Another home game, another one in the ‘winnable’ category. As with Barnet two weeks ago there’s a sense that this one must be won but there needs to be an improvement in this lack of ability to focus for the full ninety minutes. Clarke Carlisle has talked about that aspect of things this week and should add some much needed experience to the back four. With a Johnson/Guttridge/Harding trio in front of his newly shaken up defence there’s a good back bone now in place and we desperately need to get a couple of goals in front in this one if we’re to improve on a dire home record.
Macclesfield have trained for the match with a few days away in the Canary Islands and will return looking to end a run of five straight league defeats since the turn of the year…in fact the only team the Silkmen have taken anything from in 2012 is Premier League side Bolton Wanderers who they took to a replay in the FA Cup before bravely bowing out at the Reebok Stadium.
The Cobblers have now lost three in a row and have fallen to the foot of the table with three points now the gap between us and Dagenham in 22nd. With a crunch game at the Dagger’s coming next Saturday to say we need this one badly is an understatement. Just one win in fourteen home games so far means it’ll be another nervy afternoon for the Sixfields faithful.
Macc’s terrible run of form in 2012 has seen them sink to 19th in League Two having been comfortably in mid-table on December 31st after a 2-1 home win over Port Vale. But since then, defeats to Accrington, Torquay, Swindon, Wimbledon and Cheltenham have seen them slump towards the wrong end of the table. They’re still relatively safe with eight point separating them from the drop zone but they will be desperate to end this sequence.
Clarke Carlisle should be handed a first Cobblers start after signing on Tuesday with Luke Guttridge also set for a reintroduction to the home fans. Other than long term injury victims Shane Higgs and Nana we have a clean bill of health going into he game.
Macclesfield striker Ben Tomlinson trained with the squad this week after recovering from a calf strain picked up at Accrington but the Sixfields trip looks like coming too soon for him. George Donnelly is also still missing with a similar problem and Dwaine Mattis’ ankle strain will keep him out of the game as well. Meanwhile, Gary Simpson’s men will also be without Ross Draper, Lewis Chalmers and Sam Wedgbury.
17/09/11: Macclesfield 3-1 Cobblers
A late flurry from the Silkmen inflicts defeat on the Cobblers earlier this season. After Marlon Jackson had levelled following a Ben Tomlinson opener it looked like we’d go home with at least a point but Tomlinson netted again in the 84th minute before Colin Daniel sealed it four minutes later.
12/03/11: Cobblers 0-1 Macclesfield
In Gary Johnson’s third game in charge of the Cobblers, Colin Daniel nets the only goal of the game to send his side above the Cobblers in the race to stay in League Two. The victory completed a league double for the Silkmen over Town last season.
02/10/10: Macclesfield 2-0 Cobblers
Hamza Bencherif gives Macc the lead in the first half before Nat Brown’s 71st minute goal seals a comfortable victory over the Cobblers.
20/01/10: Macclesfield 0-2 Cobblers
Luke Guttridge and Bayo Akinfenwa score the goals that earn a good away win for the Cobblers in early 2010.
08/08/09: Cobblers 0-0 Macclesfield
A tame goalless draw on the opening day of the 2009/10 season sees both sides go home with a share of the spoils.
21/01/06: Cobblers 5-0 Macclesfield
En route to automatic promotion in 2006, Ian Taylor gives the Cobblers the lead before Andy Kirk doubles the advantage before half time. Scott McGleish’s goal on the hour makes it three before late goals from Taylor and Kirk again make it a memorable afternoon at Sixfields.
The Man In The Middle…
Carl Berry takes charge tomorrow and if the game is anything like his last game involving the Cobblers it’ll be a cracker after Berry was the referee for the 4-3 defeat at Gillingham back in November!
It was a must win for the last home game, with Barnet, so I’m keeping quiet this time…how about I just keep quiet this time and predict 0-0…!