Third v Second. A full house at Sixfields. Promotion in our hands. Let’s go!
There have been times this season when we thought things were drifting away. Times when no-one truly believed in the ambition of promotion for the Cobblers at the first attempt. But with two games to go, it’s right back in our hands.
Two wins from the final two games would guarantee the Cobblers promotion back to League One at the first attempt. First up are Exeter City, who finally sealed their own place in League One on Tuesday night and who are now going all out for the title.
For the Cobblers, it’s all about getting over the line. Here’s to a packed Sixfields helping us to do just that. An exciting, nervous and anxious afternoon awaits.
After defeat against the Cobblers at an empty Wembley Stadium two years ago, Exeter struggled to mount another playoff or promotion campaign and finished in ninth place last season.
It would have been easy, at that point, for the club and fans to ponder if Matt Taylor and the group of players were good enough to mount a serious challenge. But patience was key and the Grecians saw enough in some frustrating draws in the first half of this season to think that something special was around the corner.
That, it most certainly was. 17 wins from 23 games this side of Christmas took City from the edges of the playoffs all the way to their promotion party on Tuesday night against Barrow. After a long, long wait, Exeter are back.
Last time out
The Cobblers produced a stunning first half and then overall performance to beat Leyton Orient 4-2 away from home last week. Exeter won 2-0 at home to Rochdale on Saturday and then 2-1 at home to Barrow on Tuesday night to seal promotion to League One.
One to watch
Timothee Dieng has caught the eye this season with the midfielder, who signed from Southend United on a free transfer in the summer, producing some fine form in front of goal and making himself one of the bargains of the season.
Jon Brady has said that there are “one or two on the treatment table” who missed training on Tuesday night but wouldn’t be drawn on who they were. Paul Lewis and Sid Nelson are both out for the season.
Exeter should welcome back Offrande Zanzala after he was ineligible to face his former club Barrow on Tuesday night. Sam Nombe is being eased back into action after injury and came off the bench in midweek so could feature again on Saturday. Alex Hartridge is out for the season after he pulled up with a hamstring injury on Good Friday.
The Cobblers ended Exeter’s 20 game unbeaten home run back in December as goals from Jack Sowerby and Mitch Pinnock were enough to bring home the points for Town.
Line-up Prediction – Powered by FanHub
Simon Mather is taking charge of this one, having last officiated the Cobblers on the opening day of the season, sending off Port Vale keeper Lucas Covolan at Sixfields. Garry Maskell and Andy Bennett are running the lines and Steven Plane is fourth official.
Charles: Cobblers 3-1 Exeter
Danny: Cobblers 3-2 Exeter
Neil: Cobblers 13-0 Exeter
Jefé: Cobblers 3-1 Exeter
Charles and Danny looked ahead to the big game on this week’s Preview Show:
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.