Northampton Town made it three wins in a row with a 2-1 victory over relegation rivals MK Dons. The win sees the Cobblers move out of the relegation places and into 18th, while Milton Keynes fall into the drop zone, and the defeat certainly had an impact on the Dons as they sacked their manager Robbie Neilson hours later.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side opened the scoring on 16 minutes, when John-Joe O’Toole finished from six yards to claim his third goal in successive matches. The opener was quickly cancelled out, as MK Dons equalised on 19 minutes. The goal was scored by midfielder Alex Gilbey. Just before halftime, Northampton regained the lead when Chris Long converted Sam Hoskins’ driven cross on 41 minutes. This was the Burnley loanee’s eighth goal of the season.
The second half didn’t see any goals but there were plenty of close chances for both sides to either enjoy or bite their nails at. The highlight of the second half came in the final minute, when MK Dons were handed a free kick from 25 yards, only to see it magnificently stopped by Cobblers keeper Richard O’Donnell. In the lead up to the free kick, there was a scuffle between Chuks Aneke and John-Joe O’Toole, which saw Aneke receive a red card after he seemed to slap the Northampton midfielder during the argument. Before all of this, O’Donnell pulled out a pair of brilliant stops to keep Northampton in the lead and thus gained all three points.
Saturday’s game was part of a campaign called #SellOutSixfields, and the home fans didn’t disappoint as over 7,000 fans turned up to see the Cobblers win their third game in a row. The Buckinghamshire side saw a decent away following too, with over 1,000 fans behind the goal for the Dons. The total attendance was 7,231, which is the highest attendance at Sixfields so far this season.
Referee Brett Huxtable was at the centre of the action, with MK Dons causing some controversy after Northampton defender Ash Taylor seemed to be fouled in the build-up to the goal. It was later found out that Taylor may have simply tripped over, which seems realistic as heavy rain and even some snow struck the town throughout the day. MK fans weren’t happy with the decision to only send off Aneke and not O’Toole, but after looking back at the highlights it seems like Huxtable made the correct decision and the resulting free-kick didn’t change the result of the game anyway.
The result leaves MK Dons without a manager as the club decided to sack Robbie Neilson at 10pm on Saturday night. Meanwhile, Northampton are three games undefeated and head to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday with their heads held high.
Northampton: O’Donnell, Facey, Taylor, Turnbull, Bunney, Crooks, Grimes, Hoskins (sub Pereira 57’), O’Toole, Foley (sub Ariyibi 73’), Long (sub Revell 90+1’).
Subs not used: Cornell, Moloney, McWilliams, Poole.
Yellow cards: Pereira, O’Toole.
Red cards: N/A.
MK Dons: Nicholls, Brittain, Wootton, Ebanks-Landell, Williams, Cisse (sub McGrandles 71’), Tavernier, Gilbey, Pawlett (sub Agard 83’), Ugbo, Sow (sub Aneke 59’).
Subs not used: Upson, Sietsma, Muirhead, Nesbitt.
Yellow cards: Gilbey, Agard.
Red cards: Aneke.
Featured Image Credit: Matt Churchill