After near enough everything that could go wrong did go wrong at Newport on Friday, the Cobblers’ depleted squad somehow needs to raise themselves for another game straight away with Gillingham looming at Sixfields on Monday afternoon.
Town are now just a point clear of Carlisle in fourth again and with a trip to Brunton Park coming up on Saturday we really could do with a result here to set up that massive six pointer.
Gillingham’s season can be broken down into two clear halves – before and after their mid-campaign takeover by Brad Gallison. Before it, they couldn’t find a goal for love nor money, faced a second relegation in two seasons square in the face and with no sense that things would get better.
But Gallison’s arrival lifted the entire club. Neil Harris survived the dreadful first half of the season and is now spearheading a revival that’s seen a January spending spree and a quick integration of the new faces lead to a complete u-turn. The Gills are now clear of the drop, and have been for a while to their credit, and can start planning for next season.
That’s not to say that they’re anywhere near on the beach, though, as highlighted by a recent win over the Cobblers’ promotion rivals Carlisle. Away form hasn’t been as good, though, with Harris’ men second bottom of the away league table so far this season. The Cobblers need to play into that uncertainty on the road but, either way, this is a much different Gillingham side to that one we beat 2-0 at the Priestfield earlier this season.
Last Time Out
The Cobblers were beaten 3-0 at Newport on Good Friday while Gillingham saw off Doncaster Rovers 1-0 at home.
One To Watch
January signing Tom Nichols has already worked his way to the top of the Gill’s scoring charts with five since his arrival. The former Crawley man has spearheaded the season’s turn around and the Cobblers will need to stop the service to him on Monday.
The Cobblers are still missing Tyler Magloire, Ali Koiki and Ben Fox, who are out for the season and Max Dyche is likely out until at least the summer too. Shaun McWilliams, Josh Harrop and Josh Eppiah are also still missing and Jonathan Maxted was added to the injured list last weekend. Aaron McGowan suffered an ankle injury at Newport and Akin Odimayo also aggravated his previous injury during the game. Jack Sowerby was replaced at half time in South Wales and will have to be looked at again before Monday.
Gillingham defender Conor Masterson will be assessed ahead of this one after he was forced off with a knock to the face on Friday. Concussion protocols will be followed and tested before a decision is made on him. Dom Jefferies, Ethan Coleman and George Lapslie could all come in with Neil Harris hinting that rotation will be needed to cope with two games in four days.
Scott Oldham is the referee on Monday afternoon. The last time we saw him was for our 3-0 home win over Colchester in February 2022. Declan O’Shea and Steven Rushton are running the lines and Daniel Flynn is fourth official.
It’s going to be tough for The Cobblers and Gillingham to come through the tough Easter double header but we have to be positive and get right behind Jon Brady and the team. I’m going 1-0 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.