Northampton Town v Accrington Stanley: Match Preview

sixfieldsNorthampton Town v Accrington Stanley

League Two

Saturday, March 9th 2013

The Cobblers laid down a huge marker for this season back in November when Bayo Akinfenwa scored a glorious hat-trick in a 4-2 win up at the Crown Ground to secure only a second away win of the season. As the sides prepare to meet again, Town will need to protect the fortress against a Stanley side fighting for their lives at the wrong end of League Two.

Results for them have picked up slightly of late but they are still just a point above the drop zone and with every point so precious to both sides coming into the Sixfields clash it should be another tight afternoon with the final furlong of the season approaching.

Town looking to extend Sixfields run…

The Cobblers have extended their winning home run to seven straight games recently with triumphs over Plymouth Argyle and Bristol Rovers and will be happy to be back on familiar ground after last weekend’s 3-0 hammering at Exeter. Stanley are coming into the game off the back of five points from three games collected from home draws with Cheltenham and Torquay and a thumping 3-0 win at Rochdale ten days ago.

Beattie aiming to help Stanley to safety…

35-Year-Old former Southampton, Everton and Rangers striker James Beattie has scored five goals in fourteen appearances since joining Accrington in November in a player-coach role. Beattie notched two in the recent 2-2 draw with Cheltenham Town and will be looking to add more to his tally at Sixfields.

 

Moult...has played for both sides

Moult…has played for both sides

Club Links…

Accrington keeper Paul Rachubka was briefly with the Cobblers back in 2004, making ten appearances whilst on loan from Charlton Athletic.

Defender Mark Hughes was a popular figure at Sixfields during his two year spell between 2007 and 2009. Hughes played over ninety times for Town and scored four times.

Cobblers on loan stopper Lee Nicholls played nine times for Accrington last season, making his debut against Swindon Town last February.

Striker Louis Moult, currently on loan at Nuneaton from the Cobblers, played four times for Stanley in 2011 whilst on loan from Stoke City.

 

Team News…

Chris Hackett could return for the Cobblers after being left out of last Saturday’s defeat at Exeter. Apart from Alex Nicholls’ long term injury there are no major concerns for Aidy Boothroyd.

Accrington have, according to reports, today signed Francis Jeffers on a short term deal meaning that we could be facing a former England strike force of Jeffers and Beattie tomorrow afternoon! Elsewhere goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin and striker Padraig Amond are missing while former Cobbler Mark Hughes could be out for the season.

 

Previous Six Meetings…

10/11/12: Accrington 2-4 Cobblers (League Two)

Bayo Akinfenwa hit a stunning hat-trick including a memorable diving header to earn a big three points for the Cobblers at the Crown Ground. The big man had given us the lead early on before George Miller and Romy Boco turned the game in the home side’s favour. But substitute Jake Robinson equalised before Bayo took centre stage to score the two goals that won it for Town.

17/03/12: Accrington 2-1 Cobblers (League Two)

Jamie Devitt put Stanley in front just before half-time before loan striker Brett Williams looked to have earned us a point. But Craig Linfield popped up with three minutes to go to win the game for the hosts as the Cobblers battled relegation at the end of last season.

06/08/11: Cobblers 0-0 Accrington (League Two)

The opening day of the 2011/12 season saw the sides cancel each other out on a frustrating afternoon. Jake Robinson went closest for Town with a turn and shot that was cleared off the line in the first half.

02/04/11: Accrington 3-1 Cobblers (League Two)

Accrington took a three goal lead into half-time through Ian Craney’s double strike and Sean McConville. Michael Jacob’s second half goal wasn’t enough to prevent a big defeat at the Crown Ground.

14/08/10: Cobblers 0-0 Accrington (League Two)

In the first home game of the 2010/11 season, there was a similar outcome to that of the start of the next season with a 0-0 draw kicking off the League Two Sixfields campaign.

09/02/10: Cobblers 4-0 Accrington (League Two)

A comfortable afternoon at Sixfields saw Town run out 4-0 winners thanks to goals from Bayo Akinfenwa, Billy McKay (2) and Luke Guttridge.

The man in the middle…

Stuart Attwell takes charge on Saturday afternoon at Sixfields. Atwell was the official for the Cobblers’ recent 3-0 reverse at Chesterfield and was refereeing in the Premier League as recently as last season before being demoted in February of last year. He has shown 94 yellow cards and 2 reds so far this season.

 

Prediction…

With seven wins in a row at home under our belt this is, on paper, a chance to make it eight but I fear that eventually we’re going to be hit by a surprise result at Sixfields. I hope it’s not this one but Stanley are improving and will be battling hard so this could be the day the run of wins ends. 1-1.

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