The Cobblers hit the road for the first time this season as we make the trip north to Grimsby for a bit of seaside sun and frollicks! After getting off the mark last weekend, Jon Brady’s men will be confident but this is a Grimsby side still high on their promotion fumes despite a defeat last weekend.
This being the Mariners’ first home game back in the league makes it a tough assignment and there should be a party atmosphere up at Blundell Park. Saying that, though, there was a time when Grimsby invited us to their promotion party and we had a lovely old time that day…
Grimsby shot out of the blocks last season in their bid to return to the Football League at the first attempt. All was looking rosy in the early days as the Mariners sat top of the table after twelve games but then just two wins in the next fourteen had their fans starting to question manager Paul Hurst in his second spell with the club.
Owners Jason Stockwood and Andrew Pettit held firm, though, and Town found their form again at just the right time to clinch a place in the playoffs and that’s where the drama really began. A qualifying victory at Notts County set up a tasty semi-final away at big spending Wrexham in what turned into the ding dong to end all ding dongs! After a barmy 90 minutes ended 4-4, extra time looked like it was heading to penalties until Luke Waterfall popped up to sink the Welsh side.
After all that, there was still work to do but it felt written in the stars at that point and they edged past Solihull Moors after extra time at the London Stadium to seal their place back in the league.
Last Time Out
Last weekend, the Cobblers started the season with our own ding-dong with a 3-2 home win over Colchester United while Grimsby were beaten 2-0 at Leyton Orient.
One To Watch
John McAtee was sold to Championship side Luton Town this week for an undisclosed fee but the talented striker immediately re-joined the Mariners on loan for the season. McAtee scored the vital equaliser in the playoff final to take the game into extra time and can score all sorts of goals.
Grimsby could bring Ryan Taylor back into the starting line-up after the striker came off the bench last weekend. Gavan Holohan suffered a head injury in that game at Orient but it was minor enough that he was able to play through it with some bandaging and he should be OK for Saturday.
Jon Brady rates former Grimsby man Ben Fox and fellow new signing Kieron Bowie as “touch and go” ahead of the weekend as both players look to make their debuts. Aaron McGowan is still missing for another six weeks or so.
Thomas Parsons is the match referee for this one and this is his first game in the Football League. Mark Jones and Helen Edwards are running the lines and Andrew Fox is fourth official.
You can put the result from last weekend aside as this will be a big occasion at Blundell Park with Grimsby marking their home return to the Football League. I’ll take a draw so I’ll go for 1-1.
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.