Northampton Town v Mansfield Town Preview – Back to back defeats for the Cobblers have dragged us into mid-table, Injury ravaged Mansfield are next in Town as we look to stop the rot at Sixfields…
The last two Cobblers league performances have produced a mix bag but both ended in defeat. Sutton United left Sixfields with all three points after a desperate display from Jon Brady’s team. Last weekend saw a much improved performance (it could hardly have got worse) but the same result as Town once again struggled to stamp their mark fully on a game that was there for the taking.
Scoring goals is still a major issue for Brady’s charges but he can at least bring a man back into the fray who is all too familiar with Saturday’s visitors. Danny Rose spent four years at Field Mill before making the move to Sixfields and he returns from suspension just in time to face a struggling Stags outfit.
With Mansfield also finding it hard to hit the back of the net, we may not be getting a ding dong this weekend but whatever the performance, the Cobblers need to get back on track very quickly.
We’re now approaching almost a year since Nigel Clough took charge of Mansfield after Graham Coughlan had led them to nine winless games at the start of last season. Clough at least took them to safety, finishing the season in fifteenth but there would have been many who expected more this terms in his first full season in charge.
His task hasn’t been made any easier by a raft of injuries that have held the Stags back and meant that it’s been another slow start to a season. It’s not just the amount of injuries and suspensions that’s the issue either, with the quality of those missing being a major factor. There’s a feeling of square pegs in round holes at the moment as they go through the painful process of waiting for key players to return.
There’s still plenty of time for a poor start to be turned around but the Cobblers have to see this as a chance to take advantage. That usually ends well, right?!
Last time out
One to watch
It seems odd to pick a goalkeeper as one to watch but without Manchester United loanee Nathan Bishop, the Stags could have been in even bigger trouble than they already are. The highly rated 21-year-old has been a rare shining light in their season so far.
Jon Brady will still be without both Joseph Mills and Sid Nelson with their long term injuries. Danny Rose is back in contention to face his former club after serving his one game ban for picking up five yellow cards in the league.
Mansfield’s injury woes continued last weekend as George Maris suffered a concussion during the draw with Oldham after a clash of heads with team mate James Clarke. Maris is touch and go for the weekend and Oliver Hawkins is also a doubt with a back injury. The Stags are also definitely without James Perch, Ryan Stirk, Richard Nartey, Kallan Gordon and Will Forrester while Steven Quinn and Tyrese Simpson are suspended. Farrend Rawson is back in the squad, though, after serving a suspension. Keaton Ward is pushing for a start after impressing off the bench last weekend.
The last time the teams met was the last game before lockdown hit the country. Sam Hoskins was sent off to begin the longest suspension in history and Danny Rose converted the ensuing spot kick for Mansfield. Willem Tomlinson made it two before a late consolation from Harry Smith for the Cobblers.
Robert Lewis is the man in the middle for this one. Lewis was last in charge of a Cobblers game in December of last year as we slumped to a 4-0 home defeat to Lincoln City.
Charles: Cobblers 3-0 Mansfield
Danny: Cobblers 2-1 Mansfield
Neil: Cobblers 0-0 Mansfield
Jefe: Cobblers 4-0 Mansfield
Danny joined It’s All Cobblers To Me at the very beginning. While at university he’s written a regular blog about the Cobblers and the transition to podcasting was an obvious one to take.
A Cobblers fan all his life, Danny is the most optimistic of us on the podcast. His love of Sam Hoskins is undeniable and rumours of keeping Keith Curle locked up in his basement are unfounded.