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16 September 2023 Venue Vale Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview | Northampton Town (H)

15 September 2023

Following the recent international break, we’re back in action on Saturday as we host welcome Northampton Town to Vale Park in Sky Bet League One action!

The Valiants go into the game off the back of a 1-0 victory in the EFL trophy against Crewe Alexandra with Ben Garrity scoring the only goal of the game when he volleyed home from close range in the first half.

In the league, Vale currently occupy 4th spot with 13 points after picking up five wins and one draw since the opening day. Last time out in the league, the Valiants picked up a thrilling 2-1 win at Oxford United after an Alex Iacovitti header and a late Alfie Devine penalty helped us pick up an away victory.

Crosby’s Comments: 

When reflecting on the last ten days, Crosby said:

It’s given us a chance to recharge our batteries and focus on what’s happened so far in the six league games and three cup games. It’s given a few players a little bit longer to recover from knocks and niggles. We now start the process again with 8 games in just 25 days and were prepared and ready to go again.

“We haven’t lost any momentum; we’ve managed to recharge our batteries. We’ve got to where we are through a process that we work Monday to Friday and that has kicked in again from Monday going forward. We were back in on Monday morning; the lads had a well-deserved weekend off to spend time with their families and do some reflection themselves.”

Here’s what the gaffer had to say ahead of Saturday’s fixture

“I think they were unfortunate not to get promoted the year we did, to respond in the manner they did is credit to the whole football club and Jon (Brady) and to the players. They got promoted last season and it was really well deserved. They have played a few of the so-called bigger teams in the league. They’ve changed their style from what they were doing when we were in league two together.

“It’s a tough game, we’ve looked at the opposition as we always do, we’ve looked at what they are trying to do with and without the ball and we’ll try and nullify what they do with it and we’ll try and expose them when they haven’t got the ball. It’s a challenging game like every single game is”

The Opposition

Northampton Town currently sit in 15th spot after six games of their first season back in League One since their relegation in 2020/21. The Cobblers have won twice so far this season; Their first win came against Peterborough when Mitchell Pinnock scored in the 90th minute to help them to a 1-0 win. Their other win came seven days later against Cheltenham Town and it was another late winner, this time from Sam Hoskins who found the net in the 88th minute to earn them their second 1-0 victory in a week.

The Cobblers are managed by Jon Brady who has been at the club since 2016. The Australian joined Northampton as their U16s coach after leaving the hot seat at Brackley Town. One year later he was promoted to U18s manager at the club. After a successful stint in the youth set up, Brady was then placed in temporary charge of the first team in 2021, following the tenure of Keith Curle. Despite his best efforts, Brady was unable to keep The Cobblers in League One as they were relegated on the penultimate day of the season. Despite the club's relegation, Brady was appointed as the club's permanent manager in the summer of 2021.

On the final day of the 2021/22 season, Brady and his side were in pole position to get automatic promotion on the final day of the season. However, Bristol Rovers pulled off a miraculous 7-0 win over Scunthorpe United which saw them leapfrog Northampton and go into third place on goal difference, meaning Brady’s side had to settle for the Play Offs. The Cobblers were then subsequently beaten over two legs by Mansfield Town in the Play Offs.

Despite the Cobblers' heartbreak in the 2021/22 season, The club stayed positive and earned automatic promotion in the 2022/23 season when they finished third in League Two after picking up 83 points over the course of the season.

Player to Watch – Sam Hoskins 

Sam Hoskins joined The Cobblers in the summer of 2015, making him one of the longest serving current players at one club in the EFL. The 30-year-old joined Northampton from Yeovil Town and has since won two promotions and been named in the EFL team of the season four times in his long spell at Sixfields.

Hoskins has made a good start to life back in League One. He has found the net in 3 of their six games so far, including a late winner in their 1-0 win against Cheltenham and a 96th minute leveller to earn a point against Lincoln City.

Last Time We Met

Port Vale 0-0 Northampton Town, Saturday 12th February 2022

The sides last met in the 2021/22 season when both teams were pushing for promotion. The game itself took a while to spark into life and the first chance of the game eventually came via the left foot of Paul Lewis when his effort was well saved by Aidan Stone at his near post. Soon after, Vale worked an opportunity for themselves when Brad Walker’s cross found the head of David Worrall but his header back across goal was cleared before James Gibbons could get a toe on it. In the second half, James Wilson cut inside from the right side before teeing up Ben Garrity but his effort bobbled wide. A relatively uneventful game fizzled out into a 0-0 draw which was probably a fair result considering neither side really worked a real opening in the 90 minutes.

Fixture Throwback

Port Vale 2-2 Northampton Town, Saturday 20th April 2013

The Valiants took on the Cobblers in the penultimate game of the 2012/13 season knowing anything but a loss would all but secure their promotion to League One. The game got off to the worst possible start for the Vale as Clarke Carlisle fired the visitors into the lead after just 2 minutes when a corner fell to him at the back post. Vale rallied and were level just before the break when Liam Chilvers stooped low to head home Tom Pope’s cross from the left. Seconds later, Chilvers had a header cleared off the line by the Northampton defender following a corner.

In the second half, the visitors regained the lead via a long-range strike from Roy O’Donovan. He picked up the ball on the edge of the box before side-footing over Chris Neal in the Vale goal and into the top corner. With just 20 minutes left, Vale pushed for that crucial leveller and it finally came in the 86th minute. Chris Birchall sent a ball into the box and former Valiant Lee Collins sliced his clearance over the head of his keeper and into the net to level the scores and spark jubilant scenes at Vale Park as the Valiants had earned promotion from League Two.

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