Northampton Town 2-0 Hartlepool United: Pools beaten at Sixfields

Hartlepool United’s barren record at Sixfields continued as they were beaten by Northampton Town.
Hartlepool United fell to defeat against Northampton Town at Sixfields. (Credit: John Cripps | MI News)Hartlepool United fell to defeat against Northampton Town at Sixfields. (Credit: John Cripps | MI News)
Hartlepool United fell to defeat against Northampton Town at Sixfields. (Credit: John Cripps | MI News)

Sam Hoskins grabbed his ninth goal of the season to open the scoring before substitute Chanka Zimba scored with almost his first touch of the game as the Cobblers scored from yet another set piece this season.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Pools who lacked any real cutting edge and were left empty handed.

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Grame Lee made two changes to his starting XI from the win over Newport County eight days ago including a debut for teenager Nicholas Bilokapic who deputised for Ben Killip in goal who missed out with an illness.

Martin Smith dropped to the bench in place of Bryn Morris who returned to the lineup for the first time since the 1-1 draw with Sutton United as Lee stuck with five in defence following the success in South Wales.

And Pools almost got off to the best possible start when Tom Crawford’s pass was met by Omar Bogle who turned Aaron McGowan well to advance into the area before forcing a good save from Liam Roberts.

Immediately up the other end and the home side had the chance to punish Pools as Hoskins found Mitch Pinnock who brought Bilokapic into action with a fine stop.

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But Bilokapic had to pick the ball out of his net two minutes later when Pinnock this time found Hoskins and the striker slotted between the legs of the young goalkeeper to break the deadlock.

Pools did not help themselves with a number of erratic mistakes in defence during the first half, one which saw Gary Liddle perhaps fortunate to only collect a yellow card.

Pools did settle though and edged into things towards the end of the half and almost levelled when Luke Molyneux stung the fingers of Roberts.

It was a brighter start after the break for Lee’s side as David Ferguson saw an effort just wide.

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But the hosts doubled their lead when Joseph Mills’ freekick was missed by Liddle, falling to Zimba from six yards, as the substitute powered beyond Bilokapic.

Molyneux came close to a quick reply but it was the home side who pressed on from there with the game beyond Pools.

The defeat means Pools have still not won at Sixfields since 1969.

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Northampton Town 2-0 Hartlepool United RECAP: Pools beaten at Sixfields

Key Events

  • Goals from Sam Hoskins and Chanka Zimba down Pools in Northampton.
  • Nicholas Bilokapic makes Hartlepool United debut
  • Northampton Town XI: Roberts, McGowan, Sowerby, Guthrie, Horsfall, Hoskins, Lewis, Lubala, Pinnock, Mills ©, Appere
  • Subs: Harriman, Pollock, Zimba, Eppiah, Maxted, Rose, Dyche
  • Hartlepool United XI: Bilokapic, Sterry, Byrne, Liddle, Odusina, Ferguson, Featherstone ©, Morris, Crawford, Molyneux, Bogle
  • Subs: Boyes, Ogle, Smith, Shelton, Fletcher, Carver, Grey

And that about wraps things up here at Sixfields Stadium as Hartlepool United are beaten on the road against Northampton Town.

Pools don’t have long to wait to make amends as they welcome Mansfield Town on Tuesday and the Hartlepool Mail will be at the Suit Direct Stadium to guide you through every kick.

Enjoy your weekend.

‘That goal effectively ended things as a contest'

Our Hartlepool United reporter shares his views on the defeat in Northampton:

“It was a bit of a frustrating afternoon in the end for Pools who fell to defeat at Sixfields.

“There were spells of the game where they did ok and created some decent opportunities, but there were also moments, particularly in defence, where Graeme Lee’s side were erratic.

“In the end Northampton deserved it, but lets not go too overboard here. Just 12 months ago the Cobblers were in League One while Pools were in the National League so there is context. This, on paper, was a very difficult fixture for Pools and it’s not as though Pools didn’t land a glove on Northampton.

“The second goal will frustrate as it was a set piece which should have been cleared but for an untimely error in defence to allow Chanka Zimba a clear strike at goal.

“And that goal effectively ended things as a contest.

“Pools have, and will play, much better than they did here. Equally, they may play worse and get a result, such is football.

“With two home games coming up it’s a chance for Lee go go back to the drawing board with his selection and perhaps his system.”

Graeme Lee has praised goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic for being ready and able to compete for Hartlepool United after being on international duty with Australia.

The Huddersfield Town loanee featured for his country in the Netherlands on Friday but was required to take an early flight home to link up with the Pools squad for the trip to Sixfields after No.1 Ben Killip missed the journey through illness.

“Huddersfield had sorted it out so he was going to make the bench, they didn’t want him to miss the game which was brilliant,” explained Lee.

“He got a flight back early so he was always going to be with us but not to the extent of expecting to play after playing yesterday.

“We gave Nic a ring just to double check he was ok before we picked him up and he’s come in and he’s done alright today especially with playing yesterday but obviously the result doesn’t help.”

The referee brings things to a close as Pools are beaten at Sixfields

Pinnock fires the freekick over the bar

Four minutes added as Featherstone goes into the book for a foul on Eppiah

Sterry goes into the book for a pull on Mills. He’s been frustrated by the Northampton fullback for much of the afternoon


Ferguson’s corner finds Bogle who heads over

Brilliant defending from McGowan to clear Molyneux’s driven cross at the near post