Saturday, December 22nd 2012
It’s the last game before Christmas and what better way to go into the holidays than with a Cobblers victory?! On paper, a home game with a struggling side would seem an ideal opportunity to do just that but you can never write off Aldershot to put a spanner in the works! There will be a big hole in the front line with the absence of Bayo Akinfenwa due to his suspension but hopefully we can manage to still put something together to warm the cockles of the home support one last time at home this year.
Early Kick off…
Don’t forget it’s a 2pm kick off for this one with the Cobblers moving their start time so that no problems arise (in theory anyway!) with the Northampton Saints game starting on the same afternoon. That means that a Cobblers win would lift us into the top half for at least at hour!
Hylton the man of the round…
Aldershot striker Danny Hylton was recently named the FA Cup player of the round for Round Two as he helped his side beat Fleetwood Town 3-2 by scoring twice as the Shots progressed to a Third Round tie against Rotherham United. Hylton has scored five times in the league this season and is the club’s second top scorer behind Craig Reid.
Road to recovery…
The Shots were really struggling up until that cup game but it has sparked off a mini revival with a draw at Oxford followed by last weekend’s 4-2 home win over Rochdale. They had only scored three times at the EBB Stadium before Saturday but blew that record away with a fine attacking display, meaning that they’ll be hungry for more at Sixfields.
Impressive on the road…
Aldershot have a good record away from home as late and are six unbeaten on the road in all competitions. That run has included victories at Southend, Burton and Fleetwood Town.
The Cobblers’ big gap will be that of Bayo Akinfenwa who picked up his fifth booking of the season at Torquay at the weekend so misses this game. David Artell and John Johnson won’t be back for another few weeks while Luke Guttridge is on the road to recovery but won’t be fit enough to face his former club. Joe Widdowson is, though, expected to return after missing the trip to Plainmoor with a dead leg. Ishmel Demontagnac is another to come back into the squad after serving a one match ban on Saturday.
Aldershot will be without defender Ben Herd who was sent off late on during the 4-2 win over Rochdale last weekend. They also have to contend with two other suspensions with Peter Vincenti and Troy Brown both picking up their fifth booking of the season last week meaning that they serve their one match bans tomorrow. Sonny Bradley missed the Rochdale game through illness but is expected to come back into the side for the trip to Sixfields. Elsewhere, Guy Madjo is back from a three month spell on loan at Plymouth and could come back into contention.
Defender Anthony Charles has previously been with Aldershot on two different occasions. He made 37 appearances in the 2002/03 season before re-joining the club in 2007 and spending another four years at the EBB Stadium.
Cobblers forward Jake Robinson also spent two periods of his career on loan at Aldershot, in the 2004-05 season and again in 2009, scoring eight times in the two spells.
Luke Guttridge signed for Town from Aldershot back in January after a year and a half with the club whom he joined from the Cobblers in 2010.
Fellow midfielder Ben Harding played 143 times for the Shots between 2007 and 2011. He would sign for Wycombe in 2011 but limited chances there saw him sign for the Cobblers early this year.
Previous Six Meetings…
10/03/12: Cobblers 3-1 Aldershot (League Two)
The Cobblers completed a league double over the Shots by winning at Sixfields. Kelvin Langmead struck on twenty minutes before Bayo Akinfenwa made the game safe by scoring twice either side of half time. Danny Hylton got a late consolation but the points were comfortably collected by Aidy Boothroyd’s men.
13/08/11: Aldershot 0-1 Cobblers (League Two)
In the first away game of last season, the Cobblers came away with the win thanks to an early Ashley Westwood goal.
19/02/11: Cobblers 1-1 Aldershot (League Two)
This was the fourth in the Cobblers’ six game drawing sequence in the 2010/11 season with Ben Tozer opening the scoring early on. Peter Vincenti would earn a point for the Shots before Shaun Harrad was sent off with eight minutes to play.
04/09/10: Aldershot 1-1 Cobblers (League Two)
An injury time leveller from Ben Harding broke down the Cobblers after Billy McKay’s neatly taken goal in the first half looked to have given us all three points at the EBB Stadium.
12/02/10: Cobblers 0-3 Aldershot (League Two)
In one of his first appearances for the club, Kevin Thornton was sent off after just eleven minutes. From the resulting free kick, Marvin Morgan put the visitors in front and would go on to claim a second after Kirk Hudson had extended their lead in the second half.
24/11/09: Aldershot 2-1 Cobblers (League Two)
Luke Guttridge put the Cobblers into the lead on a cold Tuesday night at the EBB Stadium. But a real collapse late on saw the hosts completely turn it around thanks to a Scott Donnelly penalty and a Marvin Morgan winner in the last minute of the game.
The Man in the middle…
Taking charge on Saturday is Tim Robinson who is in his first year in the Football League. Robinson has refereed thirteen matches so far this season, showing thirty one yellow cards and just one red.
This falls under the ‘need to win’ category if we’re to keep momentum flowing and it’ll be interesting to see how we fare without Bayo. But I still think we have enough in the tank to go into Christmas on a high. 2-1