Last-gasp St Ledger own goal gifts Northampton Town victory over Leicester City

GOALMOUTH SCRAMBLE - action from Cobblers' 2-1 friendly win over Leicester City (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)
GOALMOUTH SCRAMBLE - action from Cobblers' 2-1 friendly win over Leicester City (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Cobblers finished their pre-season campaign with a flourish as they claimed a superb 2-1 win against Sky Bet Championship side Leicester City.

Lee Collins put Town in the ascendancy with an early strike and a last-minute own goal from Sean St Ledger secured the win.

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.

Leicester had levelled things up through Chris Wood’s first-half effort, but St Ledger’s late error cost them a draw.

For Cobblers it was a good win and another good workout ahead of the start of the new Sky Bet League Two season, at York City on Saturday.

And for boss Aidy Boothroyd it was another useful excercise as he looks to cement his squad for the upcoming campaign.

Trialists Michael Spillane and Danny Emerton, the only two non-contract Cobblers to start the game, both impressed.

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.

Spillane showed his worth at centre-back and in central midfield, while former Hull City winger Emerton caused Leicester plenty of problems out wide.

Boothroyd must now decide whether to offer anything to the duo, or any of the five trialists - Danny Whitaker, Samir Bihmoutine, Matt Heath, Matty Harriott and Aitor Nunez - who emerged from the bench during the second half.

For the men who will be strutting their stuff at York this weekend, it was an ideal test against a strong Leicester side, which included ex-Cobblers loanee Ben Marshall.

Both teams were looking to sign off their pre-season campaigns with a win, with the serious stuff of league football just around the corner.

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.

It was the away side who started the stronger, Wood seeing his shot deflected wide and Paul Gallagher flicking the ball into the side-netting from a corner.

Cobblers reacted with a Collins header wide from a corner and Gary Deegan’s scuffed half-volley in what was a lively opening.

And, on 14 minutes, Town had the lead as, with a flash of his bright orange boot, Collins lashed the ball past the Kasper Schmeichel after the Foxes had failed to clear a corner.

Leicester almost had an immediate riposte, but Martyn Waghorn couldn’t keep his effort down after Lloyd Dyer had found him in the area.

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.

Waghorn did better moments later, though, as he was involved in a neat interchange with Wood, who fired the ball home to level the scores.

But the Cobblers were more than holding their own, with Deegan and Emerton, in his bid to win a permanent deal, stand-out performers in the first half.

The home side should have been ahead before the break, but Spillane hit the bar from close range before Schmeichel made two superb stops, including one from a fine Deegan effort.

Boothroyd made a raft of changes at the break, bringing every trialist into the game and resting his key men ahead of Saturday’s league two curtain-raiser.

One man who did stay on was Ben Tozer and he saw a half-volley stopped by substitute keeper Conrad Logan, before Dean Snedker shut the door on the Foxes at the other end.

Ex-Chesterfield man Whitaker had an effort well blocked after good work from Spillane and Claudio Dias as the game continued to prove unpredictable.

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.

The Cobblers were fancying a final pre-season win as Roy O’Donovan warmed the hands of Logan with a curling right-foot shot from the edge of the area.

Leicester weren’t content with the draw either, though, and only a couple of inches separated them from the lead as Richie De Laet clipped the bar with a header.

With 15 minutes to go, the scores were still level but both sides were to have chances to win it before the end.

Ishmel Demontagnac forced Logan into a fine one-handed save, while Anthony Knockaert saw his fizzing shot well held by Snedker.

And just as the game looked to be heading towards a draw, former Arsenal left-back Samir Bihmoutine sent in a dangerous centre that St Ledger diverted into his own net to give Cobblers the win.

Match facts

Cobblers: Duke (Snedker 45), Amankwaah (Nunez 45), Tozer (Moyo 84), Collins (Heath 45), Widdowson (Bihmoutine 45), Morris (Harriott 45), Carter (Dias 45), Deegan (Whitaker 45), Spillane, Emerton (Demontagnac 70), O’Donovan (Hooper 70).

Subs not used: Reeve, Artell, Roberts, Toney.

Leicester City: Schmeichel (Logan 45), Moore, Whitbread (De Laet 45), St Ledger, Hopper (Bakayogo 61), Marshall, Danns (Knockaert 45), Gallagher (James 61), Dyer (Drinkwater 61), Waghorn (Schlupp 45), Wood (Vardy 61).

Referee: D Whitestone

Attendance: 1,821 (751 away fans)

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.

Northampton Town Football Club v Leicester at Sixfields.