Match Preview: Northampton Town v Rochdale

Danny previews the Cobblers' League Two game with Rochdale at Sixfields.

The Cobblers clicked back into action on Tuesday night with an excellent 2-0 win away at AFC Wimbledon and kept their place in the early form table in League Two. With a couple of home games now in the pipeline, this seems a real chance to solidify a place in the top seven and higher.

Next in town are bottom club Rochdale who come into the game with no league wins from their opening eight games. As Cobblers fans, that’s never a good thing to have to face a team in that sort of form but hopefully we can build on the momentum of the last couple of weeks.

The Opposition

Rochdale have had a disaster of a start to the season after stabilising slightly under Robbie Stockdale towards the end of 2021/22. After navigating a ‘hostile takeover’ last season amid growing concerns about relegation, Dale fans were hopeful of a fresh start this time out. 

But four defeats in a row in the league saw Stockdale sacked at the end of August and he was replaced by the former Morecambe boss Jim Bentley with just a couple of days of the transfer window to go. Bentley worked fast to change the formation from the 3-5-2 that Stockdale had stubbornly kept to throughout his reign and brought in Scott Quigley on loan from Stockport. 

Quigley stormed into action with a brace on his debut at Carlisle to earn his new side a point and despite a narrow defeat to Orient on Tuesday night there’s been enough in the performances so far to suggest that the Spotland club’s first league win isn’t far away. 

Last Time Out

The Cobblers came through a tricky looking game at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night to win 2-0 while Rochdale were narrowly beaten at home by league leaders Leyton Orient at Spotland.

One To Watch

Scott Quigley signed late in the transfer window for new boss Bentley and scored twice on his debut at Carlisle. The tall front man has a turn of pace that belies his height and he could be the one to turn Rochdale’s season around. 

Team News

The Cobblers are waiting on the fitness of Shaun McWilliams after the midfielder came off early on in Tuesday night’s win over AFC Wimbledon with what looked like a groin injury. Jon Brady will be hopeful that Josh Eppiah recovers from food poisoning to finally make his second debut with the club but Aaron McGowan, Akin Odimayo and Danny Hylton are still not certain to be back. Ben Fox is likely to be missing until the New Year at least.

Liam Kelly is a doubt again for Rochdale after the midfielder was forced off in the first half of their 3-3 draw with Carlisle last weekend.

Line-Up Prediction

Match Officials

Sam Purkiss is the referee for this one. Purkiss was last in charge of the Cobblers for our 2-0 win at Oldham back on Good Friday when he sent off Oldham’s Carl Piergianni late in the game. Richard Morris and Daniel Flynn are running the lines and we can breathe again as Adam Ricketts is fourth official.

Prediction

Expectations will be high for a Cobblers win here but that’ll be tampered by that fear of handing a team their first win of the season. If we come out all guns blazing, though, it should be the former outcome that prevails! 3-1 Cobblers

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