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Match Report


Posted Sat 28 Aug 10 at 17:02 PM


Kevin Thornton's late penalty rescued an undeserved point for Northampton Town after Andy Sandell's stunning first-half free-kick looked to have won all three points for the Blues.

Sandell smashed home in style from 18 yards to open his account for the club and Wycombe were left to rue missed chances to extend the lead further in the second period when Thornton levelled the scores.

Ben Strevens brought down Andy Holt with three minutes left on the clock and the referee wasted no time in pointing the spot, with the midfielder smashing home past Nikki Bull's despairing dive.

Wycombe travel to Accrington Stanley next weekend looking to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign and pick up their first victory on the road.

Looking to take advantage of some potentially weary Northampton legs after their Carling Cup win at Reading on Tuesday, Wycombe started sharply and Andy Sandell's free-kick nearly gave them an early lead.

After Kevin Betsy was brought down on the edge of the Cobblers' 18-yard box, Sandell sent a curling effort which struck Oscar Jansson's left post.

Betsy then saw a drive deflected into the arms of Jansson as Gary Waddock's men continued to control the opening exchanges.

However, the hosts began to gain momentum and Nikki Bull was called into action on 12 minutes, pulling off a superb save to deny Billy McKay at the back post.

It proved to be the Cobblers' only real chance of the half though as the visitors seized the initiative, seeing half chances from Gareth Ainsworth and Ben Strevens miss the target after smart attacking moves.

The opening goal came on 39 minutes, and their was an air of controversy about the award of the free-kick which lead to Sandell's stunning opener. A handball on the edge of the Cobblers box was spotted and referee Carl Boyeson seemed unsure whether to award a penalty or free-kick, ultimately opting for the latter.

Wycombe were aggrieved not to have been given the spot-kick but their concerns were quickly forgotten as Sandell smashed the ball home to open his Wycombe account.

Northampton were rattled and showed more purpose at the beginning of the second period, but goalscoring chances were hard to come by and their supporters were growing restless, perhaps expecting more from a side that had knocked Reading out of the Carling Cup four days before.

Wycombe's insistence to chase Northampton down in defensive areas was paying dividends, and soon after Kevin Betsy was denied in the box after robbing Dean Beckwith, he repeated the trick and released Scott Rendell inside the box, although his low cross was fired wide from close range by Ben Strevens.

And they were left to rue their missed chances when the referee awarded a penalty with three minutes remaining following Strevens' trip on Andy Holt inside the box, and Kevin Thornton fired home to level the scores. The decision was a correct one but the overall result was harsh on the visitors, who will feel they had sufficient opportunities to take all thee points.

Wycombe: Bull; Foster, Sandell, Winfield, Johnson; Ainsworth (Murtagh 89), Bloomfield, Montrose, Betsy; Rendell (Pittman 89), Strevens.

Subs: Arnold, Westwood, McCoy, Beavon.

Goals: Sandell (39)

Northampton: Jansson; Rodgers, Hall, Beckwith, Holt; Osman; McKay, Wedderburn, Thornton; Guinan Herbert 66), Purcell.

Subs: Dunn, Jacobs, Konstantinou, Harris, Death, Davis.

Attendance: 4,202 (653 from Wycombe)


3mins: CHANCE - Kevin Thornton fires an effort over Nikki Bull's crossbar from 18 yards out.

5mins: CHANCE - Andy Sandell's curling free-kick hits the outside of the right post.

6mins: CHANCE - Lewis Montrose sends a curling 20-yard effort just over Oscar Jansson's bar.

7mins: CHANCE - Kevin Betsy's low drive is deflected into the arms of Jansson.

12mins: CHANCE - Superb save from man of the moment Nikki Bull to deny Billy McKay.

14mins: CHANCE - Bull gathers McKay's speculative shot with ease.

15mins: CHANCE - Gareth Ainsworth whistles a shot wide of Jansson's right-hand post after a quickly taken free-kick.

34mins: CHANCE - After a smart move involving Scott Rendell and Kevin Betsy, Ben Strevens' close range drive deflects inches wide of the left-hand post.

35mins: CHANCE - Andy Sandell heads over Matt Bloomfield's corner.

39mins: GOAL - Sandell arrows an unstoppable free-kick into the top left-hand corner from the edge of Northampton's 18-yard box.

59mins: CHANCE - Steve Guinan volleys over the bar after a deep cross from Marcus Hall.

64mins: YELLOW - Matt Bloomfield is harshly booked for diving despite being clearly brought down 30 yards from goal.

66mins: SUB - Courtney Herbert replaces Steve Guinan up-front.

67mins: CHANCE - Kevin Betsy robs Dean Beckwith on the halfway line but his sideways pass to an unmarked Ben Strevens is deflected behind.

70mins: CHANCE - Betsy wins the ball by the corner flag and feeds Rendell, but Strevens can't convert his low cross.

73mins: YELLOW - Dean Beckwith is booked by hauling back Kevin Betsy.

76mins: CHANCE - Kevin Thornton's low drive is blocked inside a crowded penalty area.

77mins: YELLOW - Danny Foster is booked for time-wasting.

79mins: YELLOW - Another bizarre yellow card; this time Scott Rendell is booked for kicking the ball away.

81mins: YELLOW - Michael Jacobs follows Rendell into the book, seeing yellow for a poor foul on Bloomfield.

82mins: SUB - Seb Harris replaces Billy McKay.

84mins: SAVE - Nikki Bull palms out Kevin Thornton's fierce drive and Abdul Osman's follow-up is deflected wide.

86mins: YELLOW - Another soft booking - Ainsworth sees yellow for a shirt pull.

87mins: PENALTY - Ben Strevens trips Andy Holt in the box and Kevin Thornton steps up.

88mins: GOAL - Thornton fires past Bull to make it 1-1.

89mins: SUBS - Jon-Paul Pittman and Keiran Murtagh replace Gareth Ainsworth and Scott Rendell.

FT: Northampton Town 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers

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