Hereford United v Northampton Town: Match Preview

There’s still lingering thoughts niggling away at Cobblers fans up and down the land as we head into this weekend. We all know that despite Aidy Boothroyd continuously saying that we’re safe, we won’t breathe easily until it’s absolutely confirmed. We get a fourth chance to seal it this weekend against one of the sides trying to catch the chasing pack, Hereford United.

The Bulls missed an ideal chance to close some of the gap last week when they could only draw at Barnet but they’ll still be fired up for the run-in with still only a three point gap separating themselves from the Bees in 22nd.

For every nervy Town fan, please Cobblers, make it this weekend when those fears are extinguished!

Form…

Hereford come into the game rock bottom of League Two and are three points from safety after a 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Barnet last Friday night. They’re without a win in seven games coming into this weekend, the last victory coming in a 1-0 away success at Morecambe on March 10th.

The Cobblers have now lost the last three games having gone down by a single goal at Swindon and then back to back 3-1 defeats against Bradford and home and Crawley away on Tuesday night.

Pell...recalled

Team News…

Hereford boss Richard O’Kelly recalled Harry Pell from his loan spell at Cambridge United this week with the midfielder set to go straight back into action against the Cobblers. Pell scored two goals in six appearances for the U’s before he was called back to Edgar Street. Rob Purdie has been battling injury for some time but he could also be in contention while Doncaster loanee James Baxendale could make his first start after featuring as a late substitute last week.

The Cobblers will welcome back Ben Harding who missed out on Tuesday night’s defeat to Crawley Town and last weekend’s loss to Bradford. Toni Silva could also come back into contention after coming off the bench on Tuesday night.

Club Links…

Three members of the current Cobblers squad have featured on loan for Hereford in the past with Lewis Young (2010), Byron Webster (2010) and Nathaniel Wedderburn (2009) all having spent time with the Bulls.

Last Six Meetings…

25/10/11: Cobblers 1-3 Hereford

A disappointing home defeat for the Cobblers earlier this season saw Nathan Elder and Steven Leslie put the Bulls 2-0 up at half-time. Saido Berahino pulled one back but Harry Pell sealed the victory and restored the two goal margin for the visitors twenty minutes from time.

22/02/11: Hereford 1-1 Cobblers

A relegation six pointer at Edgar Street saw Andy Holt head the Cobblers in front before Waide Fairhurst equalised to earn Hereford a point.

16/10/11: Cobblers 3-4 Hereford

Leon McKenzie’s first half hat-trick looked like seeing us home to three easy points but a stunning second half recovery from the visitors gave  them the most unlikely of victories. Stuart Fleetwood’s brace got the ball rolling before James McQuilkin levelled the game. Mathieu Manset scored the winner before Ben Tozer was sent off with three minutes to go.

23/02/10: Hereford 0-2 Cobblers

Billy McKay and Bayo Akinfenwa were on target as the Cobblers earned a big victory at Edgar Street in February 2010.

01/12/09: Cobblers 1-3 Hereford

Ryan Gilligan’ scored in the very first minute of the game but goals from Darren Jones, Mathieu Manset and Craig King turned it on its head as the Bulls secure a fine away win.

25/04/09: Cobblers 2-1 Hereford

As the Cobblers battled against the drop in League One, Andy Holt gave us a crucial lead but Andy Williams levelled things for Hereford at the start of the second half. With twenty minutes to go, Jason Crowe scored the winner but it would be the final victory of the season as back to back defeats sealed eventual relegation.

The Man In The Middle…

The referee for the trip to Edgar Street is James Linnington who last took charge of the Cobblers back in January in the 1-0 reverse at Torquay United.

Prediction…

So it’s another chance to pick up those vital points that we’ve been waiting for in the last three games. Hereford will be up for it but I think we should be good enough to clinch at least a draw, which would be enough should Macclesfield fail to win at Bradford. 1-1

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