NORTHAMPTON Town eased to a 3-0 victory over York City with a penalty save from Bobby Olejnik preventing a heavier defeat.

Chris Hackett, Brendon Moloney and Ivan Toney were on target for the Cobblers, who also saw Marc Richards fail to convert from the spot in the second half.

City got off to a sluggish start with an unmarked Ryan Cresswell heading off target from an early free kick from Hackett, who went on to capitalise on a Manvind Benning mistake to open the scoring in the fourth minute.

The on-loan Walsall left back’s attempted header back to Olejnik was always going to lack the purchase to reach its intended target and the City keeper then appeared to handle outside his box.

But referee Jeremy Simpson played advantage and Hackett guided the ball into an unguarded net from 15 yards.

Midway through the half, Olejnik was at full stretch to claw away a looping Lawson D’Ath effort after Marc Richards had raided down the right and crossed into the 18-yard area.

Strong appeals for a penalty were rejected, meanwhile, when a sliding Olejnik and Richards seemed to come into contact close to the byline.

The visitors’ only first-half chance saw Keith Lowe’s far-post header parried away by Matt Duke following Michael Coulson’s left-wing corner on 29 minutes. City, though, fell further behind three minutes into the restart.

Moloney drove inside Olejnik’s left-hand upright after D’Ath had been allowed to charge to the byline and pull the ball back to the edge of the penalty box.

At the other end, Wes Fletcher scooped over the bar from 12 yards after Marvin McCoy’s low cross from the right and Benning’s speculative long-range lob was routinely gathered by Duke.

Olejnik, meanwhile, was called upon to make a flying save to push away Ricky Holmes’ edge-of-the-box strike and the on-loan Peterborough keeper denied the Cobblers again when Benning gave away a 68th-minute penalty.

An unfortunate ricochet off Russell Penn saw the ball fall to Holmes near the penalty spot and Benning, caught on the wrong side of the home midfielder, lunged into him, leaving referee Jeremy Simpson with little option but to point the spot.

Olejnik reacted brilliantly, however, to push Richards’ low attempt around his left-hand post. For City, substitute Diego De Girolamo saw a curling 20-yard shot turned behind by Duke before Holmes bent a similar effort wide after exchanging passes with Toney.

Neat interplay between Holmes and Darren Carter then teed up an eight-yard chance that he prodded into Olejnik’s bottom left-hand corner.

De Girolamo went on to head over and saw a free kick beaten out by Duke as City failed to claim a stoppage-time consolation.

Northampton: Duke, Moloney, Cresswell, Collins, Horwood, Holmes, Taylor, Byrom (Carter, 76), D’Ath, Hackett (Toney, 67), Richards.

City: Olejnik, McCoy (De Girolamo, 56), Lowe, Zubar, Benning, Halliday, Penn, Sinclair, Coulson, Carson (Meikle, 83), Fletcher.

Attendance: 4,694 (449 from City)