>This weekend sees the Cobblers get a brief respite from action with Burton, our scheduled opponents, playing in the FA Cup instead. Shaun Harrad, the scorer in the last round for the Brewers as they overcame Middlesbrough, now awaits his debut on Tuesday night as Crewe visit Sixfields.
The Alex are in action against Accrington Stanley on Saturday and having moved into the top three in the week with a 2-1 win over Bradford and will be favourites to continue their fine form against a Stanley side that hasn’t seen action since January 18th due to the game with Hereford falling victim to a frozen pitch.
Crewe boss Steve Davis has this week told his reserve strikers to step up to plate with Clyton Donaldson serving a suspension after seeing red on Tuesday night. The likes of AJ Leitch-Smith, Jordan Connerton and 16-year-old Nick Powell are battling for a place in the starting line-up to partner Shaun Miller up front. Donaldson will still be serving his ban when the Railway Men travel to Sixfields on Tuesday night.
That game is looking likely to be Harrad’s debut and Leon McKenzie has been wrapped in cotton wool, figuratively I think, this week by the Cobblers as he looks to begin a partnership with our newest recruit. McKenzie has hit seven goals in eleven games for Town since signing and it shows that when he does play he’s a real difference maker (we won’t mention Hereford!).
So as we sit and watch this weekend, let’s have a look at what else is going on in the world of League Two:
Bury meet Shrewsbury this evening, the second week in a row that the Shakers have played on a Friday night following last week’s 1-1 draw at Southend. The Shrews’ promotion hopes were dented by Oxford on Tuesday night and this one could be a belting clash between the sides in eighth and sixth respectively.
On Saturday, Chesterfield will be favourites to keep up the form that’s taken them five points clear the top of the table when they host struggling Bradford. Peter Taylor said after Tuesday night’s loss at Crewe that he now fears relegation for his pre-season promotion favourites and they need points fast. Second placed Wycombe don’t play so Crewe can close the gap should they win the aforementioned game with Accrington. Two out of form sides meet as Rotherham welcome rock bottom Stockport to the Don Valley Stadium with both sides desperate for points for completely different reasons. County fell to the foot of League Two after the midweek results for Hereford and Lincoln while the Millers were hammered at Stevenage.
Oxford host Cheltenham at the Kassam and after picking themselves up from last week’s defeat at Sixfields with three points on Tuesday they were catapulted into the playoff positions, a place that Cheltenham themselves are aiming at. Port Vale are the visitors to Sincil Bank as Lincoln attempt to put more distance between themselves and the bottom two while Barnet try to chase them down against Southend.
Gillingham were knocked out of the top seven in the week but a defeat to Chesterfield will have been seen as a minor blip and they can get back on track with a home game against Aldershot handing them a good chance of returning to winning ways. Meanwhile, Morecambe and Macclesfield try to drag themselves up out of any possible relegation scrap at Christie Park.