Tuesday night was another step back in the wrong direction as the Cobblers were held by struggling Harrogate – another psychological blow in the chase for the top three and even a worrying result in the context of the playoff race. A nervous Sixfields awaits but we can be reassured by the fact that Crawley are yet to win away from home in the league all season…right…? Thought not!
Crawley have arguably had the most eventful seasons of any League Two side in terms of disruption, ownership and management and they now face the biggest challenge of all – league survival.
After starting the season to a fanfare of WAGMI United’s ownership and with high ambitions under Kevin Betsy, a dreadful first few months saw Betsy sacked and Lewis Young taking the reins on a temporary basis. Young immediately inspired an upturn in results, including three wins and three draws in seven games, but that was somehow not enough to earn him the job full time.
Next up to the plate was Matt Etherington – his tenure lasted just over a month – before Scott Lindsey was brought in to try and permanently halt the slide as he joined the Red Devils from league rivals Swindon. After a win in his first game, it’s been four defeats and a draw in the following five games and yet another manager is now feeling the heat with the National League breathing down the club’s neck.
They do still have games in hand but the fear of being below the line coming into the weekend must be making the powers that be more and more nervous by the week. The importance of this game at both ends of the table cannot be underestimated.
Last Time Out
The Cobblers were held to a 1-1 draw at Harrogate Town on Tuesday night while Crawley were beaten 1-0 at Tranmere Rovers.
One To Watch
The marquee signing of last summer for Crawley’s new owners was last season’s League Two top scorer Dom Telford. The striker hasn’t hit the heights of that haul but has made his way to the top of Town’s scoring charts and will always be a danger.
The Cobblers are still suffering from injury issues with Ben Fox and Tyler Magloire ruled out for the season this week. Shaun McWilliams, Akin Odimayo, Ryan Haynes, Danny Hylton, Kieron Bowie and Josh Harrop are all likely to still be missing.
Crawley will definitely be without Teddy Jenks, with the Brighton loanee ruled out for the season with a hamstring injury. Ben Gladwin is a doubt again after he picked up an injury during the game against Stockport in mid-February. Crawley could hand a debut to experienced midfielder Jordon Mutch after he signed on a deal until the end of the season this week.
Ross Joyce is in charge at Sixfields on Saturday. Joyce was the referee for our 2-2 home draw with Sutton United back in October and has shown 74 yellow cards and 4 reds so far this season. Richard Morris and Jacob Lehane are running the lines and Wayne Cartmel is fourth official.
I hate saying it but it’s simple – we have to win on Saturday or those top three dreams are over and we can start to really panic about the top seven. I think we will get the job done, though, at a nervy Sixfields. 2-1 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.