An almost ding-dong of a 2-2 draw at Sixfields ten days ago set up this evening’s replay as the Cobblers look to set up a Second Round tie with either Bradford City or Exeter City.
Just as the FA Cup Second Round tie did in 2002, the first game between Cambridge and the Cobblers ended 2-2 at Sixfields and Town will be looking to avoid history repeating itself on Tuesday night. The U’s win that replay nineteen years ago by a single goal and it looks like being another close contest between the sides again this evening.
A home game against Bradford City or Exeter City awaits the winner of this one – not a massively attractive tie to be gunning for but one that both sides will see as one we could feasibly win, meaning that the lure of the big boys in Round Three gets closer for the victors.
Across the cow fields we go, then, as this seasons’ FA Cup campaign hangs finely in the balance.
Cambridge were promoted from League Two last season as they finished in second place, secured by a 3-0 home win over Grimsby Town on the final day of the season. Since then, they’ve lost Paul Mullin, scorer of over thirty goals last season, to the Hollywood project at Wrexham but had stabilised themselves well following a recent barren run ahead of the first game of this round at Sixfields.
Following that 2-2 draw, Mark Bonner’s men were beaten in the Pizza Cup, 1-0 at Stevenage but still topped their group and qualified for the knockout stages. Defeat would follow on the weekend back in the league as MK hammered them 4-1 at Stadium:MK.
The U’s best recent memory in the FA Cup saw them hold Manchester United to a 0-0 draw in the 2015 Fourth Round before valiantly bowing out eventually in the replay at Old Trafford. With a good home draw ready for them in the next round should they beat the Cobblers there should be plenty of motivation to progress this evening.
Last time out
The Cobblers head into this one off the back of a well below par showing at Bristol Rovers at the weekend, with Town letting a half time lead slip to lose 2-1 at the Memorial Stadium. Cambridge also suffered badly away from home as they were hammered 4-1 at MK.
One to watch
Sam Smith headed in the U’s first equaliser at Sixfields and was on the score sheet again at MK on Saturday so Town need to make sure the supply line to the former Reading man is cut off.
Cambridge are likely to have the same squad available as of Saturday’s game at MK with Jack Iredale being checked on after picking up a couple of knocks in that one. George Williams had his head stitched during the game on Saturday and will also be looked at ahead of this evening. Jack Lankaster was back training on Monday and should be involved.
Aaron McGowan was back on the bench at the weekend and could be back from the start in this one. Jack Sowerby missed out at the weekend with a knock and may struggle to make it back for Tuesday night as well.
The two teams played out an entertaining draw ten days ago with Kion Etete’s opener quickly cancelled out by Sam Smith and Paul Lewis’ goal levelled up by Conor Masterson in the second half.
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You might just recognise the man in the middle for this evening’s tie…it’s none other than Darren Drysdale who last took charge of us for the 0-0 draw at Ipswich in February. Drysdale will forever be remembered for squaring up to Tractor Boys midfielder Alan Judge that night!
Charles: Cambridge 2-0 Cobblers
Danny: Cambridge 0-1 Cobblers
Neil: Cambridge 19-6 Cobblers
Jefe: Cambridge 0-5 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.