Northampton Town v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

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By Simon Gray

After a fantastic season in the Sky Bet Football League Two, Northampton Town are now just one win away from promotion.

Following a 2-2 draw at home to Notts County last time out, they entertain third place Bristol Rovers at the Sixfields Stadium.

The Cobblers are currently 16 points ahead of fourth place Plymouth Argyle and know that a draw will be enough if Argyle and Accrington both drop points.

Northampton manager Chris Wilder wants to secure promotion in front of the home faithful on Saturday due to the connection with the fans.

“In a time when you look at Premier League teams and there’s no connection between them and the fans, especially those teams who don’t do very well.” He told the Northampton Chronicle.

“There’s no connection between players and supporters and it seems to have disappeared, but we’ve definitely got a connection here.

“Whether it’s through the situation that was placed upon us, the connection between us and the supporters is fantastic.

“We’ll be after another big effort from them, and they’ll be after another big effort from the players.”

Bristol Rovers go into the game on the back of a 3-0 win over Crawley Town and a fantastic march in which they won six of their seven matches. This record has not gone unnoticed with Darrell Clarke and Matty Taylor picking up Manager and Player of the Month awards.

“The first one you get as a Football League manager is quite special and it is a nice personal accolade to receive.” Clarke told the Bristol Post upon receiving the award.

“But it is an award I accept on behalf of the players and the rest of my staff for all the hard work they put in to put together what was a fantastic run of results.

Striker Taylor scored a brace in the recent win over Crawley and with that moved up into first position in the League Two goal scoring charts, taking his tally for the season to 24 league goals.

“Matty has been exceptional all season,” Clarke said.

“He has been on a tremendous scoring run but what people don’t see is how hard he is always working to improve his game.”

Northampton go into the game with the only injury concern being Paul Corry, who has a knee problem.

Bristol Rovers will still be without midfielders Lee Mansell and Stuart Sinclair although Clarke has recently hinted that both are close to a return.


The last time the two sides met was the first game of the season at the Memorial Stadium with Northampton clinching a 1-0 win.

Both Northampton and Rovers were involved in the League Two relegation battle of 2013 that saw Rovers relegated on the final day.

Northampton midfielder John-Joe O’Toole joined from The Pirates following that relegation.



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