harriers-online match preview
20th October 2003 
Northampton Town
At Sixfields Stadium
21/10/03 7:45pm
Now with Jan Molby back in the green shorts, or is it Gary Barnett, it'll be interesting to see who gets the nod for the starting line-up tomorrow evening at Northamptons' Sixfields Stadium.

One name definitely not on the list, although he will wish he was, is Bo Henriksen.  He's gone home to Denmark for a few weeks to shake off his achilles tendon complaint.  If he knows that Jan's back he may suddenly make a quick recovery.

With a reversion back to the old 4-3-3 we should at last get to see the pairing of Matt Gadsby with either Craig Hinton or Adam Willis.  The back two should consist of Adie Smith or Kenny Coleman and new signing Wayne Hatswell.

Midfield is anyones guess but the frontline will be a bit more interesting due to our lack of strikers.  It looks like being Matt Lewis and the dawdling postman, John Williams, in that space with JJ Melligan tucked in behind.

Scott Stamps will be missing after hobbling off at Swansea.

This will be our first ever game against Northampton, in fact we shouldn't really be playing them now.  For you younger ones out there this is a reference to our first Championship winning season in 1994 when our bid to join the Football League was stopped by the wonderful people at Lytham St Annes.

As they gathered around the oak table, drank the fine port and sucked on their Churchill cigars they realised that one of their own was about to go out of the Football League.

Northampton were bottom of the League that year and the trapdoor was slowly opening.  The problem was that they had a three sided ground that they shared with the County cricket team, those three sides were also semi-derelict but that's beside the point.

The Harriers had a ground with stands on all four sides, of which one stand was old but serviceable.  That stand was to be replaced at the end of the season anyway, promotion or no promotion.

Aggborough had also been filled to capacity with well over 8,000 fans when we played West Ham in the FA Cup earlier that year.

So can someone tell me why we stayed down and the Cobblers stayed up?  I'll tell you.  It was because Northampton had plans for a new stadium and it was to be partly paid for by the FA.

So was our new stand but it didn't cost as much as Sixfields was going to cost them.

When we finally did get promotion in 2000 Northampton got themselves promoted into the 2nd Division just to avoid us. That's all history though and we now have our rightful place in the League.  It's up to us to serve sweet justice on a average Northampton side tomorrow.

Northampton are having a poor season back in the basement and haven't lived up to the pre-season hype that they would be promoted back as a matter of routine.  They now sit just six places and four points above us.

This poor form led to the sacking of their former manager, Martin Wilkinson, a couple of weeks ago.  He was replaced by Colin Calderwood, ex Spurs, and in his first home game in charge on Friday they struggled to a 1-1 draw against Scunthorpe.

For our game they'll be without Peter Clark (broken ankle), Jerry Gill (cruciate ligament damage), Ashley Westwood (dislocated shoulder) and Tom Youngs.  Also out will be Lee Harper who will be serving a one match ban after being sent off against Hull City.

This should be an interesting game that will attract a lot of media interest and should also see a healthy following from Worcestershire eager to see the Man.

Taking into account our lack of strikers I expect us to play a more defensive game and get at least one point from this.


Harriers from:
Brock, Danby, Gadsby, Coleman, Willis, Smith, Hinton, D Williams, Parrish, Bennett, Betts, Hatswell, Melligan, Ward, Shilton, J Williams, Lewis, Heath.

Northampton from:
Thompson, Weaver, Willmott, Reid, Chambers, Sampson, T Smith, Carruthers, Reeves, Harsley, Trollope, Hargreaves, Low, Rickers, Lincoln, Cracknell, Cavill, Burgess, Asamoah, Stamp, M Smith, Richards, Morison, Dudfield.
Previous games against Northampton
Harriers score first
2002 - 03
2001 - 02
2000 - 01

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