Northampton Town will play in next Monday’s League 2 play-off final after a 3-0 win at Cheltenham saw them overcome a first leg deficit.
The victory means that that the Cobblers will face Exeter at Wembley next week for a place in next season’s League One.
Vadaine Oliver scored an early opener for the visitors, before Callum Morton struck a second half brace after Cheltenham defensive errors to fully complete the turnaround.
The result was a fine comeback by the Cobblers, whose victory in Gloucestershire saw them overcome a 2 goal deficit from the first leg to surprise the home side. They were the first team to overcome a 2 goal first leg deficit in any tier of the EFL play-offs since 2007, when Yeovil overcame the deficit to defeat Nottingham Forest.
Northampton showed early intent, with Sam Hoskins and Morton coming close in the early moments before Oliver opened the scoring. The striker headed home Nicky Adams’ cross inside the opening ten minutes.
In the first half, Northampton looked like the likelier to find a second goal, as Morton and Adams both came close before Oliver saw a similar chance to his goal just drift wide.
The goal that put Northampton 2-0 up on the night and level on accurate came 12 minutes after half-time. It would end up being a messy goal, as Morton was in the right place when a defensive clearance ricocheted off the West Brom loanee to go beyond Cheltenham goalkeeper Owen Evans and into the back of the net.
By itself, this was the first time Cheltenham had conceded two goals in a league game since November, but Northampton still needed to one more to avoid extra-time.
That goal would come 13 minutes from time courtesy of another Cheltenham defensive mix-up. William Boyle was caught out ball-watching, allowing Michael Harriman to get in ahead of Evans and strike an effort against the post. Morton raced in ahead to lash home his second.
A save from Evans was then made to stop Morton grabbing a sensational hat-trick, before Cheltenham’s Alfie May saw two efforts go off target in the final minutes.
Despite seven minutes being added on, Northampton held on to secure a huge success and they move one game away from promotion to the third tier.