Hartlepool United v Northampton Town Preview – A dreadful showing last weekend for the Cobblers was followed by a Pizza Cup shootout defeat. Now comes a chance to get back on track with the long trip to Victoria Park.
Last weekend saw the Cobblers take on one of the newly promoted sides with terrible results with the U’s taking home all three points from Sixfields. It wasn’t just the result but the awful performance that hit home the most that there’s still plenty of work to be done.
It gets no easier this weekend, either, with Saturday’s hosts Hartlepool United sitting top of the table for points gained from home games so far. If the Cobblers are to end any thoughts of a slide away from the top seven then we need to be picking something up from this one.
This is our first trip to Victoria Park since the 2015/16 season. That season ended quite well…
The Monkey Hangers’ home form this season is building on a strong campaign on their own patch last season. The backbone of their run to the playoffs was an eight game winning run at Victoria Park that fell within a sixteen game unbeaten sequence all round.
Back in League Two and they’ve been holding their own well. Four wins from five at home has them in thirteenth place but just one point away from the top seven.
Leading the charge is former long throw specialist Dave Challinor. After a long and successful spell with AFC Fylde, where he took the club through five levels of the non-league pyramid and to FA Trophy success for the first time in their history. Challinor joined Hartlepool in 2019 and the following season, in his first full season in charge, he led them back into the Football League thanks to a dramatic Playoff Final victory over Torquay United.
Last time out
The Cobblers were held to a 1-1 draw with Walsall in 90 minutes in the Papa Johns Trophy and were beaten on penalties. Hartlepool had better luck with spot kicks, defeating Morecambe after their game finished 2-2 after the 90.
One to watch
20 year old striker Matty Daly, on loan from Huddersfield Town, has been challenged to take his goals from cup competitions into the league campaign by manager Challinor. Daly scored twice in midweek and will likely start again against the Cobblers as he looks for his first league goal for the club.
Hartlepool have been without leading scorer Tyler Burey since the start of September after he limped off during their 1-0 defeat at Tranmere and he’ll be missing again for the Cobblers’ visit. Olufela Olomola withdrew late ahead of the Tuesday night Papa Johns Trophy tie and is being monitored. Meanwhile, Pools will check on the fitness of Gavan Holohan and Gary Liddle after both missed out in midweek.
The Cobblers continue to be without both Joseph Mills and Sid Nelson with their long term injuries. Danny Rose serves a one game suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season. Dominic Revan made his first start of the season on Tuesday night and could come into Jon Brady’s thinking should Jon Guthrie miss out again.
A rare goalless draw en route to the Cobblers storming to the League Two title in 2016.
Taking charge on Saturday is Ben Toner. The experience Lancastrian last refereed a Cobblers game in March, handing us a last minute penalty at AFC Wimbledon which Sam Hoskins missed, handing all three points to the Dons.
Charles: Hartlepool 0-0 Cobblers
Danny: Hartlepool 0-0 Cobblers
Neil: Hartlepool 0-0 Cobblers
Jefe: Hartlepool 0-0 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.