Ben Harding struck the only goal of the game as Northampton Town kept their hopes of automatic promotion alive at the expense of Oxford United.

Harding scored from just inside the penalty area after Oxford goalkeeper Luke McCormick failed to properly clear a Chris Hackett cross.

There were openings at both ends after that with Oxford's James Constable denied three times by Lee Nicholls.

As they pressed, Adebayo Akinfenwa wasted a great chance for the Cobblers.

The win lifted Northampton up to fourth in League Two, just a point behind Burton and two behind second-placed Port Vale, while Oxford stay 10th.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (4)

Northampton

  • 21 Nicholls
  • 02 Johnson (Guttridge - 71' )
  • 03 Widdowson Booked
  • 05 Langmead (Collins - 12' )
  • 12 Tozer
  • 30 Carlisle
  • 07 Demontagnac Booked
  • 08 Harding
  • 11 Hackett (Robinson - 83' )
  • 09 Platt
  • 10 Akinfenwa

Substitutes

  • 13 Snedker
  • 06 Collins
  • 04 Guttridge
  • 22 Hornby
  • 25 Dias
  • 17 Robinson
  • 28 O'Donovan

Oxford Utd

  • 24 McCormick
  • 02 Batt Booked
  • 04 Raynes Booked
  • 06 Wright
  • 16 Whing Booked
  • 14 Rigg (Smalley - 63' )
  • 26 Davis
  • 27 Davies
  • 09 Constable
  • 15 Potter
  • 29 Craddock Booked

Substitutes

  • 21 Brown
  • 05 Duberry
  • 22 Worley
  • 23 O'Brien
  • 08 Heslop
  • 25 Parker
  • 10 Smalley
Ref: Webb
Att: 6,151

Match Stats

Shots

9 13

On target

6 8

Corners

8 7

Fouls

14 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:11 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +4:22

Luke Guttridge gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Davis. Liam Davis takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +3:08

Lee Collins restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +3:08 Booking

Booking Michael Raynes is booked.

90:00 +2:52

Michael Raynes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ishmel Demontagnac.

90:00 +2:01

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ben Tozer on Liam Davis. Jake Wright takes the free kick.

90:00 +1:24 Booking

Booking Tom Craddock is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +1:04

Shot by James Constable. Save by Lee Nicholls.

89:52

Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrew Whing on Ben Harding. Ben Tozer restarts play with the free kick.

86:28

The offside flag is raised against Tom Craddock. Lee Nicholls restarts play with the free kick.

83:55

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Raynes by Adebayo Akinfenwa. Jake Wright takes the free kick.

82:22

Free kick taken by Joe Widdowson.

82:22 Substitution

Substitution Jake Robinson comes on in place of Chris Hackett.

82:22

Lee Collins fouled by James Constable, the ref awards a free kick.

81:32

Chris Hackett is ruled offside. Luke McCormick takes the free kick.

79:53

Adebayo Akinfenwa concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Davis. Free kick taken by Andrew Whing.

78:44

Shot from 18 yards from Adebayo Akinfenwa. Michael Raynes gets a block in.

77:42

Damian Batt has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

77:10

The ball is sent over by Damian Batt, blocked by Ishmel Demontagnac.

76:18

Scott Davies takes the direct free kick.

76:18 Booking

Booking Andrew Whing receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

75:59

Luke Guttridge concedes a free kick for a foul on Damian Batt.

75:19

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Liam Davis from the right by-line.

74:57

Michael Raynes takes a shot. Blocked by Ben Tozer.

74:30

Short corner worked by Liam Davis.

74:08

Corner taken by Andrew Whing played to the near post, Clive Platt manages to make a clearance.

73:21

Scott Davies delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, clearance made by Luke Guttridge.

73:21 Booking

Booking Joe Widdowson shown a yellow card.

72:59

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Deane Smalley by Joe Widdowson.

72:04

Chris Hackett fouled by Liam Davis, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Ben Harding from right wing, Liam Davis manages to make a clearance.

70:00

Lee Nicholls takes the free kick.

70:00 Substitution

Substitution Luke Guttridge replaces John Johnson.

70:00

James Constable is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

67:55

Liam Davis produces a cross, Header from deep inside the area by Deane Smalley goes over the bar.

67:55 Booking

Booking Ishmel Demontagnac receives a yellow card.

67:43

Damian Batt fouled by Ishmel Demontagnac, the ref awards a free kick.

65:35

Corner taken by Scott Davies from the right by-line, Lee Nicholls makes a save.

64:56

Corner taken by Scott Davies played to the near post, clearance made by Joe Widdowson.

64:15

Tom Craddock fouled by Ben Tozer, the ref awards a free kick. Andrew Whing restarts play with the free kick.

62:59

Free kick awarded for a foul by Deane Smalley on Ishmel Demontagnac. Direct free kick taken by Lee Nicholls.

62:17 Substitution

Substitution Deane Smalley joins the action as a substitute, replacing Sean Rigg.

61:36

A cross is delivered by Liam Davis, Andrew Whing takes a shot. Save by Lee Nicholls.

60:29

Unfair challenge on Tom Craddock by Clarke Carlisle results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Luke McCormick.

59:29

Handball decision goes against Jake Wright. John Johnson takes the free kick.

58:19

Chris Hackett takes the free kick.

58:19 Booking

Booking Damian Batt goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

58:02

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ishmel Demontagnac by Damian Batt.

57:09

The assistant referee flags for offside against Tom Craddock. Lee Nicholls restarts play with the free kick.

56:18

Sean Rigg crosses the ball.

55:09

Damian Batt takes a shot. Blocked by Ben Tozer.

54:22

Lee Collins challenges Scott Davies unfairly and gives away a free kick. Scott Davies restarts play with the free kick.

53:17

The ball is swung over by Alfie Potter, clearance by Ben Tozer.

52:10

James Constable is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Lee Nicholls takes the indirect free kick.

51:27

The ball is delivered by Ben Harding.

49:07

James Constable takes a shot. Save made by Lee Nicholls.

47:48

Chris Hackett takes a inswinging corner to the near post.

47:35

The ball is crossed by Ishmel Demontagnac, clearance by Michael Raynes.

45:34

Liam Davis fouled by Chris Hackett, the ref awards a free kick. Luke McCormick restarts play with the free kick.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +3:31 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

45:00 +2:43

Assist on the goal came from Chris Hackett.

45:00 +2:43 Goal scored

Goal! - Ben Harding - Northamp'n 1 - 0 Oxford Ben Harding finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Northampton 1-0 Oxford Utd.

45:00 +2:29

The ball is sent over by Chris Hackett, save by Luke McCormick.

45:00 +0:37

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Chris Hackett, Jake Wright manages to make a clearance.

45:00 +0:30

Centre by Chris Hackett, Scott Davies makes a clearance.

44:40

Effort on goal by James Constable from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

44:30

Centre by Sean Rigg, clearance made by Clarke Carlisle.

43:46

Corner taken by Chris Hackett from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Scott Davies.

43:30

Centre by Scott Davies, comfortable save by Lee Nicholls.

39:49

Ben Harding takes the inswinging corner, save made by Luke McCormick.

39:33

Chris Hackett takes a shot. Save made by Luke McCormick.

38:56

The ball is delivered by Ben Harding.

38:29

The ball is delivered by Joe Widdowson, Jake Wright manages to make a clearance.

38:15

Ishmel Demontagnac delivers the ball, clearance by Liam Davis.

36:20

Tom Craddock takes a shot. Lee Nicholls makes a save.

34:59

Foul by James Constable on John Johnson, free kick awarded. Lee Nicholls takes the direct free kick.

33:55

The ball is swung over by Sean Rigg, save made by Lee Nicholls.

32:38

The referee blows for offside. Lee Nicholls takes the free kick.

31:20

Ben Harding gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andrew Whing. Luke McCormick takes the direct free kick.

27:53

The ball is sent over by Sean Rigg, clearance made by Clarke Carlisle. Corner taken by Sean Rigg from the left by-line played to the near post.

27:22

A cross is delivered by Ben Tozer, clearance made by Michael Raynes.

25:22

Unfair challenge on Ishmel Demontagnac by Damian Batt results in a free kick. Chris Hackett delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Scott Davies manages to make a clearance.

24:12

James Constable gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee Collins. Lee Nicholls takes the free kick.

22:24

Shot by Sean Rigg. Clarke Carlisle gets a block in. Effort on goal by Sean Rigg from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.

22:05

Chris Hackett crosses the ball.

21:09

Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Hackett on Liam Davis. Direct free kick taken by Liam Davis.

17:31

Corner taken by Scott Davies.

16:50

The ball is delivered by Chris Hackett, Adebayo Akinfenwa takes a shot. Save by Luke McCormick.

16:05

Alfie Potter produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty area and misses left.

14:29

Ben Tozer produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty area and misses left.

13:29

Jake Wright concedes a free kick for a foul on Clive Platt. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Ben Harding, Andrew Whing manages to make a clearance.

12:44

Liam Davis takes a shot. Comfortable save by Lee Nicholls.

12:13

Chris Hackett produces a cross, clearance made by Jake Wright.

11:31 Substitution

Substitution (Northampton) makes a substitution, with Lee Collins coming on for Kelvin Langmead.

10:13

Corner taken left-footed by Ben Harding to the near post.

9:46

The official flags Tom Craddock offside. Lee Nicholls takes the indirect free kick.

8:45

Inswinging corner taken by Ben Harding from the right by-line played to the near post, Close range header by Clarke Carlisle goes over the bar.

8:31

Chris Hackett takes a shot. Blocked by Liam Davis.

4:23

Tom Craddock is caught offside. Lee Nicholls restarts play with the free kick.

3:28

Inswinging corner taken by Ben Harding from the right by-line.

2:54

Corner taken right-footed by Chris Hackett, save by Luke McCormick.

2:35

Ishmel Demontagnac takes a shot. Damian Batt gets a block in.

1:45

Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Hackett on Liam Davis. Free kick taken by Jake Wright.

0:37

The ball is crossed by John Johnson, Ben Harding takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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