League Two
Bristol RoversBristol Rovers0NorthamptonNorthampton Town1

Bristol Rovers 0-1 Northampton Town

By Nabil HassanBBC Sport at the Memorial Stadium
Bristol Rovers v Northampton
Bristol Rovers are back in League Two after winning promotion from the Conference last season.

Bristol Rovers' return to the Football League ended in defeat as John-Joe O'Toole scored against his old side to give Northampton an opening day win.

Northampton's Marc Richards shot wide early on, while Rovers' Matty Taylor lost control after latching on to a poor back pass and rounding Adam Smith.

O'Toole finally put the Cobblers ahead with a bullet header from six yards.

Rovers rarely threatened but should have equalised when Ellis Harrison fired straight at Smith late on.

Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke told BBC Radio Bristol:

"It was a disappointing day to be honest - we never got ourselves going.

The first 45 minutes was a typical first game of the season. I asked the lads to calm down a little bit in the second half and get our football going.

"We had a great chance to take the lead, which is disappointing when a good chance comes along. We didn't deserve anything from the game."

Northampton Town manager Chris Wilder told BBC Radio Northampton:

"It's a great day for us, it was a great effort from our supporters too.

"We had to defend and we had to defend well. When we passed it around we opened them up; Marc got into some good positions.

"John-Joe had a tough year last season. He has to do better, but we backed him today and it was a great goal."

Line-ups

Bristol Rovers

  • 1Mildenhall
  • 2Leadbitter
  • 15J Clarke
  • 6Parkes
  • 3Brown
  • 4Lockyer
  • 14Lines
  • 24SinclairBooked at 6mins
  • 21MontañoSubstituted forMonakanaat 60'minutes
  • 10TaylorSubstituted forBodinat 71'minutes
  • 17EasterSubstituted forHarrisonat 56'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8O Clarke
  • 9Harrison
  • 11Gosling
  • 16Blissett
  • 22Preston
  • 23Bodin
  • 29Monakana

Northampton

  • 1Smith
  • 12Lelan
  • 6Cresswell
  • 5Diamond
  • 16Buchanan
  • 15PotterSubstituted forHolmesat 64'minutes
  • 10AdamsBooked at 25minsSubstituted forCorryat 88'minutes
  • 21O'TooleSubstituted forHoskinsat 73'minutes
  • 4Taylor
  • 8Byrom
  • 9Richards

Substitutes

  • 11Holmes
  • 14Hoskins
  • 17Corry
  • 18McDonald
  • 20Calvert-Lewin
  • 22Hackett
  • 26Clarke
Referee:
Mark Heywood
Attendance:
8,712

Match Stats

Home TeamBristol RoversAway TeamNorthampton
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home2
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away9
Fouls
Home11
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Bristol Rovers 0, Northampton Town 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Bristol Rovers 0, Northampton Town 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Bristol Rovers. Conceded by Ryan Cresswell.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Tom Parkes.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Ellis Harrison (Bristol Rovers).

  6. Post update

    Josh Lelan (Northampton Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Northampton Town. Paul Corry replaces Nicky Adams.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ellis Harrison (Bristol Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marc Richards (Northampton Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Ellis Harrison (Bristol Rovers).

  11. Post update

    Ricky Holmes (Northampton Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ryan Cresswell (Northampton Town) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jeffrey Monakana (Bristol Rovers).

  14. Post update

    David Buchanan (Northampton Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by James Clarke.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Chris Lines (Bristol Rovers).

  17. Post update

    Joel Byrom (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Northampton Town. Sam Hoskins replaces John-Joe O'Toole.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Tom Parkes.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Billy Bodin replaces Matty Taylor.