Northampton Town v Crawley Town: Match Preview

The Cobblers come under the spotlight of the live Sky Sports cameras this weekend as Crawley Town come to town with all their riches to attempt to go top of League Two. But the Cobblers are slowly turning the corner from a slow start and Gary Johnson won’t want to lie down to Steve Evans’ men, particularly in front of the nation.

Johnson has remained in the dugout for the past few games but if anything is likely to get him out of his hideout it’s a big game atmosphere against one of the favourites for the League Two title.

Evans didn’t really endear himself to Cobblers fans during his time as Boston United manager, claiming after a 2-1 win for Town in 2004 that his side were robbed by the officials and that his team would finish above the Cobblers. We finished seventh with Boston ending the season in sixteenth.

You can see why Sky chose the game featuring two of the division’s most outspoken managers but let’s hope all the talking is done on the pitch because it’s potentially a mouth-watering game to hopefully showcase not just the Cobblers but League Two football in general.

Form…

The Cobblers haven’t been playing free flowing football over the last two games but have instead ground out two important 2-1 victories over Dagenham and Redbridge at home and Barnet away and that’s lifted us up to fourteenth in League Two.

Crawley suffered a mild blip in September having lost 6-0 at Morecambe and 3-0 at home to Swindon but recovered to record three wins on the bounce. A 3-1 home win over Bradford was followed by a single goal victory at Aldershot and a 2-0 success against struggling Plymouth Argyle last weekend.

Savage - Back in the squad

Team News…

The Cobblers are still without long term absentees Byron Webster and Andy Holt while Nana is out for the season. Loan signing George Baldock started at Barnet last week and is in line for a home debut in the middle of the park. Bas Savage has recovered from injury and has been training this week so goes back into the squad.

Crawley captain Pablo Mills played 45 minutes for the reserves this week having been out since March with an ankle injury that needed an operation but the trip to Sixfields may come too soon for a full time return. Leading scorer Tyrone Barnett is a major doubt with a hamstring injury that forced him to withdraw from last weekend’s victory over Plymouth and Kyle McFadzen is another worry after picking up a groin problem picked up in the same game.

Club Links…

Crawley midfielder David Hunt made over seventy appearances for the Cobblers between 2005 and 2007, scoring three times for the club. Hunt moved on to Shrewsbury before joining Brentford in 2009 and signing a permanent deal with Crawley following a successful loan spell earlier this year.

The Man In The Middle…

Graham Scott takes charge of the game having already shown five red cards this season including two in Peterborough’s 7-1 victory over Ipswich Town back in August. Scott last took charge of the Cobblers in the 1-1 draw at Aldershot in September last year.

Prediction…

It’s a tough one and after two straight wins that have involved backs to the walls displays we’ll need all our battling qualities to deal with a strong Crawley side. I’d take a draw I think and after a few goals either way I think we can get one. I’ll go for 2-2.

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