Peterborough United were beaten on penalties by local rivals Northampton Town in tonight’s (October 3) Checkatrade Trophy tie at the ABAX Stadium.
The teams fought out a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes before the Cobblers took the shoot out 4-2, to leave the teams joint-top of the group with one match to go.
Danny Lloyd’s first goal for the club gave Posh a half time lead they deserved, but a Jack Baldwin own goal 10 minutes from time rescued the visitors.
Cobblers were perfect from the spot while Jack Marriott and Andrew Hughes saw their spot-kicks saved by ‘keeper David Cornell.
Posh made five changes to their weekend starting line-up as manager Grant McCann gave his fringe players a chance to shine, and one of them opened the scoring just before the break.
Back-up goalkeeper Conor O’Malley started the move by catching a corner - one he’d conceded by making a fine near post save to deny Lewis McGugan - and arrowing a superb clearance kick in the direction of Ricky Miller.
Miller took the ball in his stride, cut inside and fired a low shot that Cornell spilled enabling Lloyd to cap a decent personal half with an easy finish two minutes before the interval.
Lloyd had played Idris Kanu through in the early stages, but the teenager delayed his shot long enough to enable Ash Taylor to race back and deliver a fine block.
Lloyd also forced a fine save from a free kick in a half dominated by Posh against opponents who started the night on a 410-minute goal drought.
Debutant McGugan showed some nice touches for the visitors, but a ponderous build-up held them back.
Miller collected a caution for simulation - his second such offence this season - when diving over Cornell.
The second-half of this game can be summed in one word: awful. Most Posh attacks broke down in a carefully constructed offside trap.
So there was nothing to see, nothing to report until O’Malley shovelled a Marc Richards shot onto the crossbar and over 10 minutes from time. From the corner O’Malley parried a shot against his own skipper Jack Baldwin with the ball crossing the line despite the captain’s attempts to clear.
Baldwin is a seriously unlucky footballer. He has the distinction now of ending a Cobblers goal drought which lasted 490 minutes, one which sent the tie into a rather pointless penalty shoot out.
Posh: Conor O’Malley, Liam Shephard, Andrew Hughes, Ryan Tafazolli, Jack Baldwin, Anthony Grant, Leo Da Silva Lopes, Michael Doughty, Danny Lloyd, Ricky Miller (sub Jack Marriott, 67 mins), Idris Kanu.
Unused substitutes: Mark Tyler, Chris Forrester, Alex Penny, Jermaine Anderson, Sam Cartwright, Morgan Penfold.
Northampton: David Cornell, Brendan Moloney (sub Alex Revell, 90 mins), Ash Taylor, Aaron Pierre, George Smith, Sam Foley (sub Matt Grimes, 75 mins), Yaser Kasim, Lewis McGugan (sub Dean Bowditch, 70 mins), Daniel Powell, Marc Richards, Billy Waters.
Unused substitutes: Matt Ingram, Raheem Hanley, James Gillard, Cameron McWilliams.
Goals: Posh - Lloyd (43 mins).
Cobblers - Baldwin (og, 80 mins).
Cautions: Posh - Grant (foul), Miller (simulation).
Cobblers - Waters (foul), Grimes (foul).
Referee: Gavin Ward 6
Attendance: 2,745 (151 Cobblers).