Match Preview: Tranmere Rovers v Northampton Town

Check out our preview of the Cobblers' final game of the season at Tranmere.

After the shattering disappointment of last weekend, the Cobblers go in search of the win we need to finally get over the line on Monday lunch time. In front of the Sky Sports cameras, Town will be promoted with a win over Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park or by matching Stockport’s result at home to Hartlepool.

Given the fortunes of the Pools this season, we have to expect County to romp home in that game, meaning only a win will do. The final team in our way now have a permanent man in place after six weeks of a managerial search and Ian Dawes will be hoping to prove why he’s the right man to take them forward.

The Cobblers need not worry about that, though, as there’s work to be done. With just two teams left in the race, the time is now.

COME ON, COBBLERS!

The Opposition

It’s been a season of mediocracy for Tranmere for the most part this time out with Micky Mellon starting the season with high ambitions but ending it jobless as his second spell with Rovers petered out disappointingly. There were flashes of quality in the opening few months but often it was followed by poor runs of form and results that made any promotion bid a pipe dream by Christmas.

A 3-1 defeat to Newport was the final nail in Mellon’s coffin and Ian Dawes stepped in to take temporary charge. After a mixed bag of results which brought Rovers two wins, four draws and two defeats since Mellon departed, Dawes was this week named the new permanent boss with a new Technical Director also on the way in.

Home fans will be hoping to at least end a disappointing season on somewhat of a high on Monday and we have to hope the new manager bounce becomes null and void if that new manager has already been in place for a while! 

Last Time Out

Tranmere were held to a 1-1 draw at AFC Wimbledon last week while the Cobblers were beaten in stoppage time by Bradford.

One To Watch

Winger Josh Hawkes has been the main man for Tranmere this season, top scoring with eleven goals. Cutting inside from the left onto his favoured right foot, he’ll be the one we need to watch closely on Monday.

Team News

Tranmere youngster Sam Taylor is pushing for a start after coming off the bench to score the first professional goal of his career at Wimbledon last week. Harvey Saunders, who Taylor replaced in that game, could be a doubt.

Jonny Maxted, Ben Fox, Aaron McGowan, Akin Odimayo, Josh Harrop, Tyler Magloire and Jon Guthrie are out for the season for the Cobblers. On a positive note, Harvey Lintott returned to the bench and came on during the Bradford game so he’s pushing to be in contention.

Line-Up Prediction

Match Officials

Craig Hicks is charged with keeping order for the big one on Monday. Hicks last officiated the Cobblers in a 2-0 home defeat to Cambridge United in the Pizza Cup earlier this season. Grant Taylor and Johnathon Bickerdike are running the lines and Thomas Parsons is fourth official.

Prediction

There’s no chance i can go against the Cobblers for this one. We have to win. We’re desperate to win. We can win. 2-1 Cobblers.

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