Northampton Town will be in the knockout stages of the EFL Trophy as they beat on Stevenage on penalties.
The winner in the contest at the PTS Academy Stadium would’ve joined the already qualified MK Dons in the knockout rounds, and it would end up being decided by penalties after a 0-0 draw in 90 minutes.
With neither team finding a winner in normal time, it therefore meant penalties to determine who would go through.
Ultimately Stevenage’s first and fourth penalties would fail to go in, and although Northampton also missed on theirs, a 4-2 win on penalties ensured Keith Curle’s side would be the ones who progressed.
Before the game, both sides held a minute’s silence in honour of Denis Casey, after the news that the long-time former Northampton physio had lost his life over the weekend.
Curle opted to go for a strong line-up against the League 2 opponents, making just 2 changes from a weekend defeat by Accrington Stanley, but it was Stevenage who would start on the front foot when Femi Akinwande was denied by Jonathan Mitchell after Akinwande had initially rounded the keeper, with Marcus Dinanga firing the rebound wide.
The Cobblers grew into things as the first half progressed, as Jamie Cumming denied Nicky Adams before Jack Sowerby fired the rebound wide.
Northampton’s changes over the second half did yield some forward momentum, as Michael Harriman was denied by Cumming before Danny Rose saw a strike just creep over the top.
Arthur Iontton dragged a low one wide for Stevenage, but there was to be no winner in 90 minutes as the game ultimately fizzled out.
That meant penalties to decide a winner, and also guaranteed the winner could now only qualify as runner up rather than group winner.
After Chris Lines scored Northampton’s opening penalty, Danny Newton saw the first Stevenage spot-kick denied by Mitchell.
But Northampton’s next kick saw Rose’s shot go straight down the middle, and Charlie Carter brought the visitors back level.
Both sides scored their third penalties, but after Fraser Horsfall made it 3-2, Akinwande put it over the top and Caleb Chukwuemeka duly beat Cumming to settle the contest and the place in the next round in Northampton’s favour.