>Playoffs come early in do or die clash

>It’s almost as if we’re waking up this morning preparing for a playoff game, such is the importance of today’s game with Shrewsbury Town. The game has the same edge as a playoff encounter with whoever loses this game facing virtually the end of their season.

The Shrews sit a place and a point behind the Cobblers and after a disappointing run that saw them dislodged from their lofty heights in the top seven are recovering well and come into the game on good form. Seven points from their last three games including an impressive 3-0 win at Crewe have reignited the push for promotion and today’s visitors will be just as up for this one as we are.

The news we’re all waiting for of course is that of Adebayo Akinfenwa. The big man holds the key to our final three games and we all know if he does play today he won’t be at 100%. But any sort of fit or half fit Bayo can do a job and he’s as vital to the Cobblers as a Fernando Torres is to Liverpool or Wayne Rooney to Manchester United. That may seem a massive comparison but that’s just how important our top scorer is to our game. So let’s hope we see the name of Akinfenwa on today’s team sheet…something that could lift the crowd even before kick off.

As for Shrewsbury, they will be without the injured Graham Coughlan, Craig Disley and Jake Robinson with Nathan Elder also out for a couple of weeks after picking up an injury on his return from a loan spell at AFC Wimbledon. Top scorer Dave Hibbert will provide the fire power though with teenager Tom Bradshaw also one to watch. The seventeen year old came off the bench at Crewe to score twice in dramatic style and the former Aberystwyth Town man will be looking to make even more headlines at Sixfields.

So winner take all it is today and with a draw no good to either side we could well be sitting on the edge of our claret seats for ninety minutes this afternoon!

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