All you need to know ahead of Saturday's trip to Sixfields
Northampton Town v Luton Town
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 28th March 2015, kick-off 3pm
Live commentary on Hatters Player, DiverseFM, BBC3CR and lutontown.co.uk
• Town, sixth in League 2, lost last five league matches
• Hatters not won in seven away games
• Cobblers 11th, five points off top seven
• Loan signing Lewis Kinsella in line for Town debut
• Striker Elliot Lee, however, ruled out
WHO? Northampton Town Football Club, aka the Cobblers. Founded in 1897, the club holds the record for the shortest time taken to be promoted from the bottom tier to the top and then be relegated all the way back down again. They are currently managed by former Oxford boss Chris Wilder and have been playing at Sixfields since 1994. They are nicknamed the Cobblers – a reference to the town’s historical shoe-making industy.
WHERE? Sixfields opened its doors in October 1994 when the Cobblers moved away from their County Ground home. The stadium will only be open on three sides for the Hatters’ visit on Saturday with one side currently undergoing redevelopment. The Cobblers averaged just over 4,000 last season while Sixfields’ record attendance was 7,557 for a game against Manchester City in 1998.
HOW TO GET THERE. One of the easiest trips of the season. Leave the M1 at Junction 15A and take the A43 towards Northampton and you will come to the ground on your right. Parking, though, isn’t such a doddle. There is a fair sized car park located at the ground, which costs £4, but make sure that you arrive early as it fills up for the big old games (like this one). Parking in the nearby cinema and restaurant car parks is not allowed, and parking there will probably result in your car being given a ticket so steer clear and try and make sure that you only use the official football parking provided at the ground itself. If you’ve got a satnav, the postcode for the ground is NN5 5QA.
HOW THEY DOING? Not bad at all. Rewind a month and many Cobblers fans would have been happy with cementing their place in midtable. However, a fine run of form has carried the Cobblers to within five points of the Play-Offs. They’ve lost just three of their last 10 games, but have lost their last two matches – to Carlisle at Sixfields, and last Saturday, at Bury.
TICKETS PLEASE! Unfortunately all tickets for Hatters fans have sold out with no more available on the day at Sixfields. Supporters without tickets are advised not to travel. And don’t even think about watching the game from the hill which overlooks the pitch. Well, it’s dangerous for a start and the local police may well move you on. You’ve been warned!
HOME COMFORTS. The Cobblers may have lost at Kenilworth Road earlier in the season but Wilder’s men have taken comfort from a strong home record which has seen them win 11 of their 19 matches at Sixfields. Only Stevenage, Shrewsbury and Burton have won more matches at home.
CLUB CONNECTIONS.Luke Guttridge reminded Cobblers fans of his time at Sixfields when scoring the late winner in the game between the two sides here in October. He is one of many players to have played for both clubs, with Steve Howard and Terry Branston two names to serve both with distinction in the past.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? Saturday’s meeting will be the 82nd between the two clubs with the Hatters holding sway in the head-to-head record with 39 wins to Northampton’s 27. 15 have ended in draws. The Town, however, have a poor record at Sixfields, losing five of their six visits. The Hatters’ only win came courtesy of a sole Stuart Douglas goal in February 2001 in Joe Kinnear’s first game in charge.
REF WATCH. Graham Scott oversees his 37th match of the season so far on Saturday and his first Luton match since May 2009. The whistler, who has shown 116 yellow cards (but just three reds) officiated the Hatters’ final game in the Football League before relegation to the Conference – the 2-0 defeat at Brentford.
TOWN TEAM NEWS. Tuesday’s man-of-the-match and against Wycombe Elliot Lee misses out with a hip injury after scoring twice in that defeat, while defender Fraser Franks has been ruled out for a month with an ankle injury sustained in the same game. New loan signing Lewis Kinsella is expected to start at left-back with Scott Griffiths and Jake Howells out. Jonathan Smith and Nathan Doyle are close to a return but Saturday could come too soon for both; and the same could be said about Mark Tyler – so Elliot Justham will continue in goal. Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu is also out.
COBBLERS’ CAMP. The Cobblers have no fresh injury worries ahead of Saturday’s game with Ricky Holmes expected to overcome a knock in last week’s defeat at Bury. However top goalscorer Marc Richards – who has 17 goals in 32 games this season – is out with an Achilles injury.
LIVE AND ONLINE.Hatters Player is the only place to listen to online commentary of the Hatters this season and once again the DiverseFM team will be bringing subscribers all the action from Sixfields. What’s more there will be a full report, reaction and photographs post-match and live text updates during the match itself.
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