League Two Northampton scraped past non-league Bishop's Stortford to go into the second round of the FA Cup.

Kane Ferdinand headed against the bar for the Cobblers early on, which Sean Francis replicated at the other end.

It took until the hour-mark for Danny Emerton to curl in a superb effort, before Luke Norris rolled into an empty net to double Northampton's lead.

Reece Prestedge thumped in for Stortford, but the visitors held on in an uncomfortable last 10 minutes.

The Cobblers may be 27 places above the Blues on the football ladder, but the home side, third in the Conference South, came into the game off a seven-match winning run and faced a team propping up the Football League and with just one win in their last 14.

Stortford had to endure Northampton pressure though, particularly early on, with Wright making saves from Jacob Blyth and Norris to keep out the visitors, who were keen to pump the ball into the box at every opportunity.

Next up for Northampton

The Cobblers have been rewarded with a second-round trip to the winners of the replay between Grimsby and Scunthorpe

But the hosts grew in confidence, particularly after Francis had struck the woodwork, and Prestedge and Kyle Vassell, on the verge of joining Peterborough United this week, both came close.

The chances kept on coming for Northampton though - Norris and Blyth both failing to convert in the midst of a goalmouth scramble.

And the breakthrough finally emerged midway through the second half when Emerton, collecting a flick-on by Blyth, cut in off the left flank and arced the ball in from 20 yards.

Stortford, full of energy, showed signs of withering, especially when Norris, picking up the loose ball after Chris Hackett's shot was blocked, rolled in his fourth from five starts.

Prestedge gave the Blues hope though, crashing in from 12 yards out, only for Aidy Boothroyd's men to keep their cool against a Stortford onslaught and extinguish any prospect of an FA Cup fairytale on the Hertfordshire-Essex border.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Bishop's Stortford manager Rod Stringer:

"I thought we had a 20-minute period in the second half where we panned out.

"In the first half I felt there wasn't a lot in it. I thought we gave a good show. In the first 10 minutes we looked very nervous but we grew into the game. Overall I was really pleased.

"We didn't start as bright as I wanted in the second half. We got into the game and then had a spell where we showed them too much respect.

"I was really pleased to see when we got that goal back that we had another injection for the last 10 minutes. We could have even salvaged a draw right at the death, which would have been massive.

"It's been a fantastic journey for the boys. I can't be any prouder than what I am. The club is now in a better position than when I first walked in."

Northampton Town manager Aidy Boothroyd:

"It was a really tough game. They're a very lively team and we stood up to the task.

"I thought we were excellent. We created lots of chances. It's indicative of our season, creating chances but not having the knack of putting them in the net.

"We made it difficult for ourselves after we scored. Credit to our opposition, they made it a tough game.

"They get a goal at the end and it gives them renewed energy and vigour. In the end we managed to see it out. The only disappointment for me, if there is anything, is that we didn't score more goals."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Bishop's Stortford

  • 01 Wright
  • 02 Miller
  • 03 Herd
  • 06 McNaughton
  • 05 Francis
  • 04 Fletcher Booked (Asante - 77' )
  • 07 Johnson
  • 08 Symons (Baker - 66' Booked )
  • 10 Akurang
  • 09 Vassell (Sykes - 58' )
  • 11 Prestedge

Substitutes

  • 12 Asante
  • 14 Milbourne
  • 15 Baker
  • 16 Sykes
  • 17 Adams
  • 18 Fagbohun
  • 19 Cowler

Northampton Town

  • 01 Duke
  • 06 Collins Booked (Tozer - 67' )
  • 03 Widdowson
  • 32 Ferdinand
  • 18 Reid
  • 27 Kouo-Doumbe
  • 11 Hackett Booked
  • 34 Ravenhill
  • 25 Blyth (Morris - 90' )
  • 33 Norris
  • 19 Emerton

Substitutes

  • 04 Carter
  • 07 Demontagnac
  • 08 Morris
  • 12 Tozer
  • 17 Deegan
  • 21 McNamara
  • 26 Harriott
Ref: Steve Martin
Att: 2,545

Match Stats

Shots

10 28

On target

2 11

Corners

3 8

Fouls

12 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Bishop's Stortford 1, Northampton Town 2.

90:00 +5:30 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Bishop's Stortford 1, Northampton Town 2.

90:00 +4:56

Attempt missed. Cliff Akurang (Bishop's Stortford) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Harry Baker with a cross.

90:00 +4:50

Attempt missed. Reece Prestedge (Bishop's Stortford) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

90:00 +4:02

Attempt saved. Luke Norris (Northampton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

90:00 +2:50

Foul by Joe Widdowson (Northampton Town).

90:00 +2:50

Cliff Akurang (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90:00 +1:45 Booking

Booking Chris Hackett (Northampton Town) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +0:32

Richard Ravenhill (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +0:32

Foul by Kyle Asante (Bishop's Stortford).

90:00 +0:03

Corner, Bishop's Stortford. Conceded by Ben Tozer.

89:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northampton Town. Ian Morris replaces Jacob Blyth.

85:42 Booking

Booking Harry Baker (Bishop's Stortford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

84:55

Richard Ravenhill (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:55

Foul by Harry Baker (Bishop's Stortford).

84:13

Attempt missed. Luke Norris (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Kane Ferdinand.

84:04

Attempt blocked. Chris Hackett (Northampton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

83:36

Attempt missed. Danny Emerton (Northampton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Richard Ravenhill with a headed pass.

82:24

Attempt missed. Cliff Akurang (Bishop's Stortford) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Harry Baker with a cross.

80:30 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Bishop's Stortford 1, Northampton Town 2. Reece Prestedge (Bishop's Stortford) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

79:47

Attempt blocked. Johnny Herd (Bishop's Stortford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by George Sykes.

78:55

Attempt saved. George Sykes (Bishop's Stortford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Harry Baker.

78:32

Foul by Luke Norris (Northampton Town).

78:32

Reece Prestedge (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:53

Luke Norris (Northampton Town) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Chris Hackett with a cross following a corner.

77:32

Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Ashley Miller.

76:04 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bishop's Stortford. Kyle Asante replaces Tommy Fletcher.

75:38

Attempt blocked. Danny Emerton (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Norris.

74:57

Attempt saved. Matthias Kouo-Doumbe (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Danny Emerton.

74:57

Attempt missed. Danny Emerton (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Luke Norris following a corner.

74:08

Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Matthew Johnson.

73:42

Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Ashley Miller.

73:25

Danny Emerton (Northampton Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

73:25

Foul by George Sykes (Bishop's Stortford).

72:09

Danny Emerton (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:09

Foul by Harry Baker (Bishop's Stortford).

71:07

Attempt missed. Matthew Johnson (Bishop's Stortford) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Reece Prestedge.

69:21

Corner, Bishop's Stortford. Conceded by Kane Ferdinand.

68:57

Foul by Richard Ravenhill (Northampton Town).

68:57

Harry Baker (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

67:19 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Bishop's Stortford 0, Northampton Town 2. Luke Norris (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

67:17

Attempt blocked. Chris Hackett (Northampton Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kane Ferdinand.

66:26

Foul by Kane Ferdinand (Northampton Town).

66:26

Cliff Akurang (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northampton Town. Ben Tozer replaces Lee Collins.

65:29 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bishop's Stortford. Harry Baker replaces Nicky Symons.

63:14

Attempt saved. Luke Norris (Northampton Town) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Richard Ravenhill.

61:08 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Bishop's Stortford 0, Northampton Town 1. Danny Emerton (Northampton Town) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Jacob Blyth.

60:07

Foul by Matthias Kouo-Doumbe (Northampton Town).

60:07

George Sykes (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:16

Kane Ferdinand (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:16

Foul by Cliff Akurang (Bishop's Stortford).

58:13

Attempt saved. Luke Norris (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matt Duke.

57:44

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

57:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bishop's Stortford. George Sykes replaces Kyle Vassell because of an injury.

56:51

Delay in match Kyle Vassell (Bishop's Stortford) because of an injury.

56:12

Foul by Matthias Kouo-Doumbe (Northampton Town).

56:12

Cliff Akurang (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

54:32

Foul by Danny Emerton (Northampton Town).

54:32

Ashley Miller (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:05

Foul by Kane Ferdinand (Northampton Town).

53:05

Reece Prestedge (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

51:58

Offside, Bishop's Stortford. Tommy Fletcher tries a through ball, but Ashley Miller is caught offside.

49:18

Foul by Richard Ravenhill (Northampton Town).

49:18

Reece Prestedge (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:16

Attempt blocked. Jacob Blyth (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

48:14

Attempt saved. Luke Norris (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

46:56

Joe Widdowson (Northampton Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

46:56

Foul by Cliff Akurang (Bishop's Stortford).

45:00

Second Half begins Bishop's Stortford 0, Northampton Town 0.

45:00 +3:01 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Bishop's Stortford 0, Northampton Town 0.

45:00 +2:45

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

45:00 +2:09

Delay in match Kane Ferdinand (Northampton Town) because of an injury.

45:00 +1:29

Foul by Kyle Vassell (Bishop's Stortford).

45:00 +1:29

Kane Ferdinand (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:50 Booking

Booking Lee Collins (Northampton Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

44:23

Cliff Akurang (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

44:23

Foul by Lee Collins (Northampton Town).

44:04

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

43:17

Delay in match Kyle Vassell (Bishop's Stortford) because of an injury.

42:32

Attempt missed. Luke Norris (Northampton Town) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Hackett with a cross.

40:28

Offside, Bishop's Stortford. Cliff Akurang tries a through ball, but Kyle Vassell is caught offside.

39:24

Tommy Fletcher (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:24

Foul by Danny Emerton (Northampton Town).

37:33

Jacob Blyth (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

37:33

Foul by Callum McNaughton (Bishop's Stortford).

36:23

Corner, Bishop's Stortford. Conceded by Paul Reid.

34:50

Foul by Kane Ferdinand (Northampton Town).

34:50

Reece Prestedge (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

32:48

Lee Collins (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:48

Foul by Kyle Vassell (Bishop's Stortford).

31:53

Offside, Bishop's Stortford. Nicky Symons tries a through ball, but Reece Prestedge is caught offside.

31:03

Foul by Chris Hackett (Northampton Town).

31:03

Johnny Herd (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

29:58

Attempt missed. Danny Emerton (Northampton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Kane Ferdinand.

28:13

Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Callum McNaughton.

26:58

Offside, Northampton Town. Richard Ravenhill tries a through ball, but Luke Norris is caught offside.

25:27

Attempt missed. Chris Hackett (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Richard Ravenhill.

24:46

Attempt missed. Kyle Vassell (Bishop's Stortford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Callum McNaughton.

23:37

Attempt saved. Luke Norris (Northampton Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kane Ferdinand.

21:22

Offside, Bishop's Stortford. Reece Prestedge tries a through ball, but Kyle Vassell is caught offside.

20:17

Sean Francis (Bishop's Stortford) hits the bar with a header from very close range. Assisted by Cliff Akurang with a cross.

20:11

Attempt blocked. Cliff Akurang (Bishop's Stortford) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

19:05

Attempt missed. Richard Ravenhill (Northampton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Kane Ferdinand.

18:58

Kane Ferdinand (Northampton Town) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

18:22

Offside, Bishop's Stortford. Joe Wright tries a through ball, but Kyle Vassell is caught offside.

17:54

Foul by Jacob Blyth (Northampton Town).

17:54

Joe Wright (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:03 Booking

Booking Tommy Fletcher (Bishop's Stortford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

16:33

Chris Hackett (Northampton Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

16:33

Foul by Tommy Fletcher (Bishop's Stortford).

15:13

Attempt blocked. Luke Norris (Northampton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Hackett.

14:28

Luke Norris (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

14:28

Foul by Sean Francis (Bishop's Stortford).

13:12

Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Reece Prestedge.

12:37

Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Sean Francis.

12:36

Attempt blocked. Jacob Blyth (Northampton Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Danny Emerton with a cross.

9:13

Attempt saved. Jacob Blyth (Northampton Town) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Luke Norris with a cross.

7:39

Attempt saved. Luke Norris (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Hackett with a cross.

6:16

Attempt missed. Luke Norris (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

4:01

Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Johnny Herd.

3:54

Attempt blocked. Matthias Kouo-Doumbe (Northampton Town) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Danny Emerton with a cross.

3:31

Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Tommy Fletcher.

1:28

Foul by Jacob Blyth (Northampton Town).

1:28

Ashley Miller (Bishop's Stortford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:45

Attempt missed. Jacob Blyth (Northampton Town) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Hackett with a cross following a set piece situation.

0:12

Luke Norris (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:12

Foul by Callum McNaughton (Bishop's Stortford).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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