Harding helps Cobblers edge U’s
Ben Harding grabbed the only goal of the game as promotion
hopefuls Northampton beat Oxford 1-0 at a snow-covered
Harding almost caught Oxford napping with a deft chip while
Clarke Carlisle headed over as Cobblers made the better start.
Oxford were slow to get into their stride but former Cobbler
Liam Davies tested Lee Nicholls with a low drive and Damian Batt
Cobblers still created the better chances, though, Adebayo
Akinfenwa heading over and ex-Oxford winger Chris Hackett forcing
Luke McCormick to save at his near post. In between, Tom Craddock
was denied by Nicholls as Oxford got into the contest.
But Cobblers finally broke the deadlock on the stroke of
half-time when McCormick could only palm out Hackett’s testing
cross and Harding fired home from 15 yards.
James Constable was denied by Nicholls after the restart, Andy
Whing mis-kicked from close range before then seeing his header
punched clear by the Cobblers ‘keeper.
Akinfenwa missed a great chance to double Northampton’s
advantage as Oxford pressed for a late equaliser, substitute Deane
Smalley heading just over while Constable was twice foiled by