As things begin to look more and more positive, the Cobblers go into a clash with Accrington Stanley in the rare position for this season of being in better form than the opposition. The high still being felt from Tuesday night’s morale boosting win at Dagenham and Redbridge will hopefully be hanging around the squad as we head north for the next part of Operation Survival.
Aidy Boothroyd won’t be letting anyone rest on their laurels ahead of this one and we need to put to bed some dreadful memories of the trip to the Crown Ground last season where three goals before half-time killed the Cobblers off before we’d had a chance to get going. The Boothroyd squad is a lot healthier than the Johnson squad of those times though and if we can pick up something here then momentum will still be with us for the final furlong of the season.
Accrington are on a poor run of form and sit second bottom of the League Two form table having picked up just three points from a possible eighteen available. Those three points have come in the last three games though and include good draws against Port Vale and, last weekend, away at high flying Southend United where Padraig Amond netted a stoppage time equaliser despite his side being reduced to ten men earlier in the game.
The Cobblers have won three on the bounce having beaten Bristol Rovers and Aldershot Town at home before taking all three points from Dagenham on Tuesday night.
Accrington boss Paul Cook has completed the emergency loan signing of Scunthorpe’s Bobby Grant this week with the striker, who began his career with Stanley and made over fifty appearances for the club, agreeing an initial one month spell back at the Crown Ground. He goes straight into the squad for tomorrow’s game. But Michael Liddle, having been sent off in last weekend’s draw with Southend United, misses out through suspension.
The Cobblers’ only squad change could see new signing Anthony Charles given a place in the side after completing a deal, which keeps him at Sixfields until the end of the season, this week.
Previous Six Meetings…
06/08/11: Cobblers 0-0 Accrington
The opening day of the season saw the Cobblers, under the stewardship of Gary Johnson, held to a competitive goalless draw by Stanley at Sixfields.
02/04/11: Accrington 3-1 Cobblers
Town slipped to a worrying defeat as a first half blitz sent us closer to the relegation zone. Ian Craney struck twice in the opening half an hour before Sean McConville made it three before the break. A Michael Jacobs consolation mid-way through the second half was nowhere near enough and Stanley continued their march towards the playoffs.
14/08/10: Cobblers 0-0 Accrington
The sides met in the first league game at Sixfields last season as well with a stale mate and a frustrating afternoon for the home support following a promising win over Brighton in the Carling Cup the previous Tuesday.
09/02/10: Cobblers 4-0 Accrington
An important victory for the Cobblers, who at that point were on the way up the table in search of a late playoff surge. Bayo Akinfenwa gave us the lead and a second half brace from Billy McKay combined with a Luke Guttridge strike sealed a comfortable afternoon.
18/08/09: Accrington 0-3 Cobblers
A big win to kick start the 2009/10 season and to prolong Stuart Gray’s reign at the club. Steve Guinan netted his first for the Cobblers early on and Bayo slotted in a penalty fifteen minutes later. Billy McKay would score the first of three goals against Stanley that season to round off the victory.
25/04/61: Cobblers 2-1 Accrington
En route from promotion from Division Four, the Cobblers picked up a crucial win at the County Ground and ended up finishing in third place behind Peterborough United and Crystal Palace.
The Man In The Middle…
Michael Naylor is in charge on Saturday having previously refereed the Cobblers’ 2-1 cup upset at Ipswich Town earlier this season and Accrington’s 1-1 draw at Macclesfield in November. Naylor was officiating the 2-2 draw between Torquay and Bristol Rovers last weekend.
There’s renewed confidence in the Cobblers ranks these days and although it’s a tough looking trip on paper there’s no reason why we can’t extend the good run with a point here. 1-1