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Match Reports

U's held by Cobblers in final friendly

31 July 2021

The U's pre-season came to an end with a goalless draw against Northampton Town at the Abbey Stadium ahead of next weekend's League One curtain raiser against Oxford United...

Both sides had their opportunities during the game, with the best one denied from the penalty spot as Joe Ironside's spot-kick was saved in the second half, but it was another good run-out for Mark Bonner's team with just seven days to go until the League One season gets underway.

Four changes were named from Tuesday's friendly against QPR, as Ironside, May, Iredale and Hoolahan came into the side in place of Smith, Weir, Dunk and Tracey.

The first meaningful chance of what was a relatively quiet opening ten minutes of the game fell to the visitors, following a Taylor push on the edge of the U's box presenting Northampton with an early sight at United's goal – with the resulting free kick narrowly missing Mitov's post.

United's first real opportunity fell to left back Jack Iredale after 20 minutes, who's thundering low strike from outside the area forced a good save from the Cobblers keeper. The Cobblers' best sigh of goal during the first half came after summer signing Nicke Kabamba was found free in an almost empty penalty area, however his scuffed shot saw the ball trickle wide of United's net.

With five minutes left to play of the half, James Brophy was set clear down the left side, with the winger's low cross unable to be turned into the net by the incoming Wes Hoolahan – United's best chance of the first half.

After just five minutes of the second half, United were awarded a penalty after James Brophy was bundled over by the Cobblers keeper – however the resulting Ironside penalty was expertly saved by the visitor's number one. Following the penalty, United made their first change of the game, with O'Neil replacing Jones, who hobbled off.

Shilow Tracey, Sam Smith and Adam May were all introduced later in the second half, replacing Harvey Knibbs, Wes Hoolahan and Jensen Weir respectively.

United continued to probe as the game drew to a close, with Cobblers keeper Liam Roberts once again getting the better of Joe Ironside, saving excellently at his near post following the striker's diving header.

Little chances followed and United's pre-season was concluded with a goalless draw against a physical Northampton Town side. Mark Bonner and his men will now look ahead to Saturday's season opener against Oxford United.

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