With Notts County still winless in the 2018/19 Sky Bet League Two season, a trip to lowly Northampton Town poses as the perfect opportunity for the Magpies to finally get their first three points of the season.
Northampton are winless in three, and haven’t won in their four home matches so far this season, including losing 3-1 to then managerless Cheltenham Town in their last outing at Sixfields.
Whilst Notts are hardly in good form themselves, as they currently sit bottom of the entire EFL, last week’s 3-3 draw at home to Stevenage at least stopped the rot of eight consecutive defeats, and some of the football played in what was only Harry Kewell’s second league match in charge of Notts was a vast improvement on what had been seen previously in the black and white.
The problem, as it has been all season so far, remains the defence; the Magpies are still conceding an average of three goals a game having conceded 24 goals so far this campaign. However, they have shown that they can score some as well. Enzio Boldewijn has scored in back-to-back games for Notts and looks capable of getting more, and Jon Stead and Kane Hemmings struck a good partnership up front together last Saturday, so there’s definitely goals throughout the team.
Notts are still pointless away from home so far this season and have conceded 14 goals in their four games on the road, but they have scored six; goals are all but a guarantee at Sixfields, and at both ends.
Cobblers manager Dean Austin was assistant to Chris Kiwomya for three months at Notts in 2013 so may be a name that Notts fans remember. At Northampton, his win percentage over his spell there since April including games where he was caretaker is only 20%. He won 2/5 at the end of last season where Northampton were inevitably relegated from League One, and has only won once in his ten games in all competitions so far this season.
Northampton also lost a number of their players as a result of their relegation last term, but they still have the basis of a decent League Two squad: Billy Waters, John-Joe O’Toole, Lewis McGugan, Kevin van Veen and Junior Morias are all good players at League Two level, and striker Dean Bowditch has a very good knack of scoring against Notts, so the table may not be a fully accurate statement of how good Northampton actually are.
That being said, the Magpies aren’t going to get a much better chance of getting their first three points on the board than a visit to a very out of form Northampton, the problem is that they will be saying the same about Notts.
With no fresh injury concerns within the Notts rank, Notts fans would be disappointed to come away with anything less than a point, but yet again with the defence being problematic it may well take a 3-2 or 4-3 result for Notts to win it.
Picture Credit: Notts County