Supersub Simpson the last-gasp hero as Cobblers claim superb win over high-flying Oxford United

Kieron Bowie celebrates heading the Cobblers into a 1-0 lead (Picture: Pete Norton)Kieron Bowie celebrates heading the Cobblers into a 1-0 lead (Picture: Pete Norton)
Kieron Bowie celebrates heading the Cobblers into a 1-0 lead (Picture: Pete Norton)
Tyreece Simpson scored seven minutes into stoppage-time as Cobblers claimed a thrilling and dramatic 2-1 victory over promotion-chasing Oxford United at Sixfields on Saturday.

Town were excellent throughout and proved more then a match for their high-flying visitors, going ahead through Kieron Bowie’s header straight after half-time, and even when Oxford hit back through a penalty from Cameron Brannagan, Jon Brady’s men were not deterred.

They finished the stronger and won it in the most dramatic and sensational fashion.

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Simpson has had a rough time of it during his loan spell so far but he could not have chosen a better moment to score his first league goal for the Cobblers, rising highest to head home Mitch Pinnock’s free-kick in the 97th minute.

Shaun McWilliams battles for possession with Oxford United's Marcu McGuane (Picture: Pete Norton)Shaun McWilliams battles for possession with Oxford United's Marcu McGuane (Picture: Pete Norton)
Shaun McWilliams battles for possession with Oxford United's Marcu McGuane (Picture: Pete Norton)

Northampton have now won five of their last seven league games and are up to the giddy heights of 10th place in Sky Bet League One.

Aaron McGowan wore the armband after coming in for Akin Odimayo at right-back with club captain Jon Guthrie replaced by Jordan Willis as he continues to be managed following injury.

Danny Hylton featured in a matchday squad for the first time this season.

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Both teams were happy to stay patient and work their way into the contest, with the first half chance arriving on eight minutes when Sam Hoskins collected Patrick Brough’s lay-off and broke into the box but his shot was tame and easy for James Beadle.

Cobblers played some nice football but Oxford were a threat on the break and they showed that when Josh Murphy latched onto Mark Harris’ pass sped away from Town’s defence before being denied by the legs of Max Thompson.

The game was increasingly open and end-to-end as Ciaron Brown hooked over the crossbar from close-range for Oxford before Mitch Pinnock did superbly to out-fox a defender and get a shot away, though it was comfortable for Beadle.

Stanley Mills was next to have a go, shooting straight at Thompson after Town were caught in possession, and another opportunity went begging for Cobblers when Kieron Bowie delayed his pass to Hoskins who would have been through on goal.

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The first half had been entertaining despite ending goalless and that continued after the restart with Bowie inches away from breaking the deadlock when his header bounced against the base of the post and was scrambled away.

But Bowie did not make the same mistake twice and he adjusted his radar barely two minutes later when finding space between two defenders to head Pinnock’s teasing cross into the bottom corner and give Cobblers the lead.

It could have been two just shy of the hour-mark when fabulous interchange between Pinnock and Marc Leonard led to an excellent chance for the latter but he side-footed wide on the volley.

That miss proved vital within 90 seconds as a rash challenge by Brough gave the referee no option but to point to the spot and Brannagan duly dispatched the subsequent penalty beyond the helpless Thompson.

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The game was now there for the taking and both teams were not shy in pushing forward, which meant gaps opened up and Oxford almost capitalised with Brannagan shooting wide from distance.

Cobblers went again though and despite Oxford being the team chasing promotion, it was the hosts who finished stronger, although time was fast running out to find a winner.

However, as the clock ticked past 96 minutes, Hylton cleverly won a free-kick wide on the right and Pinnock delivered a superb cross that was met brilliantly by Simpson, who sparked scenes of wild jubilation all around Sixfields with a fantastic header through the legs of Beadle.

Match facts

Cobblers: Thompson, McGowan ©, Willis (Guthrie 67), Sherring, Brough (Odimayo 68), Sowerby (Hondermarck 90), McWilliams, Leonard, Pinnock, Hoskins (Simpson 90), Bowie (Hylton 90). Subs not used: Dadge, Haynes

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Oxford: Beadle, Brown, Moore ©, Mills (Henry 70), Brannagan, Bennett, Stevens, McGuane, Murphy (Goodrham 45), Rodrigues (Smyth 90), Harris (O’Donkor 80). Subs not used: Eastwood, Thorniley, McEachran

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 7,581

Oxford fans: 1,467