Saturday, February 23rd 2013
After the Cobblers’ away form took a turn for the better in the last seven days with four points picked up from Southend and AFC Wimbledon, it’s back to ‘Fortress’ Sixfields where Plymouth Argyle will be hoping to become the first team to take points from us at home in this calendar year. It’s the first of back to back home games against sides from the West Country with Bristol Rovers arriving at Sixfields on Tuesday night so if the playoff dream is to live on then this increasingly impressive run at home must continue through the next few days.
Sheridan hoping to bring about change of fortunes…
Former Oldham and Chesterfield manager John Sheridan was appointed as the new boss of Plymouth at the start of January as the club look to avoid relegation once again. Since taking over from Carl Fletcher, Sheridan has overseen two wins, two draws and one defeat. That defeat came last weekend as Oxford United took all three points away from Home Park with a 1-0 victory.
Loanee extends stay to aid options…
Arygle this week extended the loan spell of Reading striker Gozie Ugwu and the striker will now stay with the club until March 23rd. He was unable to make his full debut until last weekend due to an ankle injury but is fighting fit now and gives John Sheridan another option up front.
Anthony Charles was playing for the Cobblers earlier this season before being released by Aidy Boothroyd. He joined Plymouth in January and comes up against his former club on Saturday.
Fellow Plymouth defender Guy Branston is another to have donned the claret…he made three appearances for the Cobblers in 2007 whilst on loan from Peterborough United.
Aidy Boothroyd made one or two changes on Tuesday night for the trip to Wimbledon so the likes of Luke Guttridge, Chris Hackett, Ben Harding and Clive Platt could all come back into contention for a starting place. Joe Widdowson’s tenth booking of the season at Wimbledon means that he must sit out of this one so Lee Collins is likely to deputise at left back.
Plymouth could bring Andres Gurrieri into the fold but striker Nick Chadwick will definitely miss out as he serves the last of a six game suspension brought about by a red card for violent conduct during a game at Port Vale last month. Curtis Nelson, a scorer when the sides last met, will again miss out due to a groin injury that will keep him away from action for longer than expected.
Previous Six Meetings…
01/09/12: Plymouth 3-2 Cobblers (League Two)
Alex Nicholls gave the Cobblers a 26th minute lead at Home Park but Warren Feeney levelled just after half-time. Rhys Griffiths scored just before the hour to turn the game in Argyle’s favour and Curtis Nelson made it three. David Artell’s stoppage time strike was merely a consolation and there was no time to grab a point.
24/03/12: Cobblers 0-0 Plymouth (League Two)
Tight draw at Sixfields as neither side can make the breakthrough with both clubs making progress towards League Two survival.
26/11/11: Plymouth 4-1 Cobblers (League Two)
As the Cobblers came under the caretaker management of Tim Flowers for one game, Plymouth smelt blood and were 4-0 up at half-time thanks to goals from Simon Walton (penalty), Nick Chadwick, Will Atkinson and Ashley Hemmings. Bayo Akinfenwa got a late consolation but it was a desperate day for the Cobblers in Devon.
08/11/03: Cobblers 3-2 Plymouth (FA Cup First Round)
The Cobblers, in League Two, saw off the League One Pilgrims in an enthralling cup tie at Sixfields. David Friio put the visitors in front before Richard Walker sent the sides in level at half time. Chris Hargreaves scored against his old side on the hour but Ian Stonebridge equalised. The stage was set for a dramatic finale and Derek Asamoah provided it with a fine winner to send us through to Round Two.
26/04/03: Cobblers 2-2 Plymouth (League One)
David Norris had the Pilgrims in front at the break with Ian Stonebridge making it two ten minutes after the restart. But goals from Darryn Stamp and Steve Morison earned the Cobblers a well-deserved point despite already being relegated from the division.
05/10/02: Plymouth 0-0 Cobblers (League One)
Stalemate at Home Park as the Cobblers frustrate their hosts enough to earn a point.
The man in the middle…
David Phillips is the man in charge on Saturday having last refereed a Cobblers game at the start of this season in the 2-1 victory over Cardiff City in the League Cup. He also happened to be the official in this fixture last season, a 0-0 draw between the sides at Sixfields.
It was a scrappy game on Tuesday night but back on home soil this should be a game where we go at the opposition from the off with Chris Hackett hopefully restored as we search for another home win. I think we can get it but beware anyone taking this lightly based on Argyle’s league position. 1-0