If the Cobblers are to get back on track following a disappointing run then it’ll take a massive effort against a Morecambe side that have flourished since the opening day of the season and the defeat at home to Barnet. Since then the Shrimps have won both league away games as well as dumping Barnsley out of the Carling Cup in the First Round.
They were eliminated on Tuesday night in controversial fashion at Millwall but spirits will still be high amongst the squad of continuing their fine league form that’s seen them take nine points from a possible twelve. That means we’re already playing catch up with the side that we met and beat on the final day of last season as a fairly meaningless game went in our favour.
It’s a lot more meaningful this time though and three huge points are up for grabs as we look to put another poor start to a season behind us.
Both sides were put out of the Carling Cup on Tuesday night with the Cobblers hammered at home to a quality Wolves side whilst Morecambe were eliminated at the hands of Championship Millwall. In the league though, the Shrimps have taken an early fourth spot whilst Town are languishing in the lower reaches of the table.
The Cobblers will again wait on Ashley Westwood who missed Tuesday night’s defeat against Wolves and the last Saturday’s 3-2 loss against Cheltenham Town. John Johnson was back for Tuesday and should be ok to go again whilst Gary Johnson faces another tough decision in midfield. Michael Jacobs was dropped against Wolves and is up against an in form Lewis Young for a starting berth with Johnson telling Jacobs that he needs to mix up his play a bit more rather than keeping hold of the ball.
Former Cobbler and now Morecambe player Chris McCready returns to Sixfields for the first time since leaving the club. The defender was absent for the meeting last season but did play in the reverse fixture at Christie Park. Andy Fleming has been out since the opening day of the season with an ankle injury but is close to regaining full fitness and could feature. Paul Scott is the only long term absentee for the Shrimps.
07/05/11: Morecambe 1-2 Cobblers
On the final day of last season, it looked like the Cobblers would need this game to help them stay up but victory a week earlier at home to Stevenage meant that the job was done ahead of the last game. Kevin Thornton put Town into the lead and Ben Tozer doubled the lead late on. Neil Cowperthwaite had the final say with a consolation goal in stoppage time but Gary Johnson’s men were the ones to end the campaign on a small high.
15/02/11: Cobblers 3-3 Morecambe
A game that went back and forth at Sixfields with the end result a point apiece. John Johnson’s opener was quickly cancelled out by Kevan Hurst before Kevin Thornton put us back in front just after half time. James Spencer again levels but Leon McKenzie’s penalty appears to give Town all three points. Paul Mullin, though, had other ideas and stunned Sixfields with a third equaliser just two minutes from time.
20/03/10: Cobblers 2-0 Morecambe
As the Cobblers bounced back from a poor first half of the season, Liam Davis and Ryan Gilligan gave us a comfortable home win over the Shrimps as Ian Sampson led us back towards the top half of the table.
24/10/09: Morecambe 2-4 Cobblers
The first meeting between the sides was an entertaining one as Steve Guinan netted a rare goal for the Cobblers in the opening five minutes. Phil Jevons, from the spot, and Stuart Drummond turned the tide before half time but three goals in the final twenty minutes stunned the hosts as Andy Holt, John Johnson and Bayo Akinfenwa helped Town to a stunning recovery.
The Man In The Middle…
Brendon Malone is in charge for Morecambe’s visit having officiated three Championship matches and one League One game this season. Sent off Abdul Osman in his last game in charge of a Cobblers game during the 1-1 draw at Port Vale last season.
After consecutive defeats in the league and the cup exit on Tuesday there’s extra importance on this one but I think our wounded troops can come through this one with a 2-1 win.