Alex Nicholls scored the winner as Northampton dumped last season's runners-up Cardiff out of the Capital One Cup.

Nicholls's winner came three minutes after the interval when his header beat Joe Lewis following a corner.

Heidar Helguson had given Cardiff the lead with a penalty after three minutes when he was fouled by Kelvin Langmead.

David Artell's header brought Northampton level on 37 minutes before Nicholls's winner.

With eight players away on international duty, Cardiff started with five teenagers as well as summer signings Helguson and Joe Lewis.

And within two minutes Cardiff were awarded a penalty when Helguson fell under the clumsy challenge of captain Langmead.

Helguson took the kick and sent 17-year-old goalkeeper Dean Snedker the wrong way to give Cardiff an early lead.

Northampton v Cardiff facts

Northampton won the only previous League Cup tie between the sides in the first round 16 years ago, courtesy of a 2-1 aggregate score.

The League Two side responded swiftly to going a goal down and within a minute Artell sent a powerful header wide from Chris Hackett's corner

Luke Guttridge also fired over from long range for Aidy Boothroyd's side while Cardiff's Joe Mason fired straight at Snedker

Stephen McPhail's involvement in the game came to an end on 18 minutes when he was replaced by youngster Tommy O'Sullivan.

Northampton deservedly drew level eight minutes before the break when Artell's header from Ben Tozer's long throw trickled past Lewis.

Ben Harding missed a great chance to put Northampton in front three minutes later but he could only shoot wide.

But the home side took the lead three minutes after the interval.

Lewis, making his Cardiff debut, failed to deal with an inswinging corner from Hardin and Nicholls nipped in to head home at the far post.

Cardiff at the time of the goal were down to ten men as substitute Jordan Mutch, who replaced Joe Mason at the start of the second half, was in the dressing room.

Mutch had white ankle tape on and new rules insist any tape worn has to be the same colour as the socks, in Cardiff's case blue.

Langmead came close to increasing Northampton's lead five minutes later when he turned well in the box but Lewis blocked his close-range effort.

Malky Mackay's Championship side offered little in response apart from a Joe Ralls long-range effort which flew over.

Nicholls nearly scored his second and Northampton's third with seven minutes remaining when his neat flick went just wide following Henoc Mukendi cross.

Substitute O'Sullivan wasted a glorious opportunity to level for Cardiff in the final minute but Northampton survived to book their place in round two.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (5)

Northampton

  • 13 Snedker
  • 02 Johnson
  • 03 Widdowson
  • 05 Langmead
  • 12 Tozer
  • 18 Artell Booked
  • 04 Guttridge Booked
  • 08 Harding
  • 11 Hackett (Mukendi - 56' )
  • 09 Platt (Akinfenwa - 71' Booked )
  • 14 Nicholls

Substitutes

  • 26 Heath
  • 06 Charles
  • 07 Demontagnac
  • 10 Akinfenwa
  • 15 Mukendi
  • 16 Wilson
  • 17 Robinson

Cardiff City

  • 32 Lewis
  • 28 Keinan
  • 31 Nugent
  • 35 Oshilaja Booked
  • 11 Conway
  • 21 Ralls
  • 36 Sainte-Luce Booked
  • 37 McPhail (O'Sullivan - 19' )
  • 42 John
  • 20 Mason (Mutch - 51' )
  • 22 Helguson (Jarvis - 61' )

Substitutes

  • 29 Parish
  • 43 Hill
  • 18 Mutch
  • 34 Darco
  • 38 O'Sullivan
  • 33 Jarvis
  • 45 Wharton
Ref: Phillips
Att: 2,819

Match Stats

Shots

12 5

On target

7 2

Corners

10 4

Fouls

18 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:44 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +4:53

Craig Conway produces a cross, save by Dean Snedker.

90:00 +3:21

Free kick awarded for a foul by Dekel Keinan on Adebayo Akinfenwa. Direct free kick taken by David Artell.

90:00 +2:46

Adedeji Oshilaja delivers the ball.

90:00 +0:29

Centre by Craig Conway, save by Dean Snedker.

88:00

The official flags Jordon Mutch offside. Dean Snedker takes the indirect free kick.

87:08

Luke Guttridge has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.

85:56

Free kick taken by Dekel Keinan.

85:56 Booking

Booking Booking for Adebayo Akinfenwa.

85:45

Jordon Mutch fouled by Adebayo Akinfenwa, the ref awards a free kick.

85:09

Foul by Adedeji Oshilaja on Joe Widdowson, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Dean Snedker.

84:03

Henoc Mukendi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Adedeji Oshilaja. Adedeji Oshilaja restarts play with the free kick.

82:36

The ball is crossed by Henoc Mukendi, Shot from close in by Alex Nicholls misses to the left of the target.

80:08

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ben Harding on Jordon Mutch. Craig Conway restarts play with the free kick.

79:10

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Luke Guttridge from the left by-line, Henoc Mukendi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Lewis. Joe Lewis takes the direct free kick.

78:14

Corner taken by Ben Harding from the right by-line, save made by Joe Lewis.

76:53

Free kick awarded for a foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa on Ben Nugent. Ben Nugent takes the free kick.

76:08

Dekel Keinan concedes a free kick for a foul on Henoc Mukendi. Free kick crossed left-footed by Ben Harding, save made by Joe Lewis.

75:14

Corner taken left-footed by Ben Harding, clearance made by Adedeji Oshilaja.

74:54

Adebayo Akinfenwa takes a shot from 12 yards. Blocked by Ben Nugent.

74:28

Direct free kick taken by David Artell.

74:28 Booking

Booking Adedeji Oshilaja is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

74:17

Foul by Adedeji Oshilaja on Henoc Mukendi, free kick awarded.

73:11

Craig Conway fouled by Alex Nicholls, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Dekel Keinan.

72:02

Unfair challenge on Jordon Mutch by Adebayo Akinfenwa results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Craig Conway, clearance made by David Artell.

71:26

Corner taken by Joe Ralls.

71:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Joe Widdowson on Ben Nugent. Ben Nugent takes the free kick.

68:51

Shot comes in from Jordon Mutch from the free kick.

68:51 Substitution

Substitution (Northampton) makes a substitution, with Adebayo Akinfenwa coming on for Clive Platt.

68:51 Booking

Booking Luke Guttridge receives a caution.

68:32

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nathaniel Jarvis by Luke Guttridge.

68:15

The ball is swung over by Adedeji Oshilaja.

66:08

Luke Guttridge sends in a cross, save by Joe Lewis.

65:02

Corner taken right-footed by Luke Guttridge, Joe Lewis makes a save.

62:14

Effort on goal by Joe Ralls from long range goes over the bar.

60:05 Substitution

Substitution Nathaniel Jarvis joins the action as a substitute, replacing Heidar Helguson.

59:23

The ball is swung over by Henoc Mukendi, Luke Guttridge takes a shot. Ben Nugent gets a block in.

57:36

A cross is delivered by Jordon Mutch.

57:00

Centre by Jordon Mutch, clearance made by David Artell.

56:29

Craig Conway fouled by Luke Guttridge, the ref awards a free kick. Ben Nugent restarts play with the free kick.

56:19

Joe Ralls crosses the ball, clearance made by Kelvin Langmead.

55:16

Corner taken short by Joe Ralls.

55:16 Substitution

Substitution (Northampton) makes a substitution, with Henoc Mukendi coming on for Chris Hackett.

53:52

Unfair challenge on Clive Platt by Ben Nugent results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by John Johnson from right channel, save by Joe Lewis.

53:21

A cross is delivered by Adedeji Oshilaja, save by Dean Snedker.

52:52

Foul by John Johnson on Craig Conway, free kick awarded. Heidar Helguson restarts play with the free kick.

52:22

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Clive Platt.

51:56

Corner taken by Chris Hackett from the left by-line, Tommy O'Sullivan manages to make a clearance.

51:36

Kelvin Langmead has an effort at goal. Blocked by Joe Lewis.

51:00

Jordon Mutch has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

49:36

Craig Conway takes the direct free kick.

49:36 Substitution

Substitution Joe Mason leaves the field to be replaced by Jordon Mutch.

49:36

John Johnson challenges Craig Conway unfairly and gives away a free kick.

47:32

Assist by Ben Harding.

47:32 Goal scored

Goal! - Alex Nicholls - Northamp'n 2 - 1 Cardiff Alex Nicholls finds the net with a headed goal from close range. Northampton 2-1 Cardiff.

46:32

The ball is delivered by Chris Hackett, Declan John gets a block in. Corner taken left-footed by Ben Harding from the right by-line,

45:01

The second half begins.

45:00 +2:05 Half time

Half Time The half-time whistle blows.

45:00 +0:35

The ball is swung over by Kevin Sainte-Luce, clearance by John Johnson. Craig Conway takes the inswinging corner, John Johnson makes a clearance.

42:35

Declan John produces a cross, Dean Snedker makes a save.

40:03

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Artell by Joe Mason. David Artell takes the direct free kick.

39:31

Effort on goal by Ben Harding from inside the box misses to the right of the target.

38:09

Joe Mason concedes a free kick for a foul on Luke Guttridge. David Artell restarts play with the free kick.

36:21

The assist for the goal came from Ben Tozer.

36:21 Goal scored

Goal! - David Artell - Northamp'n 1 - 1 Cardiff David Artell scores a headed goal from inside the box. Northampton 1-1 Cardiff.

33:14

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ben Harding on Adedeji Oshilaja. Strike comes in from Joe Ralls from the free kick.

32:34

Unfair challenge on Declan John by John Johnson results in a free kick. Craig Conway delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, David Artell manages to make a clearance.

28:47

The ball is delivered by Ben Tozer, Ben Nugent makes a clearance.

27:48

Inswinging corner taken by Ben Harding from the right by-line, save by Joe Lewis.

27:19

Craig Conway produces a cross.

26:38

The ball is sent over by Chris Hackett.

26:13

Craig Conway sends in a cross, save made by Dean Snedker.

25:18

Joe Widdowson sends in a cross, Kelvin Langmead takes a shot. Joe Lewis makes a save.

24:48

Ben Nugent concedes a free kick for a foul on Clive Platt. John Johnson takes the free kick.

24:12

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ben Tozer on Craig Conway. Direct free kick taken by Joe Lewis.

23:09

Adedeji Oshilaja produces a cross.

18:18

Joe Lewis takes the direct free kick.

18:18 Substitution

Substitution Tommy O'Sullivan comes on in place of Stephen McPhail.

18:18

Unfair challenge on Joe Lewis by Luke Guttridge results in a free kick.

16:44

The free kick is swung in right-footed by Chris Hackett, Stephen McPhail makes a clearance.

16:44 Booking

Booking Kevin Sainte-Luce booked.

16:31

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Widdowson by Kevin Sainte-Luce.

15:14

Luke Guttridge takes a shot from long range which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

15:01

The ball is sent over by Alex Nicholls.

13:20

The ball is swung over by Joe Widdowson, Adedeji Oshilaja makes a clearance.

12:43

Inswinging corner taken by Ben Harding from the right by-line, save made by Joe Lewis.

12:27

Shot by Chris Hackett. Blocked by Joe Ralls.

11:59

Stephen McPhail concedes a free kick for a foul on Ben Harding. John Johnson restarts play with the free kick.

8:00

Chris Hackett produces a cross.

7:27

Effort on goal by Joe Mason from 30 yards. Dean Snedker makes a save.

4:43

Corner taken by Chris Hackett, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by David Artell misses to the right of the target.

3:47 Booking

Booking David Artell is cautioned.

3:23 Goal scored

Goal! - Heidar Helguson - Northamp'n 0 - 1 Cardiff Penalty taken right-footed by Heidar Helguson and scored. Northampton 0-1 Cardiff.

1:47

Unfair challenge on Heidar Helguson by Kelvin Langmead results in a Penalty.

0:59

Corner taken short by Stephen McPhail.

0:06

Foul by Alex Nicholls on Stephen McPhail, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Stephen McPhail.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

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