Northampton piled further gloom onto Stevenage’s early season on Tuesday night as Harry Smith scored the only goal of the game at The Lamex Stadium...
Smith grabbed all the headlines, as after scoring inside the first ten minutes of the second half to put the away side ahead, he was sent down the tunnel early after picking up two yellow cards in just three minutes.
Despite all of Boro's endeavour to claw their way back into the game, the ball wouldn't fall for a red and white shirt in the key areas and Stevenage's winless run continues.
Caretaker Manager Mark Sampson made two changes from Saturday’s game against Carlisle, as Elliott List and Scott Cuthbert replaced Luiz Fernandez and Craig Mackail-Smith.
Both teams had their first chance inside the first ten minutes of the match. Former Stevenage loanee Sam Hoskins found Andy Williams inside the box but his low shot was comfortably saved by Paul Farman. Elliott List then looked for the spectacular option from outside the box with an overhead kick, but his effort flew just over the bar.
In the 25th minute, Ben Kennedy latched onto a loose ball and was brought down by Jordon Turnbull who picked up a yellow card. Kennedy looked confident with the freekick, 23 yards out from goal, but his effort didn’t come down quick enough to force a save from goalkeeper David Cornell.
Towards the end of the half, Boro had their best chance of the match. Kennedy making the most of a dangerous free-kick as his well-timed ball beat the defensive line of Northampton, but Charlie Carter’s diving header got Collin scrambled across goal to turn it around the post and both teams went into half-time level.
Northampton's #9, Harry Smith, came on at half-time and made an instant impact, putting his side ahead in the 55th minute after rising higher than anyone in the box to head the ball past Farman. It could have been two in quick succession, as a miss-played pass inside the Stevenage box fell to Chris Lines, but his effort went straight at Farman.
As both teams were waiting for a Northampton corner after the hour mark, Farman and Smith were booked for constant pulling of one another shirts, and a few minutes later, super sub Smith was sent for an early bath as he lunged into a challenge on Stokes and caught his man, picking up his second yellow of the game.
Stevenage piled on the pressure in the final ten minutes as they looked for an equaliser. Guthrie saw a close-range shot blocked, Kelland Watts looked to rewrite the headlines with a long-range effort that flew over the bar and Kennedy turned his man whilst advancing into the box but it was agony for the home fans as his effort was deflected wide for a corner.