The winner of this tie will face Shrewsbury Town in the second round and the winner may be harder to predict than first thought as Oxford are a non-league team which has only lost one game so far this season and have shown their strengths so far in their FA Cup qualifying run.
Of course, Northampton will hope that the difference between the two sides will show over the course of the fixture but, as this is an FA Cup fixture, The Cobblers will have to be careful.
1′- The game has begun at Court Place Farm on the artificial pitch. Only time will tell if the pitch proves to be a problem for this Cobblers side.
2′- It’s Oxford City who win the first free-kick of the game in a good position, a few yards out of the box. Jordan Mitchell is yelling to get his wall in order, which seems to do the trick as Josh Ashby’s free-kick is fired straight at the wall before it is cleared.
5′- An Oxford break leads to James Roberts driving through the Northampton midfield and laying the ball off to Harvey Bradbury on his right who proceeds to shoot quickly before he sees the ball drag wide. He had more time than he thought there.
7′ – GOAL – Sam Hoskins
The Cobblers Captain gives his side the lead as the ball is pulled back from Mark Marshall on the right-wing before Sam Hoskins strikes the ball first time and through Ben Dudzinski’s legs. Oxford should have been more careful there.
12′ – GOAL – Sam Roberts
Oxford are level and Northampton will be disappointed to let their lead slip so quickly. Roberts doesn’t care as that’s now his seventh goal in eight games this season. The Oxford hero rises to a looping cross from the left-wing and glances the ball into the net with Joe Martin unable to stop him winning the header. A sloppy goal to concede considering the difference in league position between the two sides.
19′- A Northampton corner goes all the way to the back post where Luka Racic seems to push his man away before he volleys the ball wide. Northampton would’ve hoped that ball fell to someone else in that situation.
22′- Oxford try to copy Liverpool’s iconic winner against Barcelona with a quickly taken corner by Ashby which goes right across the face of goal, with Roberts sliding in to get a touch, but to no avail, as the ball goes out for a Northampton throw-in. The Cobbler’s need to be careful or the hosts might sneak in front here.
28′- Oxford City win a corner here after nice interplay on the left wing before the ball deflects out for a corner. Suddenly, Oxford are piling on the pressure and seem closest to taking the lead here.
32′- Heroic defending from Aaron Drewe as Marshall smashes the ball across goal with Dudzinski absolutely beaten but Drewe is perfectly positioned on the line to clear the ball over the bar for a Northampton corner.
35′- A good Oxford attack ends with Roberts turning his man on the edge of the box and shooting across goal with Mitchell getting his left hand on the ball to divert it just wide of his left-hand post for a corner. He maybe could’ve got a slightly more power behind that shot and Mitchell could’ve been left with the ball in his net.
41′- Mitchell has the ball so Racic tries to block Lewis Coyle off to give his keeper some time before Coyle appears to pull Racic to the ground and give away a free-kick. Coyle is lucky to not be booked there.
45′- Zac McEachran finds himself in a great position on the edge of the box but struggles to get a shot away quick enough as Northampton have bodies rushing out ready to block the ball.
45+1′- Roberts gets away on the right and whips the ball into the box where Hoskins clears the ball over the bar before it could fall to an Oxford man at the back-post.
HT OXFORD CITY 1-1 NORTHAMPTON TOWN
The hosts go into half time disappointed to not be in front despite going behind early on. Oxford have easily been the better side, winning the midfield battle throughout the first half and they seem to be the team in the ascendancy going into the break. Northampton need to use half time well as Keith Curle will be worried about his side possibly letting this cup tie slip away from them.
46′- A decent start to the second half from Oxford as good play down the left-wing results in Coyle whipping the ball into the back post where Roberts waits for the ball to drop as he half-volleys the ball high and wide. Oxford continuing their first-half performance here, while Northampton really need to up the tempo.
50′- It seems as if Oxford have slowed down a bit here as both sides are just trying to get a few passes together, with neither side looking to penetrate the final third.
52′- PENALTY TO OXFORD CITY
Roberts is running Martin ragged on the right-wing before he is eventually brought down in the box, giving the referee an easy decision to point to the spot. Can Oxford City capitalise?
52′- PENALTY SAVED BY JORDAN MITCHELLEmbed from Getty Images
Roberts fails to get his second of the game as his penalty is at a good height for the keeper to dive to his right and save with McEachran unable to get in the rebound as Benny Ashley-Seal is ready to clear the ball out for a corner. Is that the moment that Northampton needed to jumpstart their performance?
56′- Hoskins once again shows why he has been Northampton’s best player on the night as he runs through Oxford City’s midfield with ease before he strikes the ball low and just wide of the bottom left corner.
60′- The game is back in Northampton’s half once again with the Cobbler’s failing to keep possession whenever they win it back off Oxford. This really has been a poor performance from the League One side so far.
67′- PENALTY TO OXFORD CITY
Within a minute of coming on Elliot Benyon makes his impact by winning his side another penalty after being pulled back. It looks like the foul may have taken place just outside the box. Will Oxford take this chance after their earlier miss this half?
68′- GOAL – JOSH ASHBYEmbed from Getty Images
Oxford City change penalty takers with Roberts leaving the responsibility to Josh Ashby who sends the keeper the wrong way, giving Oxford City the lead they deserve.
74′ Mitchell fails to catch the ball from an Oxford corner and nearly gives away a goal as the ball drops to McEachran from close range but Mitchell’s defenders bail him out as the incoming shot is blocked and cleared out.
80′- Northampton waste a free-kick from a decent position for a delivery as Ricky Korboa whips the ball high into the back post where Dudzinski is able to catch the ball, unchallenged. Northampton are running out of time here.
83′- Ricky Holmes wins a free kick in his defensive half after losing the ball briefly for his side. His desire to win the ball back.
85′- The ball falls to Hoskins on the volley as he drives a hard shot along the artificial green but it falls into Dudzinski’s arms. Northampton don’t seem like they’re going to find an equaliser any time soon.
87′- Northampton have won a dangerous free-kick after Ashby takes down Holmes just outside the box. Northampton will argue they deserve a penalty after the controversial call from the referee which gave Oxford City the lead.
88′- Holmes takes the free-kick and fails to beat the wall with the following rebound strike trickling towards Dudzinski who easily collects the ball. Northampton are spending more time in Oxford’s half but don’t seem like they can create the clear cut chance that they desperately need right now.
Three minutes of injury time to follow
90+2′- Nana Owusu gets the first card of the game after giving away a free-kick near the halfway line. Northampton fail to take advantage of the set-piece as Dudzinski is once again ready to claim the ball.
FT: OXFORD CITY 2-1 NORTHAMPTON TOWN
The hosts’ progress in the cup with Curle left wondering whether he should have put out more of his first-team players for the tie.
The non-league side leave deserved winners after second-half penalty madness, as the victors failed to take advantage of their first penalty with Roberts giving Mitchell an easy save in the 52nd minute before they won another penalty in controversial circumstances as Benyon appeared to be fouled just outside the box. Ashby managed to show Roberts how to take a spot-kick as he gave his side a lead which Northampton never looked like coming back from.
Oxford now find themselves in a second-round tie against another League One side in Shrewsbury Town and after that performance, they’ll be confident that they can get into the third round and potentially get a draw against some of the big teams from the Premier League.
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