With two tough games out of the way it’s back to the ‘winnable’ category this weekend when Macclesfield Town arrive at Sixfields. This is one that we really do need to come away from with all three points and Gary Johnson will be desperate to kick start his reign at the club with a positive result against a side struggling despite a good win on Tuesday night.
Johnson is likely to still be without Leon McKenzie so Kevin Thornton should keep his place while he will wait on news on Dean Beckwith before lining up his defence. Either way, though, it appears that he’s targeting a full time role for John Johnson in the centre of the back four so Nana Ofori-Twumasi and Jamie Reckord could be handed home debuts.
Macclesfield have fined every one of the playing and management staff involved in the mass brawl in stoppage time of the home game with Wycombe Wanderers recently and the FA have now fined both sides £9,000. The two players sent off in that scrap, Emile Sinclair and Ricky Sappleton, sit out of the trip to Sixfields in the final game of their suspensions.
The Silkmen were victorious in midweek with a 1-0 win over Crewe at Moss Rose and Ross Draper, having been promoted from midfielder to striker, nicked the winner. Draper could well be back in the front line tomorrow afternoon. Goalkeeper Jose Veiga, a Cape Verde international, is one to watch after pulling off a string of fine saves on Tuesday including one penalty save to help his side to victory.
We need to be vigilant against any signs of over confidence in this one…the name of Macclesfield Town isn’t as threatening as a Shrewsbury or a Chesterfield but the need for a good performance and a good result are massive in order to bring more life back into the club. Both sides will be gunning for the win for slightly differing reasons tomorrow – Macc need it to climb further away from a relegation dog fight whilst the Cobblers need it to ensure we’re not dragged deep back into that very dog fight ourselves!
In League Two this weekend…
Chesterfield attempt to continue their inevitable promotion assault when they visit Crewe – there’s goals in both those teams so it could be the game of the weekend in this division! Bury are keeping up the pace on the leaders but travel to fifth placed Rotherham who are five points behind them in the race for the top three. Third placed Wycombe are at home to Stevenage looking to extend their four point lead on fourth place.
Shrewsbury occupy that spot at the moment and go to playoff chasing Torquay in what looks like a tasty affair on the Devon coast. The Gulls have dragged themselves back into the playoff race in recent weeks and can close in on Gillingham who face improving Accrington. There’s another playoff vs challenger match at Vale Park with Port Vale hosting Oxford.
Meanwhile, down at the bottom, Stockport face a crunch game that could make or break their eventual survival hopes at home to Burton “games in hand” Albion. Win and they’ll give themselves an outside chance but lose and you would have to say it was all over for County. Barnet are in a similar boat and they are at Hereford, a side who were in just as much trouble a couple of months ago.
Bradford look to continue where they left off after Tuesday night’s win over Rotherham when they face Morecambe at the Globe Arena while Cheltenham welcome Aldershot to Whaddon Road. And Steve Tilson comes up against his old club as Lincoln take on Southend.