Bristol Rovers v Northampton Town: Match Preview

Bristol Rovers v Northampton Town

League Two

Saturday, October 6th 2012

Following a disappointing defeat on Tuesday night the Cobblers are on the road tomorrow afternoon with a trip to Mark McGee’s struggling Bristol Rovers side. With injuries piling up for Town following that game there’s a need for new blood so hopefully there will be some news on that front before this game kicks off at the Memorial Stadium.

Poor start extended after Rubies defeat…

Rovers are still looking for their first home win of the season after Wednesday night’s 1-0 reverse against Cheltenham Town at the Memorial Stadium. The defeat was made worse by the fact that former Gas head Chris Zebroski netted the winner for the Rubies in the first half. They had, however, beaten Exeter on the road just a few days previous so there are at least some signs that a shocking start may be starting to turn.

Riordan looking to resurrect career…

Former Hibernian striker Derek Riordan signed for Rovers last week and made his first two appearances against Exeter and Cheltenham. Riordan has signed on a three month deal having ended a spell in Chinese football on a deal until Christmas. He is due to stand trial in Edinburgh next month after allegedly making anti-gay comments to pub staff during an altercation in Scotland but new boss Mark McGee has handed him a fresh start with Rovers.

 

Higgs…began career with Rovers

Club Links…

Cobblers keeper Shane Higgs started his career with Bristol Rovers but only made ten first team appearances.

Rovers loan keeper Sam Walker was with the Cobblers last season, playing twenty one times under Gary Johnson before following Johnson to Yeovil on loan. He signed on loan at the Memorial Stadium this season and has played three times so far.

 

Team News…

The hosts will welcome back centre back Tom Parkes from suspension and he looks set to go straight back into the starting line up alongside Gary Kenneth.

The Cobblers are without Luke Guttridge and John Johnson who picked up long term injuries during the midweek defeat to Gillingham while Ben Harding is also missing for the next month.

 

Previous Six meetings…

06/03/12: Cobblers 3-2 Bristol Rovers (League Two)

A massive win for the Cobblers towards League Two survival last season. Bayo Akinfenwa scored twice in the opening ten minutes before Kelvin Langmead put us three up before half time. Craig Stanley and Lee Brown, from the spot, made it a nervy finish but Town held on for three valuable points.

16/08/11: Bristol Rovers 2-1 Cobblers (League Two)

The Cobblers suffered their first defeat of last season at the Memorial Stadium as Jo Kuffour and Matt Harrold scored either side of a Bayo Akinfenwa strike to earn Rovers all the points at the Memorial Stadium.

10/04/09: Bristol Rovers 1-0 Cobblers (League One)

A Good Friday meeting between the clubs was settled by Jo Kuffour’s goal with twenty minutes to play in a season that would eventually see the Cobblers relegated from League One.

28/12/08: Cobblers 0-0 Bristol Rovers (League One)

Tame stalemate just after Christmas in 2008, part of a sequence that saw the Cobblers win just once in eight games at the end of the calendar year.

12/03/08: Bristol Rovers 1-1 Cobblers (League One)

Sean Rigg put the hosts in front on the stroke of half-time but ten minutes after the break Danish striker Poul Hubertz equalised. An unlikely tilt at the playoffs would follow for Town but in the end we had to settle for a respectable ninth place in League One under Stuart Gray.

06/11/07: Cobblers 0-1 Bristol Rovers (League One)

The Cobblers had lost by a single goal against Southend just a couple of days before this one and it was another narrow defeat at Sixfields against the Gas with Rickie Lambert powering in the winner with twenty minutes to go.

 

The Man in the Middle…

The official for this one is Mark Brown, who was at Preston last weekend as North End beat Yeovil 3-2 in a game that saw Brown send off Yeovil’s Ed Upson. The last time that he was involved in a Cobblers game was in the 2-1 home win over Oxford towards the end of last season with the referee sending off Oxford’s Michael Duberry late on.

 

Prediction…

I’ll be in attendance at the Memorial Stadium so hopefully we can get back on track after Tuesday night’s defeat against Gillingham. I think we can nick this one so will go for a 2-1 win that eluded me in Tuesday’s prediction!

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