the other end but the first-half, whilst competitive, was not rich on entertainment.

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Hoskins was close to a second though, his shot deflected narrowly wide, before Town were somewhat fortunate not to concede a penalty when Missilou seemed to have tripped Cisse.

The early stages of the second-half continued to be keenly-fought with Warburton firing into the side-netting for the Cobblers and then Orient's James Brophy clipping the post at the other end.

Trialists Carruthers, Korboa and Johnson had the opportunity to impress Keith Curle when introduced around the hour-mark, and Carruthers teed up fellow substitute Chris Lines for a decent chance but the midfielder struck the woodwork.

With so many substitutions and the two teams still feeling their way into pre-season, the second-half lost its momentum and turned into a typically stodgy pre-season affair, though Johnson did see a late header saved and Lines went close from a free-kick.

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Cobblers: Mitchell (Arnold 45), Harriman, Horsfall (Roberts 75), Bolger (c) (Johnson, trialist, 57), Mills (Martin 60), Missilou (Ballinger 85), Watson, Hoskins (Lines 66), Marshall (Korboa, trialist, 66), Warburton (Carruthers, trialist, 60), German (trialist) (Johnston 78)

Orient: Vigouroux, Widdowson, Cisse, Coulson, Clay, Dayton, Judd, Happe, Sotiriou, Wilkinson, Angol

Referee: Dean Whitehouse