Match Preview: Stevenage V Northampton Town

Danny previews the Cobblers' trip to Stevenage.

A point at Leyton Orient last weekend was enough to stem the flow of nervousness for the Cobblers as our ten men fought hard in a second half that was marred by the early red card for Ben Fox. The way we dug in and found a way to grab a point from another of our promotion rivals was impressive and hopefully it gets us back on the straight and narrow ahead of another huge match this weekend at Stevenage.

The Opposition

Stevenage sit top of League Two at the moment and are absolutely loving life in the prime seat. Never before have the club experienced such heights but under Steve Evans they’re a club rejuvenated. Evans took over when they were in the midst of a relegation battle last season and things looked bleak for the them after fellow strugglers Oldham came to Broadhall Way and took home all three points.

But four wins in the final seven games rescued the Boro from the brink and Evans had done exactly the job he was brought in to do. What’s happened this season, though, has been nothing short of miraculous. Stevenage have won ten out of ten at home in all competitions and have conceded just twice at home in the league at home. It speaks to Evans’ ability to eek out every single ounce of every player he has that he’s got the side competing on all fronts, even winning three out of three in the Pizza Cup.

This was called the biggest game in many a year for Stevenage by our good friend Matt Farley on this week’s Preview Show so there should be plenty of early fireworks as the Claret army descends on Hertfordshire on Saturday.

Last Time Out

The Cobblers held fellow promotion hopefuls Leyton Orient on Saturday before losing 3-1 to Arsenal’s Under 21s in the Pizza Cup on Tuesday night. Stevenage’s last league outing was a 1-1 draw at Gillingham last weekend before they beat Spurs Under 21s in the trophy on Tuesday,

One To Watch

It can be no-one other than Danny Rose in this spot this week. The former Cobblers man has scored five times already this season including a beauty of a header at Gillingham last weekend. The serial winder upper should be chomping at the bit to face Town at the weekend.

Team News

Stevenage will be without the suspended Jordan Roberts after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last weekend and serves a one match ban. Dean Campbell is pushing for a start after impressing in the Pizza Cup outing on Tuesday night against Spurs Under 21s.

Aaron McGowan made his long awaited return to the pitch on Tuesday night but it’s unlikely that he’ll start again so soon despite scoring a thunder bastard effort on this ground last season. Saturday’s game could come too soon for Sam Hoskins who picked up an injury ahead of last weekend and Ben Fox is missing in the first of his three game ban for his red card at Orient.

Line-Up Prediction

Match Officials

Geoff Eltringham is in charge of this one. The experience referee mostly officiated in the Championship for the last few seasons. Ironically, his last Cobblers match was our 2-1 win over Stevenage in October 2015 at Sixfields. Andrew Aylott and Greg Read are running the lines and the excellently named Neil Hair is fourth official.

Prediction

I can see goals in this one and we have to give Danny Rose his obligatory goal against us that’s absolutely coming. I’m going for a 2-2 draw.

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