It’s the Cobblers’ 125th Birthday celebrations on Saturday but Tranmere are coming to town looking to ruin the party…
Northampton Town is 125 years old this week and the weekend clash with Tranmere Rovers is not only a top of the table six pointer but also the host game for a celebration of our club.
It’s an odd one in the category of promotion showdowns with both sides coming into the game on a poor run of form and hanging on to their places in the top three for dear life. Town’s creamy form continued with a 1-1 draw with Walsall on Tuesday night and we’re going to need a big improvement on performing for the whole ninety minutes on Saturday if we’re to avoid a party being pooped.
Tranmere are in a similar position to the Cobblers coming into the weekend. Struggling to consistently score goals but not giving much away at the other end, Rovers are also hanging on to their place in the top three thanks to games in hand not yet being completed below them (and us). There’s a fear of another drop off after last season’s collapse under Keith Hill that saw them go from top three contenders to playoff semi-final defeat to Morecambe but this time around there’s at least a sense that there’s someone in charge to really get behind.
That man is Micky Mellon, the man who will forever be remembered in the annuls of Tranmere history for taking them from the National League to League One in back to back campaigns a few years ago before he headed to Scotland. Now back in charge, Mellon is determined to add another chapter to his love affair with the Birkenhead outfit.
That chapter rolls through Sixfields on Saturday in a crunch game that could well be a cagey affair.
Last time out
One to watch
The evergreen Peter Clarke is going to be crucial to Tranmere’s efforts to beat away the Cobblers’ favourite weapon of the set piece. The 40-year-old still bosses games from central defence and is a lynchpin in Rovers’ starting eleven.
Jack Sowerby is still touch and go for this one but the injury situation at the Cobblers is starting to clear up. Chanka Zimba is back training with the club after going back to Cardiff for treatment but the weekend is likely to come too soon for him and Idris Kanu is still a couple of weeks away.
Tranmere have no new injury news to report with Paul Glatzel close to a return. Jay Spearing is still on the road to recovery from a knee injury but, other than that, Rovers have a clean bill of health.
Earlier this season, Kion Etete gave the Cobblers the lead at Prenton Park before a Sam Hoskins penalty earned the Cobblers an impressive three points on the road.
Line-up Prediction – Powered by FanHub
Stephen Martin is taking charge of this one on Saturday. Martin hasn’t refereed a Cobblers game since an EFL Cup tie at Wycombe back in 2018. Mark Pottage and Adrian Waters are running the line and….drumroll…TREVOR KETTLE is fourth official. Happy Birthday to all of us!
Charles: Cobblers 0-0 Tranmere
Danny: Cobblers 3-3 Tranmere
Neil: Cobblers 9-9 Tranmere
Jefe: Cobblers 2-1 Rochdale
We were joined this week by Tranmere fan Paul Haroper from This Is Tranmere as we looked ahead to the weekend’s game:
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.