The Cobblers head to The Priestfield on Saturday on the back of another controversial week that saw Jake Robinson put on the transfer list and Gary Johnson mention that TEN players will be out by January. As we try to pick up the pieces again it’s another big name striker in the spotlight at Gillingham with Bayo Akinfenwa returning to Kent for the first time since his summer departure back to the Cobblers.
Gillingham come into this one following back to back away defeats at Swindon and Morecambe but they have won four out of their seven home games so far, conceding just four goals at the Priestfield – the least at home in the division.
After four straight defeats, the Cobblers at least put in a better performance last weekend against Rotherham as an early shocker from Paul Walker was upstaged at the other end as Millers keeper Conrad Logan dropped the ball into his own net to give us a much needed point.
Jo Kuffour, linked with a move to the Cobblers earlier in the season, has been ill this week along with Charlie Lee but both are expected to be available for the game. Lewis Montrose is the only member of the Gill’s squad definitely missing as he sits out the final game of his suspension.
Bayo Akinfenwa returned last week from his fractured jaw so should take his place again up front alongside Saido Berahino but Jake Robinson and Bas Savage were both made available for transfer this week so will more than likely miss out.
Bayo Akinfenwa spent just one season at Gillingham before returning to the Cobblers in the summer having score eleven times for the Gills.
Former Cobblers Player of the Year Danny Jackman signed for Town from Gillingham before heading back to the Priestfield in August 2009 in suspicious circumstances. Having claimed that injury was keeping him from playing for the Cobblers in the first few games of the season he played his first match back for Gillingham on the very night he signed!
Last Six Meetings…
15/01/11: Gillingham 1-0 Cobblers
Cody McDonald’s goal separated the two teams in our last meeting back in January.
30/10/10: Cobblers 2-1 Gillingham
Chris Palmer put the Gills in front in this Sixfields encounter but after Dean Beckwith levelled things, Leon McKenzie netted the winner from the spot just before the break.
16/02/08: Cobblers 4-0 Gillingham
The Cobblers put four past Gillingham back in February 2008. Jason Crowe and Bayo Akinenwa scored within a minute of each other on the brink of half-time before Bayo grabbed another just after the break. Giles Coke rounded it off with the fourth just after the hour.
19/01/08: Gillingham 0-1 Cobblers
Daniel Jones’ early free kick was the difference in this one with the winger’s stunner into the top corner earning the Cobblers an important victory.
16/02/07: Cobblers 1-1 Gillingham
Dean McDonald looked like he’d won this one for Gillingham at Sixfields after his goal on the hour mark but with just four minutes to go Jordan Robertson nicked a point for Town.
19/08/06: Gillingham 0-1 Cobblers
Andy Kirk nets the only goal of a tight game as the Cobblers earn a first win since promotion back to League One.
The Man In The Middle…
Carl Berry is the man in charge at the Priestfield having emerged as a Football League referee this season. Berry has never refereed a Cobblers game in the past.
It’s difficult to see us getting anything from Gillingham so I’ll have to go with my fall back draw when I can’t bring myself to predict a defeat…1-1.