Well that was quite the Tuesday night at Sutton! More injuries, tension right to the end and a final whistle celebration like none so far this season. This squad and management team are working absolute miracles and we need more of the same as Harrogate Town come to Sixfields on Saturday looking to seal their safety from relegation.
Sixfields should be packed so let’s go there and make some real noise to help them over the line. The club hasn’t felt this together for years and if we can finish this promotion story it would be one of the most memorable in our history given the circumstances.
Let’s do this!
Harrogate are in their third season at this level and continue to fight to hold their own in the Football League. Under the longest serving manager in English Football, Simon Weaver, son of chairman Irving, they’ve again been involved in a relegation battle for much of this season but look to have done enough to stave off Hartlepool and Crawley.
That position was made stronger by a thumping 3-0 win over Walsall on Tuesday night as the Sulphurites ultimately cost Michael Flynn his job by powering past them at the Envirovent Stadium. That, coupled with Hartlepool’s defeat at Salford and Crawley’s draw against Colchester, leaves them six points clear of danger with a game in hand.
It didn’t always look like being so comfortable at this stage when, before Christmas, Town struggled but a positive transfer window saw their fortunes completely change with defensive reinforcements like Anthony O’Connor from Morecambe and Tom Eastman from Colchester turning them into a side who many struggle to beat.
In the last few weeks, they’ve gone unbeaten in six games that include three games where they’ve come from two goals down to draw and anyone thinking that this will be comfortable for the Cobblers should think again – Harrogate will bring pace in attack, a battle in midfield and a tough defence to break down to Sixfields.
Last Time Out
The Cobblers came through a tough outing at Sutton United on Tuesday night to record a 2-1 win while Harrogate took a giant leap towards safety with a 3-0 home win over Walsall.
One To Watch
As always with Harrogate, Luke Armstrong is the main danger and talisman. Now on fifteen goals for the season, the striker signed a new contract last summer to take him to 2025 and the Sulphurites would be in big trouble without his goals.
The Cobblers have an ever growing injury list with Jonny Maxted, Ben Fox, Aaron McGowan, Akin Odimayo, Josh Harrop, Tyler Magloire and now Jon Guthrie out for the season. Jack Sowerby was taken off again mid-match on Tuesday night with Max Dyche returning from injury to take his place. Sowerby is now looking unlikely to return before the end of the season. Sam Sherring returned to the side on Tuesday and came through unscathed but it’s unknown as to whether Josh Eppiah or Harvey Lintott will be able to join him back in the squad.
Harrogate are definitely without long term absentees Stephen Dooley and Kayne Ramsey but Danny Grant returned to training this week and could be available.
Seb Stockbridge is in charge on Saturday, back at Sixfields relatively quickly after his last appearance here for the 2-1 home defeat to Grimsby Town in February. Dean Treleaven and Paul Evans are running the lines and Carl Brook is fourth official.
Every single game is now full of nerves but this team has shown time and time again that they can rise to any challenge facing them. I’m going to be positive and predict a 2-1 Cobblers win to move a step closer to League One.
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.