Northampton Town v Gillingham: Match Preview

Northampton Town v Gillingham

League Two

Tuesday, October 2nd 2012

After suffering their first league defeat of the season at home to Rochdale on Saturday, Gillingham bring their 100% away record to Sixfields this evening looking to get back on track in their bid to remain as the front runners in League Two.

The Cobblers are coming into the game on the back of two very different draws, 0-0 against Chesterfield at home and 3-3 at Burton on Saturday afternoon – a match that saw Town recover from 2-0 and 3-2 down to nick a point. It’s set to be a lively and entertaining evening in the latest Tuesday night encounter for Aidy Boothroyd to face.

Tuesday night successes for Town boss…

Boothroyd has won nine out of ten Tuesday night games since becoming Town boss in December of last year, the latest of which was at Dagenham and Redbridge a couple of weeks ago as Bayo Akinfenwa scored the winner.

Gills defending perfect record on the road…

Tonight’s visitors have won all four of their away league fixtures so far, coming away victorious from Wycombe, Dagenham, Barnet and Port Vale en route to their current position sitting pretty on top of the League Two table. The Gills have also won at Bristol City in the First Round of the League Cup before being put out by Middlesbrough at home in the second.

Allen in the hot seat…

After spending the last few years fire fighting at Barnet at taking charge at Notts County, Martin Allen was named the new Gillingham manager in early July. Allen has made an immediate impact in moulding his new squad together to take them to seven wins from nine games so far this season.

Kedwell leading the way…

Former Wimbledon man Danny Kedwell has made a storming start to the campaign, scoring eight league goals to top the Gill’s leading scorer charts. His strike against Rochdale at the weekend was his twentieth in Gillingham colours since signing in 2011.

 

Bayo – set to face former club

Club Links…

Bayo Akinfenwa has played for both clubs having split his two spells at Sixfields with a year at Gillingham in the 2010/11 season. Bayo scored eleven times for the Gills in forty four appearances.

In a similar pattern, Danny Jackman left Gillingham for the Cobblers back in 2007, spending two years with Town before returning to the Priestfield Stadium in acrimonious circumstances in August 2009.

 

Team News…

The Cobblers welcome back Clive Platt after the striker recovered from his recent injury. Platt is set to start from the bench this evening along with Shane Higgs who made a welcome return to the squad on Saturday. Lewis Wilson was also missing with a dead leg for the trip to Burton but he’s another that will be back in the reckoning. Ben Harding is out for a month but his replacement, West Brom loanee Kemar Roofe played his way into a potential starting place by helping to turn the game around at Burton.

Gillingham’s ex-Cobbler Danny Jackman, along with Bradley Dack, will miss the trip to Sixfields through suspension. Charlie Lee is a doubt with a leg injury but he faces a late fitness test but Jack Payne is back in with a chance of featuring after returning to training.

 

Previous Six meetings…

28/04/12: Cobblers 1-1 Gillingham (League Two)

In the last home game of last season, young striker Lewis Wilson marked his first team debut with the opening goal of the game but Gillingham earned a point just after the break through Jo Kuffour’s strike.

05/11/11: Gillingham 4-3 Cobblers (League Two)

A memorable match at the Priestfield saw Jo Kuffour net a first half hat-trick for the home side to give them a seemingly insurmountable lead despite Saido Berahino scoring in between times for the Cobblers. A superb fight back from Town pulled things back to 3-3 with Kelvin Langmead and Berahino again hitting back before Bayo Akinfenwa missed a golden chance to put us in front. But it was the home side who took the glory in stoppage time when Danny Kedwell slotted in a penalty after Frank Nouble was brought down by Langmead to crush the Cobblers.

15/01/11: Gillingham 1-0 Cobblers (League Two)

Cody McDonald scored the only goal in an otherwise forgettable game back in January 2011 at The Priestfield.

30/10/10: Cobblers 2-1 Gillingham (League Two)

Chris Palmer gave Gillingham an early lead in the last Sixfields meeting between the two sides but Dean Beckwith levelled things before Leon McKenzie’s penalty sealed a good home win for the Cobblers.

16/02/08: Cobblers 4-0 Gillingham (League One)

Back when both sides were in League One, the Cobblers completed a league double over the Gills with a hammering thanks to a first half double from Jason Crowe and Bayo Akinfenwa and a second half which saw Bayo net again and Giles Coke complete the scoring.

19/01/08: Gillingham 0-1 Cobblers (League One)

A month before the Sixfields win, Town came home from the Priestfield with an important single goal victory after Daniel Jones’ third minute free kick turns out to be the only goal.

 

The Man in the Middle…

Simon Hooper is the man in the middle for the Gills’ visit. Hooper sent off the Cobblers’ Nick McKoy during the 2-2 draw at Southend last season and also oversaw our 1-0 win at Dagenham and Redbridge back in 2010.

 

Prediction…

It’s another big examination of the Cobblers this evening with a game against a high flying Gills side who will be looking to bounce back straight away after their first defeat of the league season at the weekend. I’m going to be confident though and predict another good Tuesday night for Aidy Boothroyd with a return to winning ways and a 2-1 win.

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