Result: Northampton Town edge past Cheltenham Town

© PA Photos
Roy O'Donovan's first-half strike is enough for Northampton Town to get the better of Cheltenham Town at home.

Northampton Town have registered a narrow 1-0 home win against Cheltenham Town in the first leg of their League Two semi-final playoff.

Both sides started the game slowly at Sixfields and cancelled each other out until the 26th minute.

That was when hosts Northampton broke the deadlock through Roy O'Donovan, who volleyed home Chris Hacket's cross from the right flank.

That sparked the contest into life, as Cheltenham almost immediately found the equaliser, Paul Benson putting the ball wide from a good position.

Ishmel Demontagnac squandered his chance for the home team on the half-hour mark, before Kaid Mohamed shot wide for the visitors five minutes later.

Benson had another good chance three minutes before the half-time interval when he directed a header towards goal, but Lee Nicholls made a comfortable save.

Nicholls was called into action just three minutes into the restart when he tipped a Jermaine McGlashan shot over the bar.

Benson saw his diving header go wide on the hour mark and midway through the second half Scott Brown kept out Adebayo Akinfenwa's header from point-blank range to keep Cheltenham in the match.

Akinfenwa had another chance to double Northampton's advantage in the 74th minute, but failed to keep his header on target this time.

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