Cups have been the focus this week for the Cobblers and Saturday’s opponents Gillingham but it’s back to the bread and butter of the league season as both sides look for a win that would get their League Two campaigns back on track at either ends of the table.
Town’s form has hit the buffers a bit and was highlighted by that defeat at National League Chesterfield last weekend but the hope is that the week’s break that followed will have given Jon Brady the time to get some of his injured and ill personnel back ahead of the trip to The Priestfield. The Gills stunned Premier League Brentford in the League Cup on Tuesday night and should be on a high coming into the weekend.
After being relegated from League One on goal difference last season, many would have had Gillingham down as automatic picks for a shot at going straight back up. Considering that the bright and ambitious Neil Harris is leading them, the case was strong to fear the Gills as potential promotion rivals for the Cobblers.
But, so far, it’s been nothing short of a disaster as they’ve struggled to hit the target and get any kind of momentum. The Gills are, by far, the lowest scoring side in the division with just six goals in sixteen games in the league and they’ve managed just two wins all season in League Two. But, this week, there was a glimmer of hope as Harris’ men took Brentford all the way to penalties before knocking them out in a dramatic shootout.
Replicating the spirit and application shown on Tuesday and converting it to the league is now the number one priority for Harris and his team as they look to avoid being dragged further into a winter relegation battle.
Last Time Out
The Cobblers were beaten 1-0 at Chesterfield last weekend as we went out of the FA Cup in the First Round. Gillingham were held 1-1 at AFC Fylde before pulling off that huge upset in the League Cup at Brentford.
One To Watch
With the Gills struggling for goals, Jordan Green could be called upon to provide a much needed spark. The former Bournemouth winger’s pace and trickery could provide us with a few worrying moments on Saturday.
Gillingham midfielder Olly Lee is a doubt after missing the League Cup win over Brentford with a tight quad while Ben Reeves also missed the game and will be monitored ahead of the weekend. Defender Max Ehmer is available after missing out through suspension in midweek.
The Cobblers could still be without Louis Appéré with Jon Brady only rating the striker’s chances of making the game as “touch and go.” Tyler Magloire, Josh Eppiah and Ali Koiki won’t be back until December at the earliest but Danny Hylton should come straight back into the side as he returns from suspension.
Declan Bourne is the identity of this week’s official. Bourne joined the EFL list in 2020 and oversaw our 1-0 defeat at home to Crawley back in January. Leigh Crowhurst and Stephen Brown are running the lines and Paul Kelly is fourth official.
Gillingham will undoubtedly score against us having gone through such a drought in front of goal in the league but I think we can take an early lead and unsettle the natives for this one. I’m going 3-1 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.