We’re down to the final five. The Cobblers sit three points clear of fourth place going into the last few games of a season that’s been blighted by injuries but continues to show promise of erasing any memories of last May.
We now head to the team in fourth themselves, Carlisle United, for a monumental six pointer. The Cumbrians face the Cobblers and third place Stockport both at home in the coming days so this period feels defining. All we can do is focus on what we’re doing and hope we can come away with another major step towards League One.
It’ll be tense, it’ll likely be tight and those bums will be squeaking all afternoon long. Let’s go!
When Paul Simpson arrived at Carlisle last February there was an immediate sense that their relegation worries at the time would be over pretty quickly. Simpson led his side to six wins in his opening seven games including a 2-1 success over the Cobblers at Brunton Park and set the tone for this season where they’ve found themselves threatening to depart the division by the right door.
Just one defeat in their opening thirteen league games gave them the platform for a promotion charge, though they did lose at Sixfields in December thanks to Sam Sherring and Louis Appéré goals. They’ve held their nerves for the most part after that and, having moved into contention, have stuck around to enjoy the battle for the top three.
Goals have dried up in recent weeks, though, with five blanks in the last six games threatening to derail their hopes. But with, Simpson in charge, this team has shown that they can surpass any expectations and they could be right back in the top three come the end of Tuesday night and this monstrous double header of an opportinity.
Last Time Out
Carlisle were held to a 0-0 draw at Walsall on Easter Monday while the Cobblers beat Gillingham 2-1 at Sixfields.
One To Watch
One of Sam Hoskins’ main challengers for the League Two golden boot is Carlisle striker Kristian Dennis who currently sits on nineteen for the season. The former Chesterfield man signed at Brunton Park in January last year and only scored twice in seventeen last season before really coming good this time around.
Carlisle wing back Jack Ellis pulled up with a hamstring injury during Monday’s draw at Walsall so will need to be assessed ahead of the weekend. Fin Back and Morgan Feeney both limped out of the recent defeat at Leyton Orient with similar hamstring problems and neither will be back for this one. Taylor Charters has started his recovery as he starts to train again with the group but is unlikely to be risked yet.
The Cobblers will be withou Aaron McGowan and Akin Odimayo after they limped off at Newport and then missed Monday’s game at home to Gillingham. Harvey Lintott was the latest to be taken off with a knock when he pulled up on Monday while Max Dyche, Tyler Magoire, Ali Koiki and Ben Fox are out for the season. Shaun McWilliams, Josh Harrop and Josh Eppiah are others still not ready to return but one bit of good news was the return of Danny Hylton over the Easter weekend.
Rebecca Welch will be in charge for this one at Brunton Park. Welch last officiated the Cobblers in our 2-0 defeat at Stockport County back in January. Alex Gray and Paul Newhouse are running the lines and Peter Gooch is fourth official.
The nerves will be back to the highest levels on Saturday and hopefully we can put a side out to get something from this one. I’m going for a 1-1 draw.
A Cobblers fan all his life, Danny is the most down to earth football supporter from Northampton.
While at university in Southampton, Danny kept up to date with all things NTFC from afar, sharing his thoughts on his ‘A Load Of Cobblers’ online blog.