Northampton Town v Scunthorpe United Match Preview – After midweek Pizza Cup shootout joy, it’s back to the bread and butter as Scunny visit Sixfields.
As we head into September, the season begins to settle and we usually start to get an idea of where we are in terms of quality compared to the rest of the division. For the Cobblers it was a decent August that lay down some solid foundations and now is the chance to kick on, starting with a home game against Scunthorpe United on Saturday.
The fixture will forever be indelibly linked to the Kevin van Veen red card in January 2020 but plenty has changed since then with Scunny only escaping relegation by three points last season.
The Cobblers gained two points from their Pizza Cup exploits at Forest Green on Tuesday night but this is the serious stuff once again.
Scunthorpe ended the season with no wins in their final ten games so Saturday’s victory over Tranmere Rovers would have come as a huge relief to Neil Cox.
The Iron have made eleven signings over the summer, completed by two loan deals that got over the line on deadline day and they’ll be hoping that they can finally rid themselves of relegation worries as this season kicks in.
Hayden Hackney was the first to join on deadline day as he signed on loan from Middlesbrough and there was just enough time to squeeze Harry Wood in on loan from Hull as they joined Harry Davis, Alex Kenyon, Ross Millen, Lewis Thompson, Harry Bunn, Tyrone O’Neill, Alex Perry, Tom Billson and Jake Scrimshaw in signing over the summer.
Van Veen was one of a whole host of players who departed in the summer as Cox tries to forge a squad to recover from a dreadful season last time out.
This season has so far seen Scunny revert to being a tight squad that battles for one another and an improved defence is the backbone for what they hope will be a much more successful campaign.
Last time out
The Cobblers drew 1-1 at Forest Green Rovers in the Pizza Cup before grabbing the bonus point thanks to a victory in the penalty shootout. Scunthorpe picked up their first league win of the season last weekend as Trevor Kettle handed them a spot kick early on, converted by Myles Hippolyte, that turned out to be the only goal of the game against Tranmere Rovers.
One to watch
One of the summer signings, Lewis Thompson has been impressive on the left hand side so far and with Jai Rowe doing well on the other side against Tranmere there’s good width available to Neil Cox.
The Cobblers welcomed back Jack Sowerby on Tuesday night for his first appearance of the season and he could be back in the squad again. New signing Dominic Revan comes into contention after signing on loan from Aston Villa and Jordan Flores and Ali Koiki will battle it out to replace Joseph Mills at left back. Mills suffered a fractured ankle last weekend and will be missing for a long stretch.
Ross Millen is back in training for Scunthorpe but this Saturday may come too soon for him. Harry Bunn has missed the last couple of league games but has now had a full week of training with the squad so could return. Jordan Hallam is still missing with a groin problem and Alex Kenyon is out with a hamstring injury. Ryan Loft is set to see a specialist for a cheekbone injury next week.
Vadaine Oliver put the Cobblers in front with a glancing header before that van Veen red card. Oliver made it two just past the hour and Sam Hoskins finished things off with a penalty.
Tom Reeves is the man in the middle for this one. This is Reeves’ first season in the Football League after earning a promotion from the National League list during the summer.
Charles: Cobblers 1-0 Scunthorpe
Danny: Cobblers 1-1 Scunthorpe
Neil: Cobblers 6-6 Scunthorpe
Jefe: Cobblers 4-0 Scunthorpe.