Saturday, November 17th 2012
With so much drama taking place in the last seven days – Bayo’s hat-trick, extra time and penalties at Bradford and twelve goals in two games – you can forgive Cobblers fans for needing a break this weekend but it’s back to league action straight away as struggling Wycombe Wanderers come to town. It’s the first of two home games in a few days for Town and with a small unbeaten run in the league behind us it’s a chance to edge back up towards the right end of the table.
Wanderers were relegated last season and have found it tough to pick themselves up in the tough world of League Two so far. I still expect a battle, though, with new boss Gareth Ainsworth putting his own mark on the side.
Waddock out as Ainsworth takes charge…
Gary Waddock began the season still in charge of the Chairboys but paid the price after a poor start that saw his side lose six of the first eight games. Gareth Ainsworth stepped up to become player/manager and after taking Wanderers out of the drop zone as caretaker manager, he was appointed full time in the position on November 8th.
Last minute winner denies Chairboys…
Last weekend saw Rochdale come away from Adams Park with all three points thanks to a dramatic last minute winner from ‘Dale’s Bobby Grant. Ashley Grimes had given the visitors the lead but Joel Grant looked to have earned a point before his namesake clinched it. That defeat left Wycombe without a win in six games in all competitions.
Cobblers midfielder Chris Hackett spent time on loan at Wycombe from Millwall earlier in 2012, making seven appearances in League One.
Ben Harding also played for Wanderers in the first half of last season, also turning out seven times for the club before joining the Cobblers on loan.
This week we learned that John Johnson will need another operation on his knee which will keep him out until January alongside fellow defender David Artell. There is some good news for Town, though, with Chris Hackett and Bayo Akinfenwa recovering from the midweek bug that affected the squad for the cup replay at Bradford. Lee Nicholls and Jake Robinson return after being cup tied for that game whilst Ben Harding could also feature for the first time in a couple of months. Louis Moult sits out the final game of his three game ban after his sending off at York last week.
Wycombe striker Matt McClure could return after recovering from a hamstring injury and coming back into training this week. Danny Foster is another who could come back into contention after a groin injury. Gary Doherty, Matt Spring, Jo Kuffour and Anthony Stewart are all longer absentees who will definitely miss out on Saturday but the club hope they will all return to training within the next week.
Previous Six Meetings…
16/04/11: Wycombe 2-2 Cobblers (League Two)
An entertaining encounter at Adams Park saw Shaun Harrad give Town the lead from the penalty spot on twenty minutes before Guillem Bauza doubled the advantage. But second half goals from Scott Donnelly and Leon Johnson earned Wycombe a point en route to their eventual promotion.
28/08/11: Cobblers 1-1 Wycombe (League Two)
Andy Sandell looked like he had claimed all three points for Wanderers after netting in the first half but the Cobblers won a late penalty which was converted by Kevin Thornton to give us a share of the spoils.
01/09/09: Wycombe 2-2 Cobblers – After extra time, Cobblers win 3-0 on pens (JPT First Round)
A back and forth JPT First Round tie saw Ryan Gilligan hand Town the lead from the spot before John-Paul Pittman levelled via the same method. Steve Guinan thought he had won it when he scored four minutes from time but Pittman equalised again in stoppage time. After a goalless period of extra time, though, Wycombe contrived to miss all of their penalties in the shoot-out. The Cobblers scored all three of their kicks and headed through to Round Two.
31/01/06: Cobblers 0-0 Wycombe (League Two)
Stalemate at Sixfields as the Cobblers’ charge towards promotion is temporarily halted by a stubborn Wycombe side.
05/11/05: Wycombe 1-3 Cobblers (FA Cup First Round)
Town overcame a tough cup tie at Adams Park in a fantastic contest. Chris Doig broke the deadlock just before the hour with a well taken low shot before Martin Smith made it two a few minutes later. Scott McGleish wrapped it up with ten minutes to play by breaking through and finishing well and despite a late goal from future Cobbler Joe Burnell, we had done enough to pick up a fine victory.
02/09/05: Wycombe 1-1 Cobblers (League Two)
Tight contest in which David Hunt’s long ranger handed us the advantage. But the second began with the sending off of Cobblers defender Pedj Bojic and Wycombe earned a point through Mike Williamson.
The man in the middle…
Taking charge for this one is Paul Tierney. Tierney last oversaw a Cobblers game last March in the narrow 1-0 win at Dagenham and Redbridge. He has shown 31 yellow cards and two reds in thirteen games so far this season.
With a new man in charge there’s a sense of transition around our visitors on Saturday but that could work either way. We need to be picking up points in threes at home to carry on this momentum and I think we can nick this one by the odd goal. 2-1