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Match Previews

🔎 The Opposition: Northampton Town (H)

Lowdown on the Cobblers

6 December 2021

Exeter City return to League action on Tuesday night with the return of Northampton Town.

Ahead of the game, Jed Penberthy features an opposition overview of the Cobblers.

  • Founded: 1897
  • Nicknames: The Cobblers
  • Honours: Division 3 (1962/62), League Two (2015/16), Division 4 (1986/87).
  • Home Kit: HUMMEL Claret shirts with white sleeves, white shorts, claret socks.
  • Away Kit: HUMMEL Black shirts with Gold print, black/gold shorts and black socks.
  • Form: LLDWW (2nd in League Two)

Formed in 1897 by schoolteachers connected with the local school’s association, the club may have never survived the first year after a financial crisis. Becoming members of the Midland League dragged the club back into the black and they achieved Southern League status in 1901 and turned professional. 

The Clubs nickname ‘The Cobblers’ homages the shoemaking industry in the area which dates to the 17th Century. In 1861, demand for Northampton shoes was so grand that 1,821 shoemakers resided in the town.

Despite football being the order of the day, it is the other major sports in the region which take the limelight. Northampton Saints Rugby were European Champions in 2000 and Northamptonshire Cricket Club twice winners of the T20 Blast, and has featured past players such as Monty Panesar, Michael Hussey and Tony Penberthy (no relation to me, I believe).

Northampton Cricket.jpg

In 1920 Northampton Town were made Original Members of Division 3. Northampton were one of many football clubs to travel to Holland to play against the Dutch National Team during the early 30’s. Town even beat their international hosts 4-0 in Rotterdam.

In 1963 under the watchful eye of David Bowen, Northampton won the Division 3 title for the first time. Within two years Town were promoted again to the top tier for the first, and only, time in their history.

By the turn of the 21st century, Town had bounced up and down the Football League, including a Division 4 title in 1987. In 2015/16, Chris Wilder guided the Cobblers to the League Two title before being snatched by his hometown club Sheffield United.

Last season, Northampton were relegated back to the fourth tier after a single season but are in second- just one point above City- ahead of the clash on Tuesday, beginning a tough month for the Grecians.

Manager

Jon Brady

Appointed permanent manager of Town in May, Brady is so far excelling at his task to get the Cobblers back into League One. Born in Newcastle, Australia Brady was a journeyman as a player, beginning his career at Brentford in the early 90’s and making an appearance for the Australian Under 17’s.

Northampton Brady.jpg

After minor spells in Wales and Norway, Brady spent most of his playing days in non-league, appearing for ten different sides before hanging up his boots in 2013 at Brackley Town.

Keen to move to the touchline, Brady moved to the Northampton Town Youth Set-up in 2016 and five years down the line in the man in charge of the Clarets.   

Stadium

  • Name: Sixfields Stadium
  • Capacity: 7,798
  • Record Attendance: 24,523 (v Fulham, Division 1, 1966- at the County Ground): 7,798 (v Manchester United, FA Cup 2016 & v Derby County, FA Cup 2019- At Sixfields)
  • Year opened: 1994
  • Address: Upton Way, Northampton, NN5 5QA.

After nearly 100 years ground sharing with the County Cricket club, a new football specific stadium was designed in the mid-nineties to drive the Club forward.

Northampton Stadium.jpg

Back at the County Ground, Town recorded their record attendance of 24,523 vs Fulham in 1966. In 2016, Manchester United sold out Sixfields to its capacity.

In 2014, a new £10.25m redevelopment to the East Stand was commissioned met by criticism from fans reducing the capacity and still remains unfinished to this day, though in June Northampton had a new lease of hope as plans are back in progress.  

One To Watch

Sam Hoskins

Born down the road in Dorchester, Sam Hoskins has been a stalwart at Northampton since joining in 2015 and is leading the promotion charge this season too with six goals to his name.

Northampton Hoskins.JPG

The right-winger has played well over 200 games for the Cobblers in his time at Sixfields, twice winning promotion in that time, first in 2016, before scoring on that fateful day at Wembley two years ago.

With not just goals to his game, Hoskins has bagged a couple of assists too as he aims to create for Kion Etete in the middle- he too has six strikes this term- as the Northampton front line are stacked with quality to hurt City.  

Head to Head

It’s safe to say Northampton have had the rub of the green against Exeter. In 119 games between the two sides, Town have taken the spoils on 55 occasions.

374 goals have been shared and games tend to be open encounters. Exeter’s record win in 6-4 over Town in 1930 and 5-0 in 1984, yet the Cobblers can boast a 9-0 victory over Exeter City back in 1958.

Exeter wins: 30

Draws: 34

Northampton wins: 55 

Recent encounters

Exeter City 1 Northampton Town 2 | Papa Johns Trophy | St James Park | December 8, 2021

The fairy tale return of fans to St James Park was ruined by the pantomime villains from Northampton, as Exeter City bowed out of the Papa John’s Trophy.

Exeter City 0 Northampton Town 4 | League Two Play-Off Final | Wembley Stadium | June 29, 2020

Keith Curle’s side won promotion to League One with a resounding win under the arch.

Northampton YT.jpg

(Actual highlights here)

Northampton Town 2 Exeter City 0 | League Two | Sixfields Stadium | February 22, 2020

City lost ground in the Automatic places, as Verdaine Oliver’s first minute strike and Sam Hoskins late penalty kept the points in the midlands.

And Finally

Northampton Town forward Barry Lines became the first ever player to score in each of the top four divisions for the same club, when he netted against West Brom in 1965. Town lost the game 4-3 and their only season in the topflight ended in relegation.   


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