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06 November 2021 Venue Sixfields Stadium Attendance

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Northampton vs Cambridge Utd

5 November 2021

The U’s kick-off their 2021/22 FA Cup journey at Sixfields Stadium on Saturday as they clash with an in-form Northampton Town side…

Form

Mark Bonner’s men head into Saturday’s FA Cup tie off the back of consecutive wins and shut-outs, as Jensen Weir’s header earned the U’s all three points against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday before academy graduate Ben Worman and Joe Ironside sealed another valuable three points at the Mazuma Stadium on Tuesday night.

Cambridge United Form: DLDWW

Prior to this week, United had been enduring their longest stint without a win this season – having gone seven games without one. However, wins against AFC Wimbledon and most recently Morecambe has seen the U’s jump up to 10th in the table.

There’s been no relegation hangover for Jon Brady’s Cobblers, who currently sit third in Sky Bet League Two having won four games on the bounce – a run in which has seen the Cobblers score 12 goals without reply.

Northampton Town Form: WWWWL

Despite impressive league form, a much-changed Northampton side, packed with five academy players, fell to defeat at the hands of Brighton Under 21’s on Tuesday, as goals from Evan Ferguson and Lorent Tolaj condemned Brady’s side to defeat and in turn ended any chance of qualification out of group Group D in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Prior to Tuesday’s defeat, former U Paul Lewis bagged himself his first professional hattrick as the Cobblers ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Carlisle United on Saturday. A result that moved Northampton into League Two automatic promotion contention.

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Key Player: Sam Hoskins

Cobblers fans will be eager to see star man Sam Hoskins return to the starting eleven, having missed the previous two league games through suspension. The versatile forward, who’s been deployed predominantly as a right winger this season has already contributed to six goals in League Two this season. The former Southampton man has created six ‘big chances’ this season – a stat only bettered by one person in the fourth tier.

Down Memory Lane

It’s Saturday’s hosts Northampton who boast historical bragging rights over the U’s, with the Cobblers winning on 18 of the 44 occasions both sides have met – four better than United’s 14 wins.

In the most recent competitive clash between the two sides – disregarding the 0-0 draw in pre-season, George Taft’s own goal, coupled with Harry Smith’s finish without a United reply earned Keith Curle’s Cobblers the three points at Sixfields en route to their eventual promotion via the playoffs in 2019.

David Amoo’s late, late goal won the U’s all three points at the Abbey back in January 2019, as Colin Calderwood’s side ran out 3-2 victors against Saturday’s hosts.

Quick Quotes 

U’s Head Coach Mark Bonner expects a tough battle against Northampton on Saturday: “We have to go and be ready to play against a really inform team. We played them in pre-season, so we have a bit of knowledge of Northampton and now we have to go into the game and try and back up what has been a really good week for ourselves so far.

“They are a team that are really hard to create chances against, they have had very few chances conceded in the last four games and in the wins, they have had lots of clean sheets. There is a physicality about them, as well as a directness to their play. They share some similarities with us I think last year, and we know that they have some good players; some of them we know well.

Jon Brady will not be making any early calls to his Cobblers side ahead of Saturday’s game: “We have had to assess the illnesses and injuries, we had one or two extra bodies in training on Thursday and we are hopeful of having maybe one or two more back before the weekend.

“We will leave it as late as we can to make any decisions, but we have got to look at the fitness levels and at the moment it’s a bit of a waiting game.

Officials

Martin Coy will head up Saturday’s clash against the Cobblers, with Adrian Tranter and Marvyn Amphlettcoming in as his assistants. Kevin Howick will oversee the game as Fourth Official.

How to Watch

U’s fans are able to buy tickets from the Sixfields Stadium South Stand Ticket Office on Matchday at the following prices:

Adults: £15
Over 65s: £12
Under 18s: £5
Under 7s: Free

Disabled supporters are to pay at the appropriate age bracket and personal assistants can claim a ticket free of charge. Please note, there are no cash sales on Matchday and all purchases must be done with card.

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

Visit the Live Match Centre to access form guides, live text commentary and live access to the match on iFollow

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Match Reports

U's fight back to send First Round tie back to the Abbey

6 November 2021

United twice came back from behind to send their First Round tie with Northampton Town back to the Abbey in a thrilling FA Cup contest at Sixfields…

Goals from Smith and Masterson drew the U’s level and despite both team’s going for the win with the scores level late in the game, neither could claim their place in the Second Round, with the tie to be decided at the Abbey Stadium on Tuesday 16th November at 7.45pm.

Mark Bonner named four changes from the team that won at Morecambe on Tuesday, as George Williams and Adam May returned from suspension whilst Shilow Tracey and Sam Smith also re-joined the fray.

The Cobblers got off to the perfect start, as on-loan Spurs striker Etete opened up the scoring. After racing through on goal - and despite cries of offside from the U’s players - the linesman’s flag remained by his side and the Northampton forward showed great composure to work his way into shooting position and calmly finishing.

Minutes later, he was almost at it again, but a costly slip inside the box at the crucial moment meant United were able to clear.

With 13 minutes gone, the U’s were level after good work from Tracey drew a Northampton foul outside the area, and Iredale’s pin-point free-kick found the head of Smith, who directed the ball home past Roberts in goal.

The action was end-to-end and former United man Lewis headed over soon after before Paul Digby fired over the bar from distance, with 20 minutes on the clock.

It was all U’s at this stage, as only frantic Northampton defending kept the scores level as Mark Bonner’s men pushed for the go-ahead goal. Ben Worman was denied from close range by a brilliant Revan block and delivery after delivery from Iredale was being desperately defended by the Cobblers back-line.

Joe Ironside almost scored a superb acrobatic effort just after the half hour mark, as he teed himself up with his back to goal before volleying on-target, only to see Roberts equal to the shot.

Four minutes later, Northampton retook the lead as the home side’s main man, Kion Etete, raced down to the by-line before squaring the ball for Lewis to score into an empty net.

Neither team created an opportunity of note in the remaining minutes before the half, as United went in down a goal after a topsy-turvy 45 minutes of football.

A knock picked up by Tracey towards the end of the half meant Brophy was introduced for the second half as United went in search of the equaliser again.

10 minutes into the second half, Smith had two fine chances to double his tally but missed the target on both occasions, with the first flying just over the bar and the second directed wide of goal.

Northampton still posted the U’s a threat though, and Hoskins could have doubled the hosts’ lead on 60 minutes, but for some brilliant last-ditch defending to block his strike from 10 yards out.

Knibbs and Weir replaced Worman and May with just under half an hour to go and for the second game in row, an attacking substitute made an instant impact, as Knibbs won the U’s a free-kick, which resulted in Masterson firing home from within a crowded six-yard box in-front of 775 travelling supporters.

There was more freedom to the match than a usual league affair as both teams went for the winner with what was left in the game. Mitov twice denied Pinnock from allowing Northampton to take the lead, as he clawed away an on-target corner before getting down low to push away an overhead kick from the midfield man.

With just a few minutes left in the contest, Williams had a golden opportunity to send Cambridge into the Second Round, as he connected with a whipped cross from Weir at the back-post but sent his volley over the crossbar.

The final chance of the game came deep into added time, as the ball fell to Masterson in the crowded box and despite finding the space to turn and shoot, he lost his footing at the crucial moment and couldn’t connect with enough power to trouble Roberts in goal.

Both teams contributed towards what was an entertaining cup tie that will have to be settled at the Abbey Stadium a week on Tuesday.

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