Jacob Murphy's strike not enough for City as they bow out of the Emirates FA Cup first round...
Coventry City have been eliminated from the Emirates FA Cup thanks to their first home defeat of the season, losing 2-1 to Northampton Town.
Nicky Adams and Jacob Murphy scored the goals early in the first half to bring the game to one a piece, but Cobblers’ skipper Marc Richards scored the match winner late in the opening half to secure a memorable victory for Northampton.
Tony Mowbray made a number of changes to the team that beat Barnsley in the week, with Conor Thomas, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Jacob Murphy and Ruben Lamerias being re-called to the starting XI.
Romain Vincelot missed out due to suspension, while Under-18 striker Bassala Sambou got a place on the bench. Adam Armstrong and Ryan Kent were ineligible.
Reice Charles-Cook was due to start but obtained an injury in the warm-up, thus Lee Burge got his first start in eight games.
Northampton took a shock early lead in the fifth minute. The Cobblers won a free-kick down the left-wing, which Nicky Adams whipped in with his left-foot. The ball took a nick on its way through finding its way into the right-hand corner.
But not four minutes later, City were back in it thanks to an arrow of a shot from Murphy. Collecting the ball out wide Murphy drove into the middle of the park, creating space for himself, before unleashing a right-footed shot from 20 yards which flew straight into the bottom corner.
Against the run of play though, the League Two side were back in front thanks to a goal from skipper Marc Richards after a quarter of an hour. Lawson D’Ath found space on the right-wing, crossing in the ball which Richards rose to nod in at the backpost.
Northampton defended compactly and broke well on the counter for the rest of the half, but the Sky Blues had much of the possession, but were unable to use their dominance to equalise before the interval.
City started the second-half with much attacking intent but no clear-cut chances were created in the first quarter of an hour with City still finding it difficult to break down the Cobblers’ stern defence.
Under-18s striker Sambou made his first ever Sky Blues appearance, coming on just before the hour mark and he looked lively, getting into good positions on a number of occasions. He was through on goal in the 73rd minute as stadium took a breath in anticipation, but the linesman was quick to raise his flag for offside.
The Cobblers almost sealed an upset 10 minutes from time, when Burge was forced to make a good save from close range, tipping it over the bar from the left-angle of the goal. Though at the other end, Murphy went close to getting his second in the game three minutes later.
Ricketts’ cross from the right reached Murphy at the backpost, where he cut back on his favoured right foot and blasted a shot into the side-netting.
City continued to press for the equaliser late into the half with Murphy finding space down the left in the 89th minute, but his fizzed cross across goal evaded Lamerias who was inches away from tucking it in. Into the three minutes of injury time the Sky Blues continued to try and get that elusive goal, but it wasn’t to be as City cup dream came to an end.
Coventry City: Burge, Phillips(Haynes 46), Martin, Ricketts, Stokes, Fleck, Thomas(Sambou 58), Lameiras, Murphy, O'Brien, Fortune (Elford-Alliyu 70).
Subs: Di Kelly-Evans, Harries, Stevenson,
Northampton Town: Smith, Moloney, Taylor, Diamond, D'ath (Watson68), Richards (Calvert-Lewin 63), Adams(Hoskins 83), Potter, Buchanan, McDonald, O'Toole.
Subs: Clarke, Horwood, Lelan,Watson, Hackett.
Referee: D Handley
Yellow Cards: O’Toole, Ricketts
Attendance: 9,124 (Away 2,509)