Northampton earn promotion from League Two after away win vs Tranmere

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Northampton secured the three points they needed to gain automatic promotion back to League One at the second time of asking with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Tranmere at Prenton Park. A superb early strike from Sam Hoskins was enough to ensure there was no last-day heartbreak for the Cobblers this time around having missed out on goals scored 12 months ago following Bristol Rovers' incredible 7-0 victory. As it turned out, Stockport's draw at home to Hartlepool would have been enough to clinch the Cobblers' promotion, but Jon Brady's men made sure of the job. Hoskins volleyed home from the edge of the box after just five minutes as Tranmere failed to clear the ball following a corner, with the 2,000 travelling Town fans celebrating wildly at the other end. It wasn't all one-way traffic, however, with Kane Hemmings and Lee O'Connor forcing Town goalkeeper Lee Burge into action as they pressed for an equaliser before half time.

After the break, Rovers continued to pile the pressure on the visitors' goal with substitute Jay Turner-Cooke and Sam Taylor coming close as Tranmere made it clear they were not prepared to roll over for their promotion-chasing opponents. At the other end Northampton went in search of a second goal which would have made the game and promotion safe, with Shaun McWilliams and Louis Appere both having efforts blocked. But Hoskins' early strike proved to be enough for Brady's side as Northampton return to the third tier of English football having been relegated in 2021.

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