The Cobblers head to Doncaster this weekend with nine games to go and the promotion race seemingly going all the way. Some decent results elsewhere in midweek have set up another huge afternoon as we look to reclaim a place in the top three against a Rovers side not having the best of times of it at the moment.
Doncaster’s season has been the epitome of mid-table. After relegation from League One last season, Rovers started the season on fire and were in the top three following victory at Sixfields in August. But since then, one manager has been shown the door and another has come in and not got them going enough to take them into a playoff battle.
Gary McSheffrey was sacked in October after a poor run that saw Donny lose five in eight games since taking all the points from the Cobblers’ home. In came Danny Schofield and it’s been more of a frustrating spell in charge than anything spectacular from the former Huddersfield boss. A couple of wins in a row have regularly been followed by a couple of defeats and there’s been no real consistency to their results.
That all means that Schofield’s side are in a battle to reach the playoffs with time running out on this season. A midweek draw at Crawley did little to raise those hopes after defeat at Salford last weekend and the mood in the fan base isn’t great ahead of the Cobblers’ visit on Saturday with a lack of attacking guile prevalent and a negative style threatening to mean the season petering out.
Last Time Out
Doncaster were held to a 1-1 draw at Crawley on Tuesday night while the Cobblers beat Crewe 1-0 at Sixfields last Saturday.
One To Watch
George Miller is top scorer for Donny this season with eleven goals but his knee injury looks like keeping him out for the season now. Midfielder Liam Ravenhill (left) is the son of former Doncaster and Cobblers player Ricky Ravenhill and plays in exactly the same mould as his Dad and could be one to keep an eye out for.
Former Cobblers keeper Jonathan Mitchell could be missing again for Doncaster. Mitchell has missed the last two game through injury and Rovers were forced into an emergency loan move for Blackpool’s Stuart Moore to cover. Top scorer George Miller and Harrison Biggins are likely to now be out for the season with knee and hernia injuries respectively. Caolan Lavery and Liam Ravenhill should be fine to fill in for them despite coming off with cramp in midweek. Ro-Shaun Williams is still unavailable, meanwhile, with a shin injury.
The Cobblers look to be without Keiron Bowie who has been called up to Scotland’s Under 21s while Tom King has been called up by Wales. Aaron McGowan comes back into contention after serving his three match ban and Akin Odimayo stands a chance of returning to the squad as well. Tyler Magloire, Ali Koiki and Ben Fox are out for the season and Max Dyche is likely out until at least the summer too. Shaun McWilliams, Josh Harrop, Josh Eppiah and Danny Hylton are also still missing.
Adam Herczig takes charge this weekend having last officiated a Cobblers game back in November in our 1-0 defeat to Chesterfield in the FA Cup. Herczig has shown 57 yellow cards and 2 reds so far this season. Ollie Williams and Helen Edwards are running the lines and Sebastian Stockbridge is fourth official.
There’s a bit of unrest around Doncaster at the moment and while a point would be an OK return ahead of the huge Stevenage home game, I think we can still nick something here. 2-0 Cobblers
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.