Northampton won a seventh straight home game, with Ben Harding's goal enough to beat improving Bristol Rovers.

Harding netted with two minutes left, latching onto Ben Tozer's long throw.

Rovers dominated for long spells and came close through Joe Anyinsah and Oliver Norburn in the first period, both denied by Lee Nicholls.

The Cobblers keeper was also in fine form to deny Eliot Richards twice after the break, while Tom Parkes volleyed wide before Harding's late winner.

Aidy Boothroyd's side remain a point behind third-placed Burton, while Bristol Rovers are three points above the relegation zone.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Bristol Rovers manager John Ward told BBC Radio Bristol:

"I believe we deserved a point and I think even biased people will look at that and think we're a bit unfortunate not to get something.

"The way the goal came about didn't surprise us as we were defending all evening and did it pretty well.

"The ball dropped nicely for them and not for us, but I just said to the boys, if you're going to get beat, that's the way you want to get beat, going right through to the end.

"They're more annoyed than disappointed because they've worked really hard to try and get something from the game."

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (4)

Northampton Town

  • 21 Nicholls
  • 05 Langmead
  • 06 Collins
  • 12 Tozer
  • 30 Carlisle Booked
  • 08 Harding
  • 22 Hornby
  • 09 Platt (Johnson - 90' )
  • 10 Akinfenwa (Demontagnac - 46' )
  • 17 Robinson Booked (Guttridge - 72' )
  • 28 O'Donovan

Substitutes

  • 13 Snedker
  • 02 Johnson
  • 04 Guttridge
  • 07 Demontagnac
  • 23 Oyeleke
  • 25 Dias

Bristol Rovers

  • 13 Mildenhall
  • 02 Smith
  • 04 Woodards
  • 06 Parks Booked
  • 14 Brown Booked
  • 29 McChrystal
  • 15 Norburn Booked
  • 32 O'Toole
  • 10 Richard
  • 16 Anyinsah
  • 27 Hitchcock (Harrison - 76' )

Substitutes

  • 20 Gough
  • 19 Virgo
  • 30 Lockyer
  • 03 Paterson
  • 23 Goddard
  • 17 Harrison
  • 18 Harding
Ref: Ward
Att: 4,077

Match Stats

Shots

10 12

On target

8 9

Corners

10 5

Fouls

12 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +6:25 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +5:01

The ball is sent over by Ellis Harrison, clearance by John Johnson.

90:00 +3:23

A cross is delivered by Lee Brown, clearance made by Clarke Carlisle.

90:00 +1:39 Substitution

Substitution John Johnson on for Clive Platt.

90:00 +0:22

Luke Guttridge is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Lee Brown takes the free kick.

87:42

Ben Tozer provided the assist for the goal.

87:42 Goal scored

Goal! - Ben Harding - Northamp'n 1 - 0 Bristol R Ben Harding scores a headed goal from close range. Northampton 1-0 Bristol Rovers.

86:38

Corner taken by Ben Harding played to the near post, clearance by Lee Brown.

85:04

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark McChrystal on Ben Harding. Free kick taken by Lee Nicholls.

84:39

Corner taken by Joe Anyinsah, clearance made by Kelvin Langmead.

84:19

Volleyed right-footed shot by Eliot Richards. Lee Nicholls makes a save.

82:50

Corner taken right-footed by Joe Anyinsah, Shot from 18 yards by Mark McChrystal. Kelvin Langmead gets a block in. Tom Parkes has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.

82:05

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Oliver Norburn by Ishmel Demontagnac. Direct free kick taken by Steve Mildenhall.

81:24

Inswinging corner taken by Ben Harding from the right by-line played to the near post, Danny Woodards manages to make a clearance.

81:09

The ball is crossed by Roy O'Donovan, blocked by Lee Brown.

80:14

Ellis Harrison produces a cross.

79:45

Ben Harding challenges Danny Woodards unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Steve Mildenhall.

78:44

Unfair challenge on John-Joe O'Toole by Kelvin Langmead results in a free kick. Steve Mildenhall takes the direct free kick.

78:11

Inswinging corner taken by Lewis Hornby.

77:57

Roy O'Donovan delivers the ball, Michael Smith makes a clearance.

75:22 Substitution

Substitution Ellis Harrison on for Tom Hitchcock.

74:03

The referee blows for offside. Steve Mildenhall restarts play with the free kick.

71:30

Michael Smith restarts play with the free kick.

71:30 Substitution

Substitution Luke Guttridge joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jake Robinson.

71:30

Ishmel Demontagnac challenges Oliver Norburn unfairly and gives away a free kick.

70:50

Eliot Richards gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lewis Hornby. Direct free kick taken by Lewis Hornby.

70:21

Eliot Richards takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save by Lee Nicholls.

69:51

John-Joe O'Toole produces a cross, Lee Nicholls makes a save.

69:19

Lee Brown takes the direct free kick.

69:19 Booking

Booking Clarke Carlisle receives a yellow card.

68:58

Joe Anyinsah fouled by Clarke Carlisle, the ref awards a free kick.

68:46

The ball is delivered by Ishmel Demontagnac.

67:35

Lewis Hornby takes a shot. Danny Woodards gets a block in.

66:57

Jake Robinson produces a drilled right-footed shot from 18 yards. Mark McChrystal gets a block in.

63:57

Ben Tozer takes the direct free kick.

63:57 Booking

Booking Caution for Lee Brown.

63:50

Lee Brown gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jake Robinson.

62:39

The ball is crossed by Lee Brown, save made by Lee Nicholls.

61:53 Booking

Booking Jake Robinson receives a caution.

59:06

The referee blows for offside against Kelvin Langmead. Steve Mildenhall takes the free kick.

58:38

Direct free kick taken by Ben Harding.

58:38 Booking

Booking Tom Parkes is given a yellow card.

58:08

Foul by Tom Parkes on Roy O'Donovan, free kick awarded.

55:56

Corner taken by Lewis Hornby, Steve Mildenhall makes a save.

55:45

Jake Robinson delivers the ball, save made by Steve Mildenhall.

55:04

The ball is delivered by Ishmel Demontagnac, clearance made by Tom Parkes.

54:35

Lewis Hornby takes a shot from 25 yards. Save by Steve Mildenhall. The official flags Tom Hitchcock offside. Lee Nicholls takes the indirect free kick.

54:16

Effort on goal by Ishmel Demontagnac from 20 yards. Tom Parkes gets a block in.

53:29

Free kick taken by Lee Collins.

53:29 Booking

Booking Oliver Norburn goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.

53:15

Oliver Norburn gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ishmel Demontagnac.

51:10

Eliot Richards has an effort at goal from 25 yards. Save by Lee Nicholls.

48:38

Corner from the left by-line taken by Joe Anyinsah, Clarke Carlisle makes a clearance.

48:29

The ball is delivered by Lee Brown, clearance by Ben Tozer.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Adebayo Akinfenwa goes off and Ishmel Demontagnac comes on.

45:00 +1:03 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

45:00 +0:24

Unfair challenge on Oliver Norburn by Clive Platt results in a free kick. Steve Mildenhall restarts play with the free kick.

44:50

Tom Hitchcock gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Clarke Carlisle. Lee Nicholls restarts play with the free kick.

42:35

Roy O'Donovan crosses the ball, save by Steve Mildenhall.

41:51

Lewis Hornby crosses the ball, save by Steve Mildenhall.

41:07

Michael Smith has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the target.

40:06

The ball is delivered by Jake Robinson, Michael Smith manages to make a clearance.

39:43

John-Joe O'Toole gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Clive Platt. Direct free kick taken by Lewis Hornby.

39:27

Oliver Norburn produces a cross.

38:44

Shot from 12 yards by Oliver Norburn. Blocked by Kelvin Langmead.

38:02

Steve Mildenhall fouled by Clive Platt, the ref awards a free kick. Steve Mildenhall takes the free kick.

37:32

Corner taken by Ben Harding.

37:20

A cross is delivered by Jake Robinson.

35:27

Mark McChrystal sends in a cross, Joe Anyinsah takes a shot. Lee Nicholls makes a save.

35:11

Outswinging corner taken by Joe Anyinsah, Kelvin Langmead manages to make a clearance.

34:25

The ball is crossed by Oliver Norburn, Kelvin Langmead makes a clearance.

32:39

Adebayo Akinfenwa concedes a free kick for a foul on John-Joe O'Toole. Steve Mildenhall takes the free kick.

32:21

Lewis Hornby crosses the ball.

31:05

Jake Robinson challenges Lee Brown unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Steve Mildenhall.

29:12

Eliot Richards is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Lee Nicholls.

28:21

Unfair challenge on Eliot Richards by Clarke Carlisle results in a free kick. Danny Woodards takes the direct free kick.

27:57

Lewis Hornby produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.

26:11

Adebayo Akinfenwa takes a shot. Save by Steve Mildenhall.

25:08

Adebayo Akinfenwa takes a shot. Michael Smith makes a clearance.

23:19

Shot from 20 yards from Joe Anyinsah. Save made by Lee Nicholls.

22:46

Effort from 25 yards by Eliot Richards. Blocked by Kelvin Langmead.

20:35

Jake Robinson delivers the ball, Michael Smith makes a clearance.

17:21

Headed effort from inside the area by Clive Platt misses to the right of the goal.

16:48

The referee penalises Mark McChrystal for handball. Ben Tozer restarts play with the free kick.

15:07

Unfair challenge on Clarke Carlisle by Eliot Richards results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Clarke Carlisle.

14:20

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Ben Harding played to the near post.

13:07

Ben Harding takes a inswinging corner. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Lewis Hornby from the left by-line to the near post, save made by Steve Mildenhall.

12:56

The ball is swung over by Joe Anyinsah.

12:33

Shot from 20 yards by Eliot Richards. Blocked by Clarke Carlisle.

11:45

A cross is delivered by Michael Smith, save by Lee Nicholls.

10:48

Tom Parkes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Adebayo Akinfenwa. Ben Harding sends in a cross, Clive Platt takes a shot. Save by Steve Mildenhall.

7:40

Corner taken right-footed by Joe Anyinsah, save by Lee Nicholls.

6:47

Danny Woodards has an effort at goal from 25 yards.

5:25

Free kick awarded for a foul by Lewis Hornby on Eliot Richards. Mark McChrystal takes the free kick.

3:53

Lewis Hornby takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Joe Anyinsah makes a clearance. Ben Harding decides to take the corner short.

2:54

Tom Hitchcock is caught offside. Lee Nicholls takes the free kick.

0:14

Free kick awarded for a foul by Clarke Carlisle on Tom Hitchcock. Tom Parkes takes the free kick.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

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