>Big night at Sixfields as Harrad makes bow

Northampton Town v Crewe Alexandra
League Two
Tuesday, February 1st 2011

It’s one of those nights that you just want to be at. For the first time in quite a while there’s a real air of anticipation for a game at Sixfields with the arrival of both a Crewe side in fine form and scoring plenty of goals and of Shaun Harrad who will make what now seems a long awaited debut since joining a couple of weeks ago from Burton Albion.

The sense is that it should be a belter of a game with the free flowing nature of the visitors and the intriguing new strike force that looks odds on to see Leon McKenzie partner Harrad up front. A week and a half of extra training should see Francis Laurent get a better shot at things as well as he tries to better his tired looking 45 minutes of football against Oxford United. Josh Walker is another who could get a second debut for Town tonight and it’ll be interesting to see how Sammo lines up with the new faces.

Crewe’s game against Accrington was called off at the weekend so they’ll also come in pretty fresh. Clayton Donaldson is a big miss for them as her begins a suspension for his sending off last Tuesday night. The ten men held on in that one though and recorded a 2-1 win against Bradford to momentarily move into the top three. Rotherham’s weekend victory, though, means that they slipped back to fourth with that postponement.

Byron Moore is a doubt for tonight with Dario Gradi citing “personal problems” as a reason for his possible exclusion. Rhys Taylor should return in goal after suspension but the game comes too soon for David Artell

So a big night in store at Sixfields and a pivotal moment in the season in terms of which way we turn. With our positioning in almost exactly mid-table points wise it’s vital to continue this run of home games with a positive show against a confident Crewe outfit.

Elsewhere in League Two this evening…

There’s implications at both ends of the table at Edgeley Park as bottom club Stockport host top of the league Chesterfield. Barnet are in deep trouble again having also played four games more than their relegation rivals and they need to claw back ground at Aldershot. Hereford and Burton are just above the drop zone and face tough trips to Torquay and Shrewsbury respectively.

At the top, Wycombe welcome Cheltenham to Adams Park while Rotherham, who moved back into the top three at the weekend, go to out of form Port Vale who have slipped down to sixth in recent weeks. Bury play their third evening game in a row as they go to Macclesfield having earned four points from two Friday night games in the last two weeks.

Stevenage will be trying to close the gap on Gillingham in their bid for a playoff berth as they play the Gills at Broadhall Way and fellow hopefuls Southend and Oxford meet at Roots Hall. Meanwhile Bradford look to build on their draw with Chesterfield at the weekend in a meeting with Lincoln.

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