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Northampton Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 07/10/2004

TOWN and Northampton meet for the first time since the Division Two Play-Off Final at Wembley back in 1998. For this meeting, in the league’s basement division, the Mariners will be looking to make it two league away wins on the bounce.

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Previews > Northampton (a)

The Opposition

Town travel to Northampton for yet another Friday night fixture, level on points with the Cobblers in the League Two Table. Northampton were pre-season favourites for promotion following their fantastic form under Colin Calderwood (left) at the end of last season. The Cobblers lost only 3 of their last 19 fixtures, winning 13 of them which propelled them from 14th place to a finish of 6th in the Third Division Table. Only a play off defeat to Mansfield denied them a place in the play off final. Their start to this season has been indifferent, with their away form being the main concern - with defeats at Shrewbury, Scunthorpe and Manfield. They will be vying to keep their undefeated home record in tact on Friday night, which makes Town’s task even more difficult as they look to continue where they left off with their win at Cambridge a few weeks ago.

Their Squad
On paper, Northampton have one of the most impressive squads in the division with a good blend of youth and experience. Northampton made several summer signings but perhaps one of the most impressive was the capture of highly rated Cambridge defender Fred Murray, who can operate at left back or at centre back. Defender Chris Willmott (left) has Premiership experience with Wimbledon and provides steel to the defence which has become much tighter since the arrival of ex Spurs defender Colin Calderwood as team boss. Josh Low was bought for a record £165,000 from Oldham last summer - a quick midfielder who has carried on where he left off from last season with some excellent performances. Returning to the side after injury last week was Scottish midfield David Rowson, who came on as a sub to help the side to a point at Yeovil last weekend. He will be pushing for a starting place this week. In attack, Northampton have an array of talent with the experience of ex Barnet and Colchester striker Scott Mcgleish, former Swindon man Eric Sabin and tricky striker Martin Smith. All three are likely to start for this Friday night game.

Key Player
Martin Smith (left) scores goals wherever he is - and he returned to the side at half time last week at Yeovil to help the side to a point in an excellent second half performance. Smith cost Huddersfield £300,000 back in 2000 when he left Sheffield United. In his time at the McAlpine, despite playing in a struggling side, he still managed 29 goals in just over 70 starts. Last season he was the Cobblers top scorer with 11 goals, proving he is a definite threat in this division.

Recent Form


LCarlisle(a)1-2 (LDV)
LCharlton(h)0-2 (Cup)
WLeyton Orient(h)2-0
Currently 13th in League Two.
WBristol Rovers(h)2-1
LSouthampton(h)0-3 (Cup)
DNotts County(h)0-0
Currently 14th in League Two.

Team News


  • On loan Sheffield United forward Ashley Sestanovich is ill and may miss the trip to the Sixfields stadium, meaning a possible first league start in a Town shirt for Colin Cramb.

  • Also a doubt after a bout of influenza is Graham Hockless. Greg Young has been loaned out the Northwich Victoria, which means that the fit again Rob Jones will probably be on the Town bench.

  • Thomas Pinault and Justin Whittle both have knocks but should play. Slade might consider playing Stacy Coldicott instead of Pinault - a move that worked in Town’s win at Cambridge the other week, but the ex Colchester man should keep his place.
  • American goalkeeper Paul Rachubka has extended his loan from Charlton and will continue in goal, despite the fact that usual number one Lee Harper is nearing full fitness.

  • Martin Smith and David Rowson will be hoping for starts after impressing last weekend - Tom Youngs and Bertrand Cozic are the ones likely to miss out at their expense. PEDJ BOJIC may also get a start.

  • Transfer listed Martin Reeves and former Bradford defender Ashley Westwood are both still sidelined with knee and thigh injuries respectively.
  • Probable Teams


    1Anthony Williams
    24Dean Gordon
    6Justin Whittle
    28Terrell Forbes
    8Jason Crowe
    17Thomas Pinault
    15Terry Fleming
    2John McDermott
    29Colin Cramb
    9Michael Reddy
    10Andy Parkinson
    26Paul Rachubka
    3Tommy Jaszcun
    5Chris Willmott
    6Fred Murray
    10Josh Low
    20Pedj Bojic
    27Lee Williamson
    14David Rowson
    19Martin Smith
    18Eric Sabin
    11Scott McGleish



    11Stacy Coldicott
    16Ronnie Bull
    18Rob Jones
    23Clint Marcelle
    25Glen Downey
    15Bertrand Cozic
    21David Galbraith
    8Tom Youngs
    17Steve Morrison
    22David Hicks

    Head to Head

    The two sides meet for the 25th time on Saturday, with the Mariners having the slightly better of the past meetings -with 10 wins to the U’s nine, but scoring two fewer goals than Cheltenham.

    P 27 W 11 D 3 L 13 F 36 A 47

    Northampton Head-to-Head (57th on The Opposition Ladder).


  • Former Town winger Dave "Diddy" Gilbert made 120 appearances for Northampton between 1986 and 1989, before Alan Buckley paid £55,000 for his services - starting a six year association with the Mariners where he was involved in two successive promotions under Buckley in the late 80s, early 90s. More

  • Daryl Clare (left) had 2 loan spells with Northampton in both 1999 and 2000, when he scored three goals in 12 games. He has since gone on to score 72 goals in just under 100 appearances with Boston and Chester in the Conference. More

  • Paul Wilkinson started his career with the Mariners, and finished it in 2000 with Northampton Town - ending and 18 year career. Wilko came through the Blundell Park ranks and secured a £250,000 move to Everton in the mid-80s - after scoring a goal to dump the Toffees out of the league cup. Wilko was reserve team coach at Blundell Park up until a few seasons ago, and is now assistant to Lennie Lawrence at Cardiff. More

  • Jamie Forrester netted 50 goals in little over 100 games for the Cobblers between 2000 and 2003, making him a fans favourite at the Sixfields. Now with Bristol Rovers, Forrester has scored goals wherever he has played - he got his first taste of first team action at Blundell Park in 1995 when Brian Laws snapped him up from Leeds. More

  • Last Meeting

    Who can forget it what happened on the 24th May 1998? The last time the two sides met of course was in slightly more important circumstances and in a more glamorous setting than Blundell Park or the Sixfields Stadium! Still not remembered? Town beat Northampton in the 1998 Division 2 Play Off Final 1-0, thanks to a Kevin Donovan goal in the 19th minute. Town managed to miss a penalty and hit the post - but still survived to hold onto a momentous win for Grimsby Town, which saw them return to Division One just a season after they were relegated.

    Grimsby Team: Davison, McDermott, Gallimore, Handyside, Lever, Burnett, Donovan, David Smith (Black, 66), Nogan (Livingstone, 60), Lester, Groves
    Subs: (not used) Jobling

    Northampton Team: Woodman, Clarkson, Frain, Sampson, Warburton, Hunt, Peer, Heggs, Freestone, Gayle (Seal, 56), Hill (Gibb, 60)
    Subs: (not used) Dozzell

    Attendance: 62,988


    Fishy prediction: I correctly predicted a 1-1 draw last week, so the pressure is on - I’m banking for a 2-1 Town win.


    Recent Predictions

    Leyton Orient2-22-00
    Reader's POMs


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