>Accrington Stanley v Northampton Town
Saturday, April 2nd 2011
Two teams couldn’t be more opposite in terms of form, hope and short term ambition than when the Cobblers take to the field at expectant Accrington this afternoon. John Coleman has led his team through a winter of few games and many postponements, through a catch up period that seen them claw their way up the table and to a place where they can now genuinely call themselves playoff contenders.
The Cobblers, on the other hand, have been battling the elements from the start of that same cold spell. But it’s not the games called off that were the problem, it was the ones that made it to the final whistle without a positive result.
Stanley will go into kick off today with just one defeat in twelve games, Town of course on a run of eleven without a win. Our hosts have only been beaten three times in 2011, all to playoff or promotion contenders, during a period in which we’ve seen the wrong end of defeats to the likes of Macclesfield Town and Burton Albion.
So you would forgive anyone labelling Stanley as favourites for this one and momentum is certainly with them following a 4-0 home win on Wednesday night against Hereford United. They sit just three points off the playoffs with still one of those games in hand so will be desperate to keep this run going for a dramatic last push for a place in the top seven.
Terry Gornell should keep his place in the Accrington line up after scoring in the week with Rory Boulding set to take up a place on the bench.
The Cobblers are without Ryan Gilligan, whose season is now over after he was booked in for surgery on his troublesome ankle injury. Billy McKay is also still missing but Leon McKenzie could come back into contention. Striker Michael Uwesu could also be used after missing the signing on deadline for last Friday’s game against Torquay.
So two records at stake today and we need the form book to be turned completely on its head if that illusive, and very overdue, victory is to come.