>Gillingham v Northampton Town
Saturday, January 15th 2011
Amid the speculations and rumours there’s a game to play this weekend as we travel to Gillingham to face a team that are undoubtedly in their best run of form for quite some time. The defeat to Wycombe on January 3rd was the only blotch on a run that’s seen them fire in six wins in seven games. The run means that the Gills are now just a point from the playoffs and shows how a run can really get you back into the picture. Indeed after the Cobblers won 2-1 in the reverse fixture back in October they were languishing in eighteenth place!
There’s not been a lot of activity of yet in the transfer window for Gills but they were boosted when midfielder Danny Spiller signed a new contract earlier this month. Meanwhile Simon King has finally returned to training after eighteen months out with an ankle injury but Andy Hessanthaler has warned that he needs to be patient as he plots a return to action.
With their away day hoodoo well and truly overcome and with a 5-1 away win at Stockport behind them, Gillingham are arguably the most dangerous team in the league to be coming up against. Cody McDonald scored the first away hat-trick for the club in almost twelve years at Edgeley Park so we need to keep a firm eye on him as well as a certain Mr Akinfenwa!
The Cobblers could bring Ryan Gilligan back in but Kevin Thornton will be missing for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury picked up after coming off the bench during the draw with Cheltenham last weekend. A last minute decision will again be made on Leon Mckenzie who continues to struggle with a knee problem that’s plagued his short Town career. Craig King has returned to Leicester at the end of his loan spell.
Unfortunately we’ll be under the watch of referee Trevor (the whistling) Kettle tomorrow so that should be a fun addition to proceedings!
All in all it’s fair to say it’s not going to be the easiest of trips on Saturday and we’ll need a confident performance if we’re to get anything from a raging bull of a Gills side.
Elsewhere in League Two…Chesterfield are four points clear at the top of the table and will be looking to extend that lead as they host cup giant killers Stevenage Borough. Second placed Rotherham could only close the gap by a point on Tuesday night and only just managed that in a 3-3 draw at Stockport. The Millers are at home to Southend United tomorrow. Meanwhile, Wycombe travel to struggling Lincoln and it’s 5th v 4th as improving Crewe welcome Port Vale to Gresty Road. Bury will want to bounce back from three defeats in the last four games (all by a single goal) as they play Aldershot at Gigg Lane. Shrewsbury’s form has also dipped and they won’t be relishing a tricky trip to Barnet who claimed a surprise 3-1 win at Bradford last weekend. The Bantams try to put that behind them at Oxford. There’s a basement battle at Edgar Street with Hereford facing Stockport while Morecambe and Torquay do battle, the latter having picked up an important win in midweek. Rounding off the action is Cheltenham, as they attempt to leap back into the playoffs, at home to Accrington Stanley.