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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

01 December 2019 Venue PTS Academy Stadium Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

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English FA Cup

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Match Previews

Preview: Northampton (A)

Place in round three up for grabs!

30 November 2019

We visit Northampton Town on Sunday hoping to book a place in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Victories against Belper Town and Ebbsfleet United have left us just one win away from a potential glamour tie when Premier League sides enter the competition.

After a tough time in the league of late, we'll be hoping the freedom of the FA Cup leads to an upturn in results.

Northampton are sure to provide a tough test, however. They're unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions, winning six, and have climbed into the Sky Bet League Two play-offs.

But the cup is famed for upsets, and we'll be out to secure one at the PTS Academy Stadium!

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The boss says...

“They’re overwhelming favourites and that’ll make it a lot harder but it’s nice to be underdogs for a change.

“We’re away from home against the form team of League Two and they have all the qualities to cause us no end of problems.

“They’re very attack-minded and have talented players that can cause problems with the ball at their feet, as well as being a threat with crosses into our box.

“Put it all together and we’re going to have to be on our ‘A’ game and, if we can get everything right and upset Northampton, the potential of a big tie is there.”

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Northampton manager Keith Curle says...

“Our focus doesn’t change whatever the competition or the game is. Anything can happen in cup matches and you need to be ready for anything.

"We want to make this a place where teams don’t like to come. The supporters are now identifying with certain characteristics of the players and they are seeing why they have been brought to the football club. 

"I know Notts County inside out and the infrastructure there is very good. The only way is up for them.

"Some of the personnel that are still there from my time are very good footballing people and the new owners, who I met on Tuesday night, have got fantastic aspirations."

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Team news 

We'll have Connell Rawlinson available on Sunday after his red card against Boreham Wood in midweek was rescinded, so he's expected to resume his partnership with Ben Turner in central defence.

With the exception of long-term absentee Jim O'Brien, who could be back in mid-December, Neal Ardley told the media on Friday that Alex Lacey is the only player to be carrying any kind of niggle.

Northampton are in a similar boat, with Curle reporting a clean bill of health besides a hamstring problem for young defender Cam McWilliams, who had been on loan at St Ives. 

He's been impressed with the standard of training he's seen from his players this week and says there's excellent competition for places in Sunday's line-up.

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Head to head

Both League Two meetings ended level last season, with a 2-2 draw at Meadow Lane in April following a goalless stalemate at Sixfields last September.

We've not lost away to the Cobblers since 2006 and our last FA Cup meeting was way back in 1945, when, for the first time ever, ties from round one to the quarter finals were played over two legs.

We lost the first 3-1 on the road, and our 1-0 victory at Meadow Lane wasn't enough for us to progress.

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The officials

Referee: Paul Marsden

Assistants: Robert Atkin and Oliver Bickle

Fourth official: Joel Mannix

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Match Reports

Northampton 3-1 Notts

Cup exit at the hands of Cobblers

1 December 2019

We suffered a 3-1 defeat at Northampton in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday afternoon, despite matching the League Two side during the 90 minutes.

Scott Wharton's third-minute header got us off to the worst possible start and, after looking to have grown into the game, Vadaine Oliver doubled the Cobblers' lead before the break.

Harry Smith came off the bench to add a third inside the final quarter of an hour, before a substitute of our own, Kristian Dennis, netted a consolation with six minutes to play. 

Neal Ardley reverted to the side that booked our place in this stage of the competition with victory at Ebbsfleet three weeks ago. That meant Regan Booty returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Sean Shields, who joined Dennis on a seven-man bench.

The boss had spoken ahead of the game about the threat Northampton would pose from set plays, and the first one of the afternoon showed exactly why. Nicky Adams sent a deep corner into the area and Wharton, who had come forward from centre back, rose highest to nod home at the back post.

Booty had the chance to bring us level almost instantly when a Mitch Rose long throw dropped kindly for him 12 yards from goal, but the midfielder didn't get hold of his volley and Steve Arnold made a comfortable save.

Seconds later, Northampton went within a whisker of a second. Sam Hoskins was played in behind our defence and Sam Slocombe was quick off his line to narrow the angle and deny him one-on-one, but the ball rebounded off Ben Turner and looked set to hit the back of our net, only to cannon away off the upright.

It was a lively start to proceedings, with the hosts' aerial threat clear for all to see, and our former striker, Oliver, was next to have sighter when he climbed highest to meet Hoskins' cross on 10 minutes - Slocombe easily held on to the header, though. 

Kyle Wootton had the chance to take his tally into double figures for the season when a long ball forward from Turner freed him in behind the Cobblers defence but he scuffed his strike of the bouncing ball and dragged it wide.

We looked to be having some success in fighting fire with fire in terms of getting the ball into the box and Rose's long throws caused issues for the hosts, with Wes Thomas having two openings in quick succession. The first time his touch got away from him after the ball was nodded to him in space at the back post, before he saw a left-footed effort blocked after fastening onto another.

It seemed as though we were getting a foothold in the game but we were left reeling when Oliver doubled the home side's advantage on 25 minutes, heading home Hoskins' left-wing cross. 

The wide man was at the root of most things the Cobblers were doing well and he was foiled by Slocombe again on the half-hour after playing a neat one-two to work his way into the area before his low shot was parried clear and put behind.

A flurry of corners followed, culminating with Adams whipping a cross into Jordan Turnbull, who put the ball into the side netting at the front post.

On 36 minutes we went as close as we had done to reducing the arrears, when a short corner was played to Michael Doyle to bend into the area. Connell Rawlinson flicked the ball towards goal and Wootton got there in front of keeper Arnold, but touched it just past the post. 

One minute was added on for stoppages, during which Alan McCormack, who had earlier been booked for a show of dissent, struck a speculative half-volley from 30 yards which Slocombe was alert to save. The referee called time on the half moments later.

Shields replaced Booty at the break and almost had an assist to his name on 52 minutes, when he bent in a free-kick which Turner headed over after a strong run from Wootton saw him fouled by Turnbull, who was booked.

Andy Williams completely miscued a free header as the hosts chased a third but it looked like Enzio Boldewijn had halved the deficit on 66 minutes, when he struck well from range after receiving the ball in space, but his effort hit the side netting with Arnold stationary.

We were building up a head of steam and should have made it 2-1 on 68. Rose's long throw was dropped by Arnold and presented Thomas with the chance to head home from 10 yards, but he got too much on it and saw the ball go over the bar.

The striker had another, more difficult, headed opportunity moments later, when Shields whipped a cross in and Thomas looked to glance the ball into the far corner, but his effort went just past the post.

The game was taken out of our reach on 76 minutes, though. The dangerous Hoskins sent a high, hanging ball into the area and substitute Smith got to in front of Slocombe and nodded home the third. Kristian Dennis came on for Thomas in the aftermath.

It could have gotten worse as the clock ticked past 80, with Williams finding space on the edge of the area to draw a smart save out of Slocombe, and Michael Doyle made a goal-line clearance to deny Smith his second.

Dennis' first real involvement was to reward our 1,041 travelling fans with something to cheer when he tapped home the rebound after Boldewijn's cross was parried into his path by Arnold on 84 minutes, and give us the goal our play had deserved.

Nathan Tyson replaced Wootton before play resumed and partnered the scorer in attack.

We could have had another on 87, when Richard Brindley's low cross picked out Dennis around the penalty spot but his first-time effort was pushed away by Arnold.

The striker was involved again as we looked for a second inside the first of four additional minutes, working unselfishly on the wing before finding Brindley, who squared for Boldewijn on the edge of the box. His strike was blocked inside the area, though.

Dennis saw a back-post header come off a Northampton defender as we continued to come on strong in the final moments, but there was not long enough to mount a comeback and we exited the cup at the second round stage. 

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Ticket News

Tickets and travel: Northampton (A)

On sale until 11am

30 November 2019

Tickets for tomorrow's Emirates FA Cup second-round trip to Northampton Town (kick-off 2pm) will be available at Northampton on matchday.

Our ticket office and club shop WILL NOT be open on Sunday so tickets will need to be collected by 1pm today.

Tickets will be available at Sixfields from the away ticket booth, which is cash only, with prices increasing by £2 for supporters aged seven and over. 

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Adult: £15

65 and over: £12

Junior: £5

Under 7: FREE*

*Unavailable to purchase online.

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Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here, by calling 0115 955 7210 or in person at the Meadow Lane ticket office.

Tickets to the value of £1.50 and above will be subject to a 60p per ticket admin fee when purchased online or by phone.

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In line with Northampton's policy, tickets for supporters with a disability and their personal assistants are available to those claiming Disability Living Allowance at the middle/higher rate (or PIP advanced rate).

Ambulant disabled supporters should obtain tickets in advance from Notts. They are priced at the appropriate age-related price for the disabled supporter with a personal assistant ticket issued free of charge.

Northampton Town have also allocated six wheelchair disabled tickets for our supporters.

Please note that tickets for disabled supporters are not available online.

There are a limited number of disabled car parking spaces which must be booked in advance at a cost of £4. To book, contact Northampton directly on 01604 683 777.

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Buses will depart from near the club shop on Meadow Lane at 11am.

Prices are as follows:

General adult/senior: £18

General under 18: £11

Season ticket holders/Lifeline members/NCFCOSA members: £17

Season ticket holder under 18: £10

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