Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with Sutton United felt a bit like one game too far for an exhausted Cobblers side who had taken Leyton Orient and Stevenage to the limit over the past couple of weeks. Town looked set for another big victory at half time but complacency and tiredness kicked in as the U’s powered back to earn a point.
Jon Brady likes to keep his cards close to his chest in terms of who is coming back and who’s still missing so we won’t know until the lineups are announced just how bad the injury news is. Whatever eleven makes it out against Newport, though, have a chance to get us back on the winning road against a Newport side getting to grips with life under a new manager.
James Rowberry took over from Michael Flynn as County boss in October 2021 and steered them to eleventh with a brief flirtation with the playoffs. But this season started with eight defeats in his first thirteen in the league and that run cost him his job with Graham Coughlan appointed on 20 October.
So far, the former Bristol Rovers boss has stabilised the ship and has put a real foundation in place with shoring up the defensive line the ultimate priority. He’s done just that by recording two clean sheets in his opening two games as boss with an important 1-0 home win over Colchester United followed up by that 0-0 on Tuesday night at Field Mill.
That was the first time since March that the Exiles had recorded back to back clean sheets and the organised and disciplined performances from the team showing that Coughlan has had an impact already. If they can improve things at the other end of the pitch just as quickly then County should be putting any relegation fears well in the rearview mirror very quickly.
Last Time Out
One To Watch
Omar Bogle is the main man up front for County and has hit six goals in the league so far this season. His power and pace should cause plenty of problems for the Cobblers defence on Saturday.
The Cobblers welcomed top scorer Sam Hoskins back to the fold on Tuesday night as the forward came off the bench for the final half hour so his involvement could increase again for this one, as could Aaron McGowan’s. Ben Fox and Danny Hylton are still suspended while Tyler Magloire and Josh Eppiah are out for a while longer yet. Sam Sherring and Ali Koiki missed Tuesday night’s game and it’s unclear as to whether they’ll be back for Saturday.
Newport will check on Will Evans after the striker limped off during Tuesday night’s draw with Mansfield but Graham Coughlan has no new injury or suspensions to deal with ahead of the weekend.
Thomas Kirk is the referee for this one. Kirk is in his first season in the Football League and has never officiated a Cobblers game before. Conor Farrell and Steven Plane are running the lines and Robert Lewis is fourth official.
It could be another patched up Cobblers XI taking to the field on Saturday but if we can get Sam Hoskins starting and firing again, we should hopefully be able to nick a win from this one. 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.