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Match Reports

Northampton Town 0-0 Tranmere Rovers

3 December 2022

Third place Northampton Town kept out a bright Rovers side in a 0-0 Sixfields stalemate.

Heading into the game on the back of two defeats, Rovers were keen to take the battle to their promotion-chasing hosts on a cold afternoon in Northamptonshire.

A bright start from Tranmere saw the first real chance of the game fall to Josh Hawkes in the 14th minute, after he controlled a flicked header from Kane Hemmings and forced Lee Burge into a smart save at his near post.

Five minutes later, Burge produced a spectacular double save to keep the scores level as he clawed a Hemmings header off the line before superbly blocking Neill Byrne’s rebounded effort. Hemmings was incensed as he believed the ball had crossed the line, but the game remained goalless.

Northampton looked a threat when on the break, especially through in-form Sam Hoskins, but he couldn’t add to his impressive 13 goals in 13 starts with a curling effort that sailed past the far post seven minutes before half-time.

Goalless at the break, Tranmere were hoping to be more ruthless in front of goal in the second period.

Rovers introduced this season’s top scorer Elliott Nevitt on 53 minutes in an attacking substitution by Micky Mellon, who perhaps sensed his side’s attacking dominance in the first half and aimed to capitalise on it. 

Instead, Nevitt was almost the provider for Hemmings as he found the striker in the 64th minute but the right-footed effort from outside the box was skewed wide of the target.

Northampton substitute Max Dyche had his head in his hands four minutes later, as he put a free header from 8 yards into the grateful gloves of Ross Doohan.

In the 71st minute, a dangerous Rovers counter started with a wonderful pass from Chris Merrie to Hemmings, but his eventual layoff to Lee O’Connor was sliced wide from a promising position to mark an unfortunate end to that attack.

Entering the final five minutes of regulation time, Hemmings resumed his linkup with Nevitt to put the substitute into a good scoring position after excellent hold up play, but Nevitt’s final shot was scuffed wide. 

Northampton looked to steal all three points as they entered 8 minutes of additional time, but a robust defensive display from Tranmere, and particularly Tom Davies, ensured the clash at Sixfields ended with the points shared.

With no wins at Northampton’s ground since 2006, Tranmere can be satisfied with a point against a Northampton side unbeaten in seven league fixtures and look to take maximum points next time out away at Grimsby Town next week,

Tranmere team: Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, Davies, Byrne, Bristow, Morris, Merrie, O'Connor, Hawkes, Lewis (Nevitt 55'), Hemmings


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