Sixfields rebranding a sign of the times but name will never be lost

News was released yesterday that Sixfields has been rebranded the PTS Academy Stadium in a sponsorship deal for the next five years. It’s something that is happening across the country at football stadiums and though there was a small outcry from a few, this shouldn’t be seen as trampling on any history or the club grabbing more money any way they can.

Yes, we will be seeing the name ‘PTS Academy Stadium’ popping up in newspapers, on television reports and highlights shows but what really changes? To fans, the stadium will always be known as Sixfields (I can’t see many saying “I’m popping down the PTS to watch the game”) and it’s a way to give a spotlight to a local company rather than a national juggernaut that would have no connection to the club or to the town.

The PTS Academy are a training provider delivering apprenticeships, traineeships and accredited courses, funded by the government with a HQ in Moulton. The partnership looks like it will benefit both sides and create another community link between the club and a partner that is delivering for young people. In short, the deal seems to have more benefits than drawbacks.

The area of the club’s location, the history going back 24 years and fan habits will mean that the Sixfields name won’t ever be lost so let’s embrace this latest change and hope that there’ll be a few ‘Sixfields Roars’ come April and May next year!


Fans hurting once again as board and council clash

Earlier today, Northampton Town released a statement from Kelvin Thomas and the Cobblers board, stating that the lack of communication from Northampton Borough Council around the East Stand’s lease position has put them in a position where they have no choice but to step aside and formalise a sale of the club. It’s the culmination of yet another period where the club and council have been on completely different wavelengths with the latest delays the straw that broke the camel’s back for Thomas.

The statement made clear Thomas’ views that there are some individuals in the council who are standing in the way of himself and the board completing a process where the land adjacent to the East Stand, a critical part in negotiations around the Sixfields site, was to be surrendered to the club thus removing any possible conflicts in the future.

It appeared, from the club statement, that some in the council will not co-operate and instead prefer to stand in the way of what is best for the club. This has led to Thomas coming to the conclusion that the best and only route forward is to remove himself from the equation. Banging his head against a brick wall with a council that clearly has issues has reached a climax and it opens the door to even more complications.

The full statement is available here.

The council’s side of the story was released a few hours later.

The statement begins:

 “Progress on the East Stand has been very much within the gift of the football club, and since taking control of the development company CDNL in 2017, the chairman has been in a position to control further adjacent land.

“The council’s position is that no lease issues have held up this process. The owners had given the council assurances when taking on the club that they had ample funds immediately available for this work

“The council has consistently shown a willingness to facilitate this development and as recently as November 2017 provided draft documentation for the club to consider.”

It goes on to say that the proposed ‘further land’ was added to the original agreement by Mr Thomas and that this part of the conversation had to go through due diligence (due to the possibility of creating retail developments outside of the town centre) to ensure that members of the public get the best value.

The statement ended by saying that a paper is already in place to be brought to cabinet on June 13.

The question of this ‘extra’ piece of land throws the debate off on a new tangent and means that we’re once again left with more questions than answers on both sides of the coin. What is this extra piece of land that the council speak of? Why wasn’t this included in part of Thomas’ statement?

And as yet another saga over Sixfields drags out, we as the Cobblers fans and the ones who will be here through many more board members and many more councillors are the ones in the dark. The club is once again being pushed to one side for the sake of someone, somewhere making money or improving their own status.

I understand both sides of this coin but what’s striking is the lack of transparency from both sides. You can talk of every stakeholder and every interested party but the stakeholders that really matter, the ones who will pass this club down through generations and plough their money and life into it, are left confused and lost in a cloud while its future is decided behind locked doors. AGAIN.

We’ve been here too many times before. The Council, the board, the people behind the statements all need to sit down, put THE CLUB first and sort a solution where the club that has the potential to bring 40,000 of its town folk together at Wembley or to a title winning parade across its cobbled streets can thrive once again. Not as a business first, but as a positive community asset. That needs to be understood on both sides as quickly as humanly possible.

Walking the tight rope


If things weren’t serious enough, we’ve now had a killer wound that’s threatening to completely alter the history of the football club we all know and love. The news last week that the council have demanded repayment of their £10.25 million loan is the latest in a long run of disasters that started with the half built stand that’s become a visible representation of the most frustrating and mysterious year of our recent history.

It’s the only time I can remember at least in the last ten years when results are becoming secondary to events in the secretive offices of Sixfields. There’s a lack of confidence from the council and, understandably, from the life blood of the club itself – the fans – and we once again pass through another week where the only noises coming from the chairman’s office are in retaliation to the biggest bullet that’s been sent his way so far. Deadlines have long gone and I’m now even further in the camp of those who have lost complete trust.

It all comes, ironically, when we’re somehow competing well enough in matches to keep ourselves within touching distance at the top of the League Two table. Coming so close to victory on Saturday against league leaders Leyton Orient is testament to the increasingly difficult job being done very well by Chris Wilder and the players in the midst of all of this uncertainty.

What good results do give us is something to grab on to and tonight’s game at AFC Wimbledon is another reminder that we have an outlet for our anger and frustration – by joining the players’ efforts from the terraces.

What comes next is anyone’s guess and it’s excruciating to say the least.

I can’t claim to know much of the insides and outs of everything – that you can find by digging through The Hotel End’s topics where more detailed accounts of events can be found – but what I do know is that this is a hugely significant part of our history one way or another.

Something that won’t change is the passion we have for our club and nowhere will that be more apparent that at the games that will ultimately shape the levels of ambition we have once this is finally all said and done. Whether we’re deducted points, put into administration or worse, the one constant will always be the unwavering support for the TEAM that’s come to the fore every time we’ve been in trouble or ahead of a huge game.

As well as making our voices heard in protest, let them be raised in unity with the players battling through this all, letting them know that we’re right behind them.

It’s the one thing we have left to control.

20 Years of Sixfields Stadium – The Top 20 Moments: Number 1…


After going through those top memories over the past couple of days it gives me great pleasure to unveil your winner of the top 20 moments in Sixfields history. This one was the winner by quite a way, and rightly so. It involves a stunning performance and an atmosphere perhaps never to be matched again at the home of the Cobblers. You’ve guessed it by now so here goes…

#1 – Northampton Town 3-0 Bristol Rovers

Division Two (League One) Playoff Semi-Final

13th May 1998

This is one of those games where I really don’t have to say a lot but one which could elicit an essay if given the chance. I will try to contain myself but, with this one still standing as what I still believe to be the single greatest night in Sixfields history that could be a challenge!

These were already heady times. Promotion via the Division Three playoffs via Wembley a year earlier had set light to an ambition not seen for years in this part of the world. How on earth a team based solely on spirit and the right attitude managed to not only stay at the top end of the table for most of the season but also momentarily bother top spot was beyond me and many others. The 1997/98 season had seen changes in playing personnel with my childhood hero Neil Grayson departing on promotion. The likes of Chris Freestone and Big John Gayle now led the line with the old guard of Sammo and Ray Warburton holding on to their central defensive partnership. John Frain was still around, as were Ian Clarkson, Dean Peer and Andy Woodman whilst Jason Dozzell had replaced David Rennie as the token older head in the camp.

Reaching the playoffs was an immense overachievement by Ian Atkins and his latest band of merry men and the town was dreaming of a second successive promotion. Our semi-final opponents were Bristol Rovers, a team managed by a young Ian Holloway in his first top job as a player-manager. The first leg at the Memorial Stadium saw the Cobblers fall 3-0 behind thanks to a Peter Beadle penalty followed by goals from Frankie Bennett and Barry Hayles. It all looked lost even a quarter of the way through the tie but suddenly a long boot up field saw Big John race onto the ball and loop it over the head of Rovers keeper Lee Jones. The effect of that solitary strike that even then looked like a mere consolation was stunning.

By the time this second leg came around, Northampton was fired up. As Town supporters were leaving the Memorial Stadium at the end of the first leg, the Rovers PA announcer started singing about how his club were going to Wembley and that’s all the Cobblers fans needed as motivation. At 3-1, the tie was still not over and boy did we let the Gas Heads know that.

There were reports that Gayle had wound up the Rovers players no end in the tunnel just before kick-off and the intimidation factor continued as the sides came out. With a second Wembley appearance in successive seasons on the line, the Sixfields roar was sucking the life out of the visitors before a ball was even kicked.

The place was rocking even with Town two goals from levelling the tie and I still don’t think I’ve seen or heard anything like it inside the walls of Sixfields since. We have one of those stadiums where noise can get lost on occasions but not on this night. On this night, everything was to go our way in perhaps the most iconic evenings in the history of the arena we call home.

Carl Heggs, defeated by the Cobblers at Wembley the previous May, was coming off the end of an excellent and mercurial maiden season after swapping The Vetch Field for Sixfields shortly after the Playoff Final. He opened the scoring after a tension filled opening half an hour, getting on the end of a corner to edge us in front on the night and the Cobblers never looked back.

It took fifteen minutes of the second half to get back on terms on aggregate. If anyone had any money on potential goal scorers then Ian Clarkson’s name would have been a long way from their minds, but there he was on the hour mark to power in the second. It was Clarkson’s only ever goal for the club and in many ways his final hurrah as he would severely break his leg in August of that year in a game against Lincoln City, limiting his final few appearances.

This was the first time that the Cobblers were in front in the tie with away goals counting in those days and the momentum continued for a fantastic third goal, headed in by Ray Warburton with thirteen minutes to go to complete the turn around and send Sixfields absolutely potty.

A Rovers goal would have taken the game to extra time so there were some immensely nervy final few minutes but the Cobblers held out for an extraordinary victory and a night that Sixfields will never, ever forget.

The obligatory pitch invasion followed and rather than try and do a lap of honour, the Town players instead came around the back of the West Stand, up through the gates and into the stands to celebrate with the fans in a moment of unity that will never leave me, and I’m sure thousands of others.

It almost took the breath out of us enough to mean that defeat in the final against Grimsby Town wasn’t as powerful to our hearts as it could have been. The pride that night after the semi-final was amazing and though promotion to the second tier of English Football was agonising to miss out on, I think the glory and sheer brilliance of this night made it that bit more bearable!

Rovers will now forever be greeted with the infamous “3-1 and you f*cked it up” chant whenever they visit. I blame that tannoy announcer for getting the ball rolling on one of the greatest moments this football club has ever seen.


Communication Breakdown


The home game against Burton Albion was supposed to be the day that Sixfields completed the first stage of its new development. When the East Stand had been demolished, the aim (a bit hopeful I know) was to get it back up and in working order by the time the Brewers were in town. The reality is that we’ve got a partly built stand, mass confusion, rumours swirling and, most notably, a lack of proper communication from the club.

The subsequent defeat to Albion yesterday felt like a day to bury bad news and the result on the face of it isn’t as worrying as what’s going on the side of the ground where starlings once swarmed.

I’ll start off by saying that I have absolutely no idea what’s going on with the East Stand other than what I’ve heard from the club about contract disputes and the like. I won’t be spinning any rumours here but what is important is to try and put across the frustration that many of us are feeling. It’s not even frustration at why the builders have dropped tools but the fact that no-one at the club seems to want to tell us straight what’s happening.

The communications department seem to have been on sabbatical for over a year now. Any injury news is kept completely under wraps. Players can be ruled out for months and then appear on the bench or, in the case of Lewis Hornby (remember him?), they can pick up an injury in training and are then not heard of apart from in fleeting mentions once in a blue moon. If a player’s out for months, tells us. If someone’s career is over, tell us. There’s a growing sense that the club is being locked behind the four – sorry three – walls of Sixfields and to the fans that can’t be good.

As a parent I’m constantly saying to my daughter that I would rather her tell me if she’s taken an extra sweet from the pot than lie and say it was someone else. For the period of time that we’re in limbo that relationship is suffering and on a bigger scale this is what’s starting to happen between the Cobblers as a club and its most important cog, the supporters.

We’re supposed to be celebrating twenty years of Sixfields this week and indeed you’ll see your top twenty moments chronicled in the next few days (cheap plug – done). Instead, though, we’re debating what the real reasons are that the work men have stopped their building.

All it would take was an honest and open message from the Chairman. If money hasn’t been paid for reason a or reason b then please just tell us. The longer the issues are stretched out the more damaging it becomes on the relationship between club and fans and that only causes aggravation on the terraces and a drop in performances on the pitch. We’re in a position where the players are actually pretty decent but if everything around them crumbles it’s only a matter of time until they too get disenchanted.

The time is now for the lines of communication to be restored.

Fans the innocent party in Coventry saga

sixfieldsI’m not going to pretend to know all the ins and outs of the latest twist in the Coventry City debacle but instead want to take a step back and look at things from the most important perspective of all – the supporters.

Going back to the start, I put myself in the shoes of Coventry supporters asked to make a 70 mile round trip to every ‘home’ game. The argument from some is that it’s ‘not that far’ and that it’s a lot closer than most away games. To me, though, this whole thing is nothing to do with travel…it’s about Coventry City supporters having to sit in a stadium that’s not their own and it’s about them having to look at the fixtures list and rather than picturing potentially defining historic moments in their history as taking place in their city and home instead seeing them being played out at someone else’s house. How would I feel if the Cobblers were forced to move to, for example, Luton Town, for a minimum term of three years? My answer…I would fight tooth and nail for justice and for my team to stay in their own town even if it meant playing at Northampton Spencer or Fernie Fields!

So I can completely understand where the majority of City fans are coming from in terms of their anger and their battles to keep their club where it belongs. What I’m struggling with is the amount of blame and hatred being levelled at the Cobblers by those same fans. What needs to be understood by both sets of supporters is that we are all passionate about our football and sometimes that can manifest in different ways when we defend our respective clubs in this whole situation. There is no point whatsoever in fans slating one another from opposite sides, though, because we are all from the same breed, hence why timeless bucket collections and ‘fan days’ are often attended by supporters from all over the country.

Whatever is going on there’s no value at all in creating some sort of war of words between the fans of these great and historic football clubs. We, as Northampton Town enthusiasts, have to put ourselves in Coventry’s shoes, Coventry fans need to use up their energies in focusing on who the real enemies are and whatever the outcome from this summer of uncertainty we can all say that we did everything we could to keep two clubs playing exactly where they should be playing.

Sky Blues deal on the brink…

Sixfields...Coventry's new 'home'...?

Sixfields…Coventry’s new ‘home’…?

The second big piece of news to break late last night was that the Cobblers had seemingly agreed a deal to host Coventry City’s home matches for ‘the next three years’ according to two key sources, the Chronicle and Echo and the Coventry Telegraph:

The move comes after the Sky Blues were forced to consider options at the end of last season with the club moving all of their staff from the Ricoh Arena. A new stadium is being planned for the city but in the meantime the League One club are assessing their options with Sixfields apparently now the front runner to host City home games whilst the new ground is developed.

The news came on the same day as the Sixfields redevelopment appeared to be rubber stamped by the Cobblers and Northampton Borough Council and we could now be looking at Sixfields being under construction mid-way through next season and also hosting TWO Football League clubs. The plan would apparently see City moving any clashing home games to a midweek or a Sunday but either way this isn’t going to sit well with Coventry supporters who would face a seventy mile round trip for ‘home’ games every other week.

There’s already been protests by Coventry fans and who can blame them? Their football club is set to be uprooted and they won’t have a clear idea of a future return to their own city for a long period of time. The least football fans should expect is that their own team is situated in their own town or city no matter what is going on behind the scenes and you have to feel for the Coventry supporters through all of this. That being said, I’m sure we would do our best to accommodate them should they decide not to boycott their games at Sixfields and hopefully anything that we do helps their club to stay alive.

It’s all got to go through the Football League before anything happens for certain but I would think Cobblers grounds men Paul Knowles and Jason Hawthorn are preparing himself for what could be a very busy winter!


sixfieldsThe big news that had been rumbling all day on Twitter and the rest of the inter web has been revealed and it seems that it’s just the start of things to come. The news is that the Cobblers and the council have struck a deal to expand Sixfields in a £12 million deal that will see the authority loan the club money that will initially focus on expanding the East and West stands of Sixfields by August 2014.

David Cardoza has been waiting for eight long years to get this deal done and full credit to him and the powers that be for coming through all of those false starts and broken promises that have been handed to him in the past. Not only does this mean that our club can progress off the pitch but that on the pitch where it matters most we could see more revenue put in and hopefully better players being attracted here.

The particulars of the deal are set to be announced tomorrow but it’s a fantastic piece of news in the middle of a summer that had started to drag its heels a little. I’m thinking that corporate hospitality will be looked at with the redevelopment and the day to day income should also increase if we can offer the better facilities. It’s all simple to say but great to finally be talking about these things on the back of solid news rather than false hopes and words.

I remember the first drawings and plans that were revealed in the local news all those years ago when Mr Cardoza first began to put forward his ideas and the amount of time that’s passed has seen the club promoted and relegated before stalling in League Two for the last few seasons. Off the back of a campaign where we ended up just one game from promotion this is the time for our football club to finally move forward.

What we must avoid is the ‘Darlington effect’ of building a huge stadium that we can’t fill and ultimately falling to destruction. What we know is that we have a passionate town for football and if we can even start on bringing back some of the drifting supporters and businesses that may have been looking elsewhere for their football fix and sponsorship opportunities then this dream of ours can start to become a reality

Most importantly we must use this positive future to sell the club not just to the people in suits but to players who may be mulling over signing for us. This is the time to not just persuade potential new signings that next season will see us challenging but also to sell to them the vision for the season after that and the season after that.

Exciting times ahead as we go to within a month of the new season. More to come tomorrow…

Northampton Town v Gillingham: Match Preview

With the relief and celebrations for the Cobblers last weekend it’s suddenly hit us that we’re down to the final home game of the season this weekend with plenty of interest to stop this one from becoming a run of the mill, end of season game.

For one, the reverse fixture at the Priestfield was one of the most dramatic involving the Cobblers from this entire campaign with Town edged out 4-3 on a day when both sides appeared to feel that defence was the best form of attack! There’s also another chance for Bayo to get one over on the club he joined for one season and also, of course, for Danny Jackman to make another Sixfields return.

Since the last meeting back in November, Gillingham have been their usual playoff bothering selves without breaking into the top seven frequently enough for their fans’ liking. They’re down to last chance saloon as they sit four points from a playoff berth with just six to play for. If they’re to have any chance at all of making it to the end of season lottery then they will have to take home maximum points on Saturday.

Aidy Boothroyd, on the other hand, will be demanding nothing less than total focus from a group of players that still might be looking to their contract situations next season and be looking to impress the boss ahead of some inevitable summer cuts.

So this should be far from a stroll for either side with Cobblers fans willing us to finish strongly and be rewarded for some fantastic support through the last nine months.

Gill's boss Andy Hessenthaler


The Cobblers stopped a rot of three successive defeats last weekend to finally secure league survival with a goalless draw at Hereford United.

Gillingham come into the game having beaten Swindon Town 3-1 at home last Saturday to keep alive their playoff hopes. Swindon were promoted despite that defeat but it should give Andy Hessenthaler’s men renewed hope having previously picked up just one win in seven.

Team News…

Aidy Boothroyd won’t be making too many changes to his side despite securing league status last weekend. A bid from Derby for Michael Jacobs was turned down this week so expect the midfielder to be right in the mix on Saturday with other scouts expected to be circling Sixfields.

Gillingham have their own wanted man in goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga. Having established himself as the Gills’ number one in February, the stopper has begun to attract attention from elsewhere. The 20-Year-Old should start again on Saturday. Meanwhile, Andy Frampton will be hoping to return from illness to play some part in the game and Chris Whelpdale will be battling to overcome a knee problem. Callum Davies remains side-lined with a hand injury.

Club Links…

One of the most controversial departures from Sixfields in recent years was that of Danny Jackman who suffered an early season ‘injury’ before signing for Gillingham and playing the day after proclaiming this problem to the Cobblers fans. Jackman had previously won the supporter’s Player of the Year award twice during a two year stay with the Cobblers.

Bayo Akinfenwa is another man who has turned out for both club after he signed for Gillingham for one year from Town before returning here last summer.

Last Six Meetings…

05/11/11: Gillingham 4-3 Cobblers

A memorable match at the Priestfield saw Jo Kuffour net a first half hat-trick for the home side to give them a seemingly insurmountable lead despite Saido Berahino scoring in between times for the Cobblers. A superb fight back from the Cobblers pulled things back to 3-3 with Kelvin Langmead and Berahino again hitting back before Bayo Akinfenwa missed a golden chance to put us in front. But it was the home side who took the glory in stoppage time when Danny Kedwell slotted in a penalty after Frank Nouble was brought down by Langmead to crush the Cobblers.

15/01/11: Gillingham 1-0 Cobblers

Cody McDonald scored the only goal in an otherwise forgettable game back in January 2011 at The Priestfield.

30/10/10: Cobblers 2-1 Gillingham

Chris Palmer gave Gillingham an early lead in the last Sixfields meeting between the two sides but Dean Beckwith levelled things before Leon McKenzie’s penalty sealed a good home win for the Cobblers.

16/02/08: Cobblers 4-0 Gillingham

Back when both sides were in League One, the Cobblers completed a league double over the Gills with a hammering thanks to a first half double from Jason Crowe and Bayo Akinfenwa and a second half which saw Bayo net again and Giles Coke complete the scoring.

19/01/08: Gillingham 0-1 Cobblers

A month before the Sixfields win, Town came home from the Priestfield with an important single goal victory after Daniel Jones’ third minute free kick turns out to be the only goal.

16/02/07: Cobblers 1-1 Gillingham

Dean McDonald thought that he’d given Gillingham an away win after he scored on the hour but with four minutes to go, Sheffield United loanee Jordan Robertson nicked the Cobblers a hard earned point.

Stroud...the man in charge

The Man In The Middle…

Keith Stroud is the man charged with keeping order on Saturday. Stroud took charge of Gillingham’s 4-3 home defeat to Crewe back in March, during which he sent off Danny Spiller, but his last Cobblers game was over a year ago in the 2-2 home draw with Rotherham United.


It’s the last home game of the season, there’s a party we need to poop and there should be niggling images on the players’ minds of that 4-3 defeat in November so hopefully we’ll still be up for it. There should be goals again so I’ll go for a 3-2 Cobblers win.

Northampton Town v Port Vale: Match Preview

It’s feels like an age since the Cobblers last participated in a Saturday match and after a couple of good Tuesday night victories you could forgive Town fans for wanting to keep on replacing weekends for nights for the rest of the season. But we’re back in action tomorrow with a third home game in a row with Port Vale the visitors.

Vale are once again on the brink of the playoffs having recovered from a poor start to 2012 to record four games without defeat (three of those producing wins) including a last gasp Mar Richards penalty handing them all three points last Saturday at home to Gillingham. That left Micky Adams’ side within two points of the playoffs as they head towards the final furlong of the season.


The Cobblers have taken six points from their only two games this month, both of which have come at home and in the course of doing so have tripled their home wins count for the season!

As mentioned, Vale are unbeaten in four having disposed of Rotherham, Plymouth and Gillingham either side of an away point at Bradford City.

Team News…

There are no new injury worries for the Cobblers going into the game with Nana and Shane Higgs the only long term absentees who won’t play again this season. But there were no knocks from Tuesday’s win over Macclesfield so expect a pretty similar starting eleven from Aidy Boothroyd’s men.

Chris Birchall, Port Vale’s most capped player, returned to the club last week and could be in line for a start at Sixfields after receiving international clearance on his month-to-month deal back with the club he began his career with. Birchall left LA Galaxy in December and has been training with Mickey Adam’s side. He played in a reserve team game on Wednesday and is set to play some part tomorrow afternoon.

Richards - former Cobbler

Club Links…

Marc Richards made over fifty appearances for the Cobblers between 2003 and 2005 with the striker netting ten times during his spell at Sixfields. He struggled to get going at first but a superb spell towards the end of the 2003/04 season saw his goals help us into the League Two playoffs. That run included all four goals in the 4-0 win at Macclesfield Town and a screamer at Hull in memorable 3-2 victory. After leaving the club in the summer of 2005, Richards spent time at Barnsley before joining Vale in June 2007.

Previous Meetings…

14/10/11: Port Vale 3-0 Cobblers

A horror show of a first half sees the Cobblers three goals down inside twenty five minutes thanks to goals from Tom Pope, Anthony Griffith and John McCombe and we have no answer in the second half.

12/02/11: Port Vale 1-1 Cobblers

Abdul Osman was sent off for the second time in the season against Vale but the Cobblers held out for a point earned a few minutes prior to the red card thanks to an equaliser from Leon McKenzie. Justin Richards’ penalty had given Vale the lead but McKenzie swooped three minutes later to earn a point.

13/11/10: Cobblers 0-0 Port Vale

Stale mate at Sixfields as Abdul Osman is sent off just after half-time.

06/03/10: Port Vale 1-3 Cobblers

As the Cobblers made a late surge towards the playoff places in 2010, this was a crucial win against one of the teams chasing the same goal. Ultimately neither side made it but it was still a memorable away day with Bayo Akinfenwa giving us the lead. Doug Loft equalised but Abdul Osman and Billy McKay won it before the break.

12/12/09: Cobblers 1-1 Port Vale

As the 2009/10 season crept towards Christmas, the teams shared the spoils at Sixfields. Marc Richards’ penalty gave him a happy return to his former stomping ground but after John McCombe was sent off just after half-time, Bayo converted the spot kick to grab a point for Town.

26/04/08: Port Vale 2-2 Cobblers

In the final away game of the 2008/09 season, Ryan Gilligan and Andy Holt put the Cobblers in control but Richards halved the deficit before Danny Glover made it 2-2 in the second half.

The Man In The Middle…

Taking charge on Saturday at Sixfields is Gavin Ward, a man who last refereed a Cobblers game in a 3-0 home defeat to Aldershot back in February 2010 on a night where he showed an early red card to Kevin Thornton from which we never recovered. Ward has been involved in a few thrillers this season including MK Dons 6-2 Chesterfield, Barnet 3-6 Burton and Brentford 3-3 MK Dons.


It’s a much more difficult game on paper than the previous two victories and the Cobblers will have to step it up in order to escape the bottom two this weekend. With Plymouth hosting Dagenham and Hereford going to Bradford it’s a huge weekend at the bottom but a point would be seen as a decent return from this one so I’ll go for 2-2.