The “areas” for the first round of this seasons’ Johnstone’s Paint Trophy have been decided and the Cobblers could face a long Tuesday night trip as far afield as Hartlepool should the draw go against favour. The draw is designed to keep ties as local as possible but when you look at the possible long journeys possible and the calibre of opposition, it’s tough to see a more difficult area to be in.
The Cobblers have been placed in the North East Area and could also meet League One sides Sheffield Wednesday or Walsall whilst also sharing a group with League Two champions Notts County.
The areas in full:
Northern Section (West)
Accrington Stanley, Macclesfield Town, Morecambe, Oldham Athletic, Port Vale, Rochdale, Shrewsbury Town and Tranmere Rovers
Northern Section (East)
Chesterfield, Hartlepool United, Lincoln City, Northampton Town, Notts County, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday and Walsall
Southern Section (West)
AFC Bournemouth, Aldershot Town, Exeter City, Oxford United, Southampton, Swindon Town, Torquay United and Yeovil Town
Southern Section (East)
Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Charlton Athletic, Dagenham & Redbridge, Gillingham, Leyton Orient, Southend United and Stevenage
All First Round ties will be played on the week commencing 30th August with the First Round draw taking place on Soccer AM on the morning of August 14th.
The Posh are amongst the lucky teams to have been handed a bye to Round Two. The list of byes are as follows:
Northern Section: Bradford City, Burton Albion, Bury, Carlisle United, Crewe Alexandra, Huddersfield Town, Peterborough United and Stockport County
Southern Section: Barnet, Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United, Hereford United, Milton Keynes Dons, Plymouth Argyle and Wycombe Wanderers