Alex Nicholls suffered a broken leg in scoring as Northampton ended 10-man Port Vale's seven-game unbeaten run.

Nicholls pounced on Rob Taylor's back pass and rounded keeper Chris Neal to put the Cobblers ahead.

But he was caught late as he shot by John McCombe, who was sent off, and the game was held up for 11 minutes while the striker received treatment.

Substitute Louis Moult fired in the second from Adebayo Akinfenwa's lay-off as Northampton eased to victory.

Akinfenwa wasted a chance to make it 3-0 when he headed wide, while Vale's Ashley Vincent was denied by home keeper Lee Nicholls after breaking clear.

Northampton's win was a welcome boost after back-to-back defeats against Barnet and Bradford.

But their joy would have been tempered by the injury to 24-year-old Nicholls, whose goal was his eighth since joining in the summer from Walsall.

An ambulance was brought on to the Sixfields pitch to take Nicholls to hospital and a total of 15 minutes of stoppage time was played at the end of the first half following the long delay.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Northampton Town manager Aidy Boothroyd told BBC Radio Northampton:

"They've taken Alex Nicholls straight into an operation. He's got a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula.

"His mum, dad and his little girl and wife are all up at the hospital and that's where I'll be going.

"We're absolutely gutted for him. It's a goal scorer's goal and a brave goal. But I know that John McCombe didn't mean to cause the damage that he did. These things happen.

"It takes the edge off a fantastic victory."

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (5)

Northampton

  • 21 Nicholls
  • 03 Widdowson
  • 05 Langmead
  • 06 Charles Booked
  • 23 East
  • 12 Tozer
  • 16 Wilson (Demontagnac - 60' )
  • 22 Hornby
  • 28 Huws Booked
  • 10 Akinfenwa
  • 14 Nicholls (Moult - 30' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Higgs
  • 29 Moyo
  • 07 Demontagnac
  • 25 Dias
  • 09 Platt
  • 15 Mukendi
  • 19 Moult

Port Vale

  • 01 Neal
  • 02 Yates
  • 05 McCombe Dismissed
  • 06 Owen Booked (James - 46' )
  • 03 Taylor
  • 09 Myrie-Williams
  • 18 Morsy (Lloyd - 69' )
  • 23 Burge
  • 10 Vincent
  • 11 Pope Booked
  • 19 Williamson (Davis - 31' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Johnson
  • 17 Davis
  • 04 Murphy
  • 15 Shuker
  • 21 James
  • 22 Lloyd
  • 08 Dodds
Ref: Clark
Att: 5,061

Match Stats

Shots

17 8

On target

9 7

Corners

3 4

Fouls

9 11

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:12 Full time

Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.

90:00 +3:08

The ball is sent over by Lewis Hornby.

90:00 +2:18

Handball decision goes against Tom Pope. Free kick taken by Lee Nicholls. Free kick awarded for a foul by Jennison Myrie-Williams on Ishmel Demontagnac. Anthony Charles takes the direct free kick.

86:56

Tom Pope is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Lee Nicholls takes the indirect free kick.

85:39

Inswinging corner taken by Ryan Burge.

82:28

Free kick awarded for a foul by Adam Yates on Ishmel Demontagnac. Lewis Hornby takes the direct free kick.

81:16

Corner taken short by Tom Pope.

80:18

Chris Neal takes the free kick.

80:18 Booking

Booking The referee shows Emyr Huws a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

79:53

Unfair challenge on Ryan Burge by Emyr Huws results in a free kick.

76:39

Anthony Charles takes a shot. Save by Chris Neal.

75:00

Kingsley James crosses the ball.

73:40

The ball is sent over by Adam Yates, save by Lee Nicholls.

71:08

The referee gives a free kick against Ishmel Demontagnac for handball. Ryan Burge fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, blocked by Adebayo Akinfenwa.

70:32

Jennison Myrie-Williams takes a shot. Ben Tozer gets a block in.

68:43

Ishmel Demontagnac fouled by Ryan Burge, the ref awards a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Lewis Hornby from the free kick.

68:43 Substitution

Substitution Ryan Lloyd on for Sam Morsy.

67:29

Kelvin Langmead takes the free kick. Lewis Hornby takes a shot. Adebayo Akinfenwa gets a block in.

67:29 Booking

Booking Sam Morsy goes into the referee's book.

67:11

Foul by Sam Morsy on Lewis Hornby, free kick awarded.

66:09

Lewis Hornby produces a cross.

65:21

Centre by Ishmel Demontagnac, clearance made by Kingsley James. Joe Widdowson crosses the ball, blocked by Adam Yates. Inswinging corner taken by Lewis Hornby from the left by-line, clearance by Joe Davis.

63:49

The ball is crossed by Jennison Myrie-Williams. The offside flag is raised against Joe Widdowson. Chris Neal takes the direct free kick.

63:07

Ashley Vincent takes a shot. Save by Lee Nicholls. Ryan Burge decides to take the corner short.

61:17

Adam Yates gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ishmel Demontagnac. Joe Widdowson takes the free kick.

58:41 Substitution

Substitution Lewis Wilson goes off and Ishmel Demontagnac comes on.

58:41

Headed effort from deep inside the area by Adebayo Akinfenwa misses to the left of the goal.

58:41 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Tom Pope for dissent.

58:17

Adebayo Akinfenwa takes a shot. Blocked by Kingsley James.

57:36

The ball is crossed by Ben Tozer, Adebayo Akinfenwa takes a shot. Save made by Chris Neal.

55:40

Free kick awarded for a foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa on Kingsley James. Direct free kick taken by Chris Neal.

53:11

The assistant referee signals for offside against Ashley Vincent. Indirect free kick taken by Lee Nicholls.

52:32

Tom Pope takes a shot. Save made by Lee Nicholls.

50:33

Free kick crossed left-footed by Ryan Burge from right wing, Lee Nicholls makes a save.

50:33 Booking

Booking The referee shows Anthony Charles a yellow card.

50:22

Unfair challenge on Jennison Myrie-Williams by Anthony Charles results in a free kick.

48:16

Free kick awarded for a foul by Joe Widdowson on Jennison Myrie-Williams. Jennison Myrie-Williams produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Adebayo Akinfenwa gets a block in.

46:18

Unfair challenge on Emyr Huws by Ashley Vincent results in a free kick. Emyr Huws takes the free kick.

45:44

A cross is delivered by Danny East, Headed effort on goal by Adebayo Akinfenwa from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Kingsley James is brought on as a substitute for Gareth Owen.

45:00 +14:58 Half time

Half Time It is the end of the first-half.

45:00 +13:43

The offside flag is raised against Louis Moult. Chris Neal takes the free kick. Sam Morsy takes a shot. Kelvin Langmead gets a block in.

45:00 +10:58

The ball is delivered by Robert Taylor, Danny East gets a block in. Corner from the left by-line taken by Ryan Burge, Adebayo Akinfenwa manages to make a clearance.

45:00 +10:04

Louis Moult produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the target.

45:00 +6:30

Free kick taken by Emyr Huws. Ben Tozer takes a shot. Ryan Burge gets a block in. Unfair challenge on Tom Pope by Anthony Charles results in a free kick. Adam Yates takes the direct free kick.

45:00 +6:30 Booking

Booking The referee shows Gareth Owen a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

45:00 +5:57

Unfair challenge on Adebayo Akinfenwa by Gareth Owen results in a free kick.

45:00 +3:14

Danny East produces a cross.

45:00 +1:35

Long range effort from Emyr Huws misses to the left of the goal.

43:27

Jennison Myrie-Williams gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Widdowson. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Joe Widdowson.

42:09

The assist for the goal came from Adebayo Akinfenwa.

42:09 Goal scored

Goal! - Louis Moult - Northamp'n 2 - 0 Port Vale Louis Moult grabs a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Northampton 2-0 Port Vale.

41:17

Unfair challenge on Chris Neal by Anthony Charles results in a free kick. Chris Neal restarts play with the free kick.

38:16

Jennison Myrie-Williams takes a shot. Blocked by Emyr Huws.

36:36

Centre by Emyr Huws, Louis Moult takes a shot. Save by Chris Neal.

35:53

The offside flag is raised against Tom Pope. Kelvin Langmead takes the free kick.

35:32

Robert Taylor crosses the ball, save made by Lee Nicholls.

35:06

The ball is swung over by Adam Yates.

33:21

Lewis Wilson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sam Morsy. Chris Neal takes the free kick.

29:41 Substitution

Substitution Joe Davis on for Ben Williamson.

29:41 Substitution

Substitution Louis Moult replaces Alex Nicholls.

22:08 Dismissal

Dismissal The referee shows John McCombe a red card for serious foul play.

19:33 Goal scored

Goal! - Alex Nicholls - Northamp'n 1 - 0 Port Vale Goal scored by Alex Nicholls from close range low into the middle of the goal. Northampton 1-0 Port Vale.

18:29

Adam Yates concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Widdowson. Joe Widdowson restarts play with the free kick. Lewis Hornby produces a cross, save by Chris Neal.

17:05

John McCombe concedes a free kick for a foul on Adebayo Akinfenwa. Lewis Hornby crosses the ball in from the free kick, John McCombe manages to make a clearance. Inswinging corner taken by Emyr Huws.

16:09

The ball is swung over by Anthony Charles, clearance by Gareth Owen.

14:27

Shot on goal by Ben Tozer from long range goes harmlessly over the target.

13:20

Sam Morsy produces a volleyed left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

11:51

The referee blows for offside against Ashley Vincent. Lee Nicholls takes the indirect free kick.

10:14

Ben Tozer concedes a free kick for a foul on Robert Taylor. Free kick taken by Robert Taylor.

9:10

Alex Nicholls takes a shot. Gareth Owen gets a block in.

5:43

The referee blows for offside. Anthony Charles takes the free kick.

4:52

Free kick awarded for a foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa on Chris Neal. Free kick taken by Chris Neal.

2:30

Inswinging corner taken by Lewis Hornby from the left by-line played to the near post, Tom Pope manages to make a clearance. Header from deep inside the penalty area by Kelvin Langmead goes harmlessly over the crossbar.

1:44

Joe Widdowson fouled by Adam Yates, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Lewis Hornby from left wing. Emyr Huws takes a shot. Blocked by Tom Pope.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

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