Northampton Town 1 (Platt 40)
Wolves 3 (Batth 16, Nouble 45, Sako 90+1)
It wasn’t easy and it took a superb stoppage time goal from new signing Bakary Sako to seal Wolves’ victory over a determined Northampton Town team at Sixfields, and secure a passage into the third round of the Capital One Cup with a trip to Chelsea the reward.
Ståle Solbakken made wholesale changes to his team with just two, Carl Ikeme and David Davis, having started in the League draw with Derby County. There were debuts for new signings Georg Margreitter and Razak Boukar, whilst Sako, was named as a substitute.
The first opportunity of the game fell to Northampton’s Alex Nicholls who intercepted a loose pass in the centre circle before running towards goal and firing well wide from 25-yards.
The Cobblers should have been ahead on five minutes when Clive Platt headed down Joe Widdowson’s cross to Ben Tozer who fluffed his shot from eight-yards allowing Ikeme to claim.
From the keeper’s clearance Boukari took possession and went on a run through the middle of the Town defence before passing to Anthony Forde who saw his angled shot drift a foot wide of the far post.
Ikeme had to punch clear after Ben Harding had lobbed the ball into the box as Nicholls charged in. But, after holding the upper hand for much of the opening stages, Town fell behind in the 16th minute after Frank Nouble had won Wolves’ first corner.
Forde floated over the flag-kick and the ball appeared to bounce into the net off Danny Batth’s knees at the near post.
Boukari was making his presence felt not only in attack as he fell back to try and shepherd the ball out for a goal kick. And, when it didn’t run kindly, he still managed to clear despite being put under pressure by Luke Guttridge.
A misplaced pass from Davis was picked up by Hackett who tested Ikeme with a low, long distance shot. Then a Harding free-kick from the right of the area was headed clear by Batth.
It was from a Hackett cross that Town drew level five minutes before the break as Platt’s header flew into the corner of the net.
Eggert Jonsson was booked for a late challenge on Nicholls shortly before Wanderers regained the advantage on the stroke of half-time. Forde headed Boukari’s cross to Nouble who scrambled the ball home.
Half-Time: Northampton 1 Wolves 1
Wolves began the new half strongly and there was an early chance for Björn Sigurarson after a centre from Nouble, but a defender blocked at close range.
A great run out of defence by George Elokobi gave Boukari a chance but keeper Dean Snedker blocked well and then the keeper saved from Davis as the home defence struggled to clear.
Richard Stearman joined his attack with a run and shot that was saved by Snedker before Hackett tested Ikeme with a shot from distance.
Snedker was called into action once again this time when he blocked from Davis and, seconds later at the other end, Harding saw his shot take a deflection before dipping just over the bar.
Midway through the half, Sako replaced Boukari and Tongo Doumbia went on for Jonsson.
The visiting defence seemed to be coping with any Northampton threat and when Hackett did get a sight of goal, he ballooned the ball over the bar.
Slawomir Peszko was Wolves’ final change as he came on for Forde for the final few minutes,
After Nouble’s route to goal was blocked by a defender and then the keeper, Sako wrapped things up in the first minute of stoppage time with a snorter from 25-yards in front of the delighted travelling supporters.
Town: Snedker, Widdowson, Guttridge, Langmead (capt), Harding, Platt (Moult 73), Hackett, Tozer (Akinfenwa 57), Nicholls (Mukendi 45), Artell, East.
Unused subs: Charles, Demontagnac, Wilson, Heath.
Wolves: Ikeme, Stearman (capt), Elokobi, Davis, Mergreitter, Batth, Forde (Peszko 83), Jonsson (Doumbia 67), Nouble, Sigurdarson, Boukari (Sako 67).
Unused subs: Berra, Hammill, Doherty, McCarey.
Booking: Jonsson (43 – foul)
Referee: D. Deadman.
Attendance: 3,758 (671 away supporters).