THE MANAGER - Jon Brady
Jon Brady played for Hayes, Rushden & Diamonds, Woking, Chester City, Stevenage and Hereford United. He was part of the Diamonds squad that won the Conference title in 2000–01, scoring the winner at his future club Chester City on the final day of the season to make promotion mathematically certain.
In his coaching career, Brady successfully managed Brackley Town between 2009 and 2015, winning seven trophies and breaking numerous records as manager of the club, becoming the longest serving and most successful manager in their history.
He joined the Cobblers as Under 16 coach in 2016 and was promoted to Under 18 coach in 2017. He became caretaker manager of the first team, supported by Ian Sampson and Marc Richards, in February 2021, before being appointed manager in May 2021.
ONES TO WATCH
Mitch Pinnock - WInger
Wide midfielder Mitchell Pinnock has started brightly at Northampton since his summer move from Kilmarnock, who were relegated from the Scottish Premiership in his only season there. The 27-year-old has scored three goals, but also has recorded an impressive nine assists in 22 league games - a joint league record so far this season.
Pinnock has played in every single league game so far this season for the Cobblers and did not take long to impress Manager Jon Brady. Before moving up to Scotland in 2020, Pinnock played two seasons in League One with AFC Wimbledon, recording 59 appearances with six goals. Before this spell, Pinnock had stints in non-league with the likes of Dover and Maidstone. Mitch has quickly become a Cobblers fan favourite, and has impressed with his creativity from wide areas and cross accuracy, which has led to nine assists.
Jon Guthrie - Defender
Centre-half Jon Guthrie was another signing made by Jon Brady joining from the Scottish Premiership. The 29-year-old scored a remarkable ten league goals across two seasons and 64 appearances for Livingston.
Guthrie has continued this goalscoring form, incredibly exceeding expectations by netting six before the halfway point of the season, just 20 league games in, with an average of nearly one goal every three games from centre-back. Standing at 6 feet and 3 inches, the defender is a major threat from set pieces and has an impressive aerial duels success percentage.
Before his two years at Livingston from 2019-2021, Guthrie spent two seasons at Walsall, after moving from Crewe Alexandra where he stayed for over five years.
Sam Hoskins - WInger
Experienced wide midfielder Sam Hoskins occupies the right-wing, parallel to the left-wing employed by the previously mentioned Mitch Pinnock. The Cobblers’ wide areas are certainly an area of strength this season, with many goals being created from the flanks.
Hoskins is Northampton’s top goalscorer so far this season, having netted seven since August in 20 appearances, already levelling his total from 46 appearances last campaign. The 28-year-old has now embarked on his seventh consecutive season with the Cobblers, and is known for his goalscoring habits from his preferred right-wing position.
The winger scored in Northampton’s last league outing against Swindon Town one week ago, where they recorded a shock 5-2 loss away from home. Hoskins also recently scored a decisive goal against Leyton Orient in a 1-0 league win which saw them soar into the automatic positions of the league table.
He also began his career with Southampton where he went out on loan to Preston North End, Rotherham United and Stevenage before joining Yeovil Town in 2013. He went on loan to Barnet, briefly, before Northampton bought him in 2015.
Since 2015, Crawley have faced the Cobblers on seven occasions, with Crawley undefeated in their last four meetings in League Two competition, having lost the three games previous to this between 2015 and 2018.
Before our 0-0 clash in August of this season, our last meeting was a famous one at The People’s Pension Stadium when he hosted Northampton on Boxing Day of 2019 in a fixture that was very close to being called off due to the water on the pitch.
The game ended in a rampant home victory as the Reds ran riot from the first whistle, scoring the opener on 27 minutes when Lewis Young set up Nathan Ferguson. The second-half was when all our efforts really came into fruition as Bez Lubala added a second after the hour mark before Ollie Palmer and Mason Bloomfield scored the third and fourth goals within the last ten minutes of the game. A special Boxing Day performance.
In our previous meeting before the thrashing there was more drama that unfolded. The Cobblers looked strong at Sixfields and took a two goal lead after the hour mark, having also missed a penalty early in the second half. But Crawley showed their character and were able to pull a goal back through a special strike from substitute Ashley Nathaniel-George on 70 minutes.
Crawley worked and worked before finally finding some fortune when Josh Doherty dashed forward in the 95th minute, in what was our last attack, tapping towards goal as the ball was deflected past the goalkeeper by defender Joe Martin. The travelling Crawley fans erupted as a late point was salvaged dramatically.
After a winless streak of six games, Crawley have turned it around since late November, winning three, drawing two and losing just once. The Reds come into this fixture on the back of two league wins against more local opposition in Leyton Orient and Colchester United. However, these two games were played three weeks apart due to a COVID-19 interference.
Northampton had been on a good run of form before last Saturday’s 5-2 defeat to Swindon Town. The Cobblers sit in second place behind leaders Forest Green Rovers on 40 points from 22 games. Brady’s side recorded four straight league wins before last Saturday, defeating Harrogate and Exeter on the road by a 1-2 scoreline, and also defeating Leyton Orient and Oldham at home by a one-goal margin.
HOW THEY BET*
Crawley Town 3/1
Odds of betting partners SkyBet at time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.