The Cobblers are back at Sixfields this weekend as we host Salford City.
As the transfer window begins to make its way towards the closed position the Cobblers have a game to contend with as well as the last minute scramble for deals that may be on its way come Monday’s deadline.
It’s been a week of nervous movement for Jon Brady with his new loan striker ruled out before he’d even got going and a new man coming in from the wrong side of the Nene who isn’t a direct replacement for that holy grail of an out and out striker. If we’re to keep up an excellent challenge that’s been put together over the last few months it seems vital that we find a solution.
The opposition on Saturday haven’t had any such problems in funding moves over the years with the Class of ’92 and their investment still making them a target of most League Two clubs to shoot down. You feel that a win for the Cobblers in this one would go a long way to calming the waters a bit before that deadline looms on Monday night.
Salford are now in their third season in the Football League since promotion in 2019 via the National League playoffs. Since then it’s been a case of consolidating and building on their league status with finishes of 11th and 8th in their two seasons in the league so far. Last season the Ammies missed out on the playoffs by two points and the focus this season has to be on making that final step into the promotion mix.
So far, though, it’s been a frustrating journey under Gary Bowyer, who was appointed in the summer. The former Blackburn, Blackpool and Bradford man has led City to the edge of a playoff charge again but it’s once more been a prize that’s been kept at arms length. With the backing of the Class of 92 and the tag of one of the pre-season favourites for promotion, Bowyer is likely to be feeling under pressure to make up the gap and take a place in the top seven come May.
To do so, the Ammies will need to improve in front of goal – only one team in the top half (Tranmere) have been less decisive in front of goal so far this season and this is something that new signing Matt Smith has been drafted in to address. There’s still time for the sleeping Salford to wake and make a surge towards the top places in the league but defeat at Sixfields would be a major blow to their chances.
Last time out
Salford were soundly beaten by Colchester United 3-0 last weekend but bounced back with a 2-0 victory at Barrow on Tuesday night. The Cobblers were held to a 0-0 draw at fellow high flyers Sutton United in our last outing.
One to watch
New signing Matt Smith made his debut last weekend and was one of the few bright sparks in the defeat at Colchester. The 32-year-old signed an 18 month deal with the Ammies and brings with him a wealth of experience in leading the line. Also making his return to Sixfields are Jordan Turnbull, and Ryan Watson – two of the 2020 playoff heroes!
The Cobblers will be looking to new signing Idris Kanu to come in and make a difference to our attacking output and the versatile arrival from the other side of the Nene could come straight into the starting eleven. Fellow new arrival Chanka Zimba, though, has been ruled out for six weeks with a hamstring injury and Joseph Mills has suffered a new setback with his ankle injury. Josh Eppiah signed on loan from Leicester City on Friday but it’s unknown as to whether he signed in time to play in this one.
Salford will be without forward Brandon Thomas-Asante who sits out the final game of a four match ban following a red card at Bradford earlier this month. Ibou Touray is still away with the Gambia’s national team at the African Cup of Nations while Matty Willock, Luke Burgess and Ian Henderson are still out. Josh Morris remains an injury doubt.
Paul Lewis gave the Cobblers the lead earlier this season at the Peninsula Stadium before Matty Lund equalised. Mitch Pinnock looked to have won it for Town but a 93rd minute equaliser from Ash Eastham earned Salford a point.
Line-up Prediction – Powered by FanHub
Officiating this one will be Tom Nield who last took charge of a Cobblers game in October for our 2-0 win at Tranmere. Stuart Butler and Grant Taylor are the linesmen and Daniel Cook is fourth official.
Charles: Cobblers 2-1 Salford
Danny: Cobblers 0-0 Salford
Neil: Cobblers 9-9 Salford
Jefe: Cobblers 1-0 Salford
We were joined by Salford City commentator and Media and Communications Officer Will Moorcroft this week as the Preview Show made its return!
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.