Keith Curle's Northampton Town gained promotion to League One last season via the play-offs in dramatic fashion. When the League Two season was abandoned they were in seventh place but were adjusted to sixth on the basis of points per game. They then lost their home semi-final to Cheltenham 0-2 and it looked game over.
Four days later they travelled to Gloucestershire and pulled one of the goals back after nine minutes. On-loan West Bromwich Albion forward Callum Morton then scored twice in the second half to complete a deserved turnaround and a 3-2 aggregate win.
After that, Wembley was easy. They were 2-0 up against Matt Taylor's Exeter within half an hour and, after Exeter were reduced to ten men early in the second half, they coasted home 4-0.
Life in League One hasn't been easy for them, although they started with a home draw to Wimbledon and an away win at Shrewsbury. What followed was four straight defeats to Hull, Bristol Rovers, Peterborough and Plymouth and there was great relief when they managed to cling on for a 2-1 win at home to Swindon on Tuesday night. They welcome Charlton to the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday in sixteenth place with seven points from seven games.
One familiar face will be that of Mark Marshall who joined the Cobblers this year after his contract with Gillingham ran out. The thirty three year old generally starts on the substitute's bench these days.
Our record against Northampton is good with only one defeat in the ten games since 1964. That was the 2-1 defeat at Sixfields in March 2017. It was a very forgettable match but it will be remembered by the fans who watched it via shaky mobile phone footage while drinking in Sint Truiden and listening to the Ten PerCent ahead of the Unity Protest March. Many of us thought the team had scored a late equaliser only to discover that the goal we thought had drawn us level was just a repeat showing of Jordan Botaka's first half strike.
Our last visit was a much happier affair. Goals from Reeves, Magennis and Fosu (2) saw us comfortably home 4-0. Despite the fact that the game was only two years ago only Ben Amos and Jake Foster-Caskey remain of the starting eleven that day.
After three consecutive clean sheets and two wins on the trot Charlton fans will be expecting to win this Saturday, especially as Lee Bowyer now has a fuller squad to select from and players like Williams and Levitt well rested from their international duties. The second half performance of young Chelsea loanee Ian Maatsen at Blackpool reminded many of Jay daSilva and promised a more attacking force up the left flank. There is also the chance that Marcus Maddison will travel and be on the bench.
Here is the link to watch the game on Valley Pass:
Sit back and enjoy a comfortable 2-0 win.