As the hectic Christmas and New Year football calendar calms down a bit and we’re back to the regular Saturday routines the Cobblers travel to Morecambe, home to a Town victory on the final day of last season. Aidy Boothroyd has slowly but surely been chipping away at his squad and bringing in more quality with Blair Adams, Ben Harding and Akwasi Asante making their debuts over the last couple of weeks.
And following an excellent point at Shrewsbury Town the confidence appears to be streaming back to a side that, a month earlier, appeared to have lost the plot. Ironically despite these better performances we’re in a lower league position and sit three points from safety going into the trip north to the Globe Arena.
Morecambe had a mixed bag over Christmas with a 2-1 home defeat by Accrington Stanley on Boxing Day followed by a draw with Burton Albion. Last Monday, though, saw the Shrimps pick up a good 1-0 win at Crewe with Kevin Ellison’s tenth goal of the season earning his side all three points.
Morecambe striker Jason Price signed an extended deal this week to stay at the club until the end of the season. Price has scored twice in fourteen games this season and goes straight back into the squad for Saturday’s game. (more to follow…)
The Cobblers could be unchanged with Asante, Adams and Harding all putting in strong showings at Shrewsbury along side goal scorer Saido Berahino. That may mean another start from the bench for Bayo Akinfenwa but with Morecambe a powerful outfit we could yet see the big man utilised from the off should Boothroyd want to mix it up with them.
27/08/11: Cobblers 0-2 Morecambe
The reverse fixture earlier this season saw two first half goals – one from Phil Jevons and the other a Laurence Wilson penalty – earn Morecambe all three points as they built on a good start to the season.
07/05/11: Morecambe 1-2 Cobblers
On the final day of last season there wasn’t a lot to play for but Gary Johnson picked up a rare win as Cobblers boss with Kevin Thornton giving Town the lead. Ben Tozer sealed it late on before Niall Cowperthwaite netted a late consolation for the hosts.
15/02/11: Cobblers 3-3 Morecambe
In a six goal thriller, John Johnson headed the Cobblers in front but Morecambe levelled when Kevan Hurst shot through a crowd of players mid-way through the first half. Kevin Thornton restored the lead before Jimmy Spencer equalised again for the visitors. Leon McKenzie tucked in a penalty to make it 3-2 but for the third time, Morecambe hit back again with Paul Mullin having the final say.
20/03/10: Cobblers 2-0 Morecambe
Goals from Liam Davis and Ryan Gilligan give the Cobblers a comfortable victory in the first ever Sixfields meeting between the sides.
24/10/99: Morecambe 2-4 Cobblers
Town came out on top in the first ever game between the two with Steve Guinan even getting on the score sheet! Guinan opened the scoring but we were 2-1 down by half time thanks to a Phil Jevons penalty and a Stuart Drummond header. But a second half blitz gave us the victory with Andy Holt equalising and further goals from John Johnson and Bayo Akinfenwa wrapping it up.
The Man In The Middle…
Mark Heywood is the man charged with keeping order of this one. Heywood too charge of the Cobblers’ 3-2 defeat against Cheltenham Town back in August and has shown just one red card in his fifteen games this season.
I have a funny feeling about this one…it will be tough but we have to win again at some point and I think it’s time for those three points after increasingly improved performances from the Cobblers. So I’m going for a repeat score line from last season with Town winning 2-1.