The manager: Jon Brady
Cobblers manager 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.
Brady enjoyed a solid season last time out that ended in final day heartbreak when Bristol Rovers won 7-0 to clinch promotion on goal difference, Northampton consequently finished fourth after looking comfortable to be promoted all season long.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Sam Hoskins - Winger
Experienced wide midfielder Sam Hoskins can occupy either the right or left wing. The Cobblers’ wide areas have certainly been an area of strength during their time back in League Two, with many goals being created or scored by wingers Hoskins and Mitch Pinnock.
As well as being Northampton’s top scorer last season with 13 goals, Hoskins leads the way again after three games having scored three since the beginning of the season. Including a brace against Colchester in a 3-2 home win.
The 28-year-old has now embarked on his eighth consecutive season with the Cobblers, and is known for his goalscoring habits from his preferred right-wing position.
He 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.
This season Hoskins has been a revelation, and has scored 17 goals in 28 league appearances, recording four assists. He is a likely contender for player of the season and he scored twice against the Reds in our 2-3 home defeat against the Cobblers in August last year.
Mitch Pinnock - Winger
Wide midfielder Mitchell Pinnock has been a standout player at Northampton since his move from Kilmarnock in the summer of 2021, who were relegated from the Scottish Premiership in his only season there.
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 19 league assists since he signed.
Pinnock has scored four this season including a goal in Northampton’s last game against Harrogate away. The midfielder has played in every league game so far this season.
Tom King - Goalkeeper
Welshman Tom King will be in between the sticks for the Cobblers tomorrow afternoon. He joined the club in January from Salford City after making 21 league appearances for the Ammies this season, before Alex Cairns was chosen as number one.
The former Crystal Palace youth goalkeeper and England U17 international spent most of his career with Millwall but only ever made appearances in League One for the Dockers. He spent most of his time out on loan, featuring for Welling United, Braintree Town, Stevenage and AFC Wimbledon over the four and a half years he was based in East London. King has also been called up to the Welsh national senior squad.
Credit: Northampton Town FC
Northampton Town Football Club, nicknamed the Cobblers, were founded on 9th March 1897, when a group of local school teachers got together with the well known local solicitor, AJ "Pat" Darnell in the Princess Royal Inn, Wellingborough Road, Northampton to form the town's first professional football club. Problems were encountered before a ball was kicked, when the rugby club objected to the club name; Northampton Football Club. Arbitration was sought at the Football Association and the club was to be called Northampton Town Football Club.
Justin Edinburgh departed the club at the end of August 2017 and was replaced early the following month by the former Athletico Madrid, Chelsea and Leeds United striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Hasselbaink left the club in April 2018 as the Cobblers were relegated to League 2 the following month. His former assistant Dean Austin oversaw an improvement in both performances and results while in caretaker charge and was handed the job on a full time basis in May 2018. After a difficult start to 2018/19, Austin left the club in September 2018. His replacement was the former Carlisle United boss Keith Curle.
Curle led the Cobblers to promotion in his first full season in charge. The play offs were played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the semi final first leg against Cheltenham Town saw the Robins win 2-0, but a stunning comeback in the second leg saw Northampton Town win 3-0 to progress to Wembley. Again behind closed doors, the Cobblers beat Exeter City 4-0 to return to League 1. Keith Curle and his assistant Colin West left the club in February 2021. Jon Brady took over, initially on a caretaker basis, before being appointed the permanent manager in the summer of 2021 as the Cobblers geared up for the 2021/22 League 2 campaign. Brady led the side to the play offs in his first full season in charge, finishing with 80 points, just four points off the top of the table and only denied promotion by a 7-0 win for Bristol Rovers over Scunthorpe United on the final day of the season.
Season so far
The Cobblers are having another successful season under Jon Brady, and ahead of our clash at Sixfields on Saturday, they have recorded 56 points in 33 games, sitting in fourth just two points below Carlisle United in the automatic promotion spots.
Northampton have the league’s second-highest goalscorer in Sam Hoskins, and have scored a total of 46 goals as a team so far this season, conceding only 32. Brady’s men are top of the league away from home, but 11th with games played at Sixfields.
HEAD TO HEAD
Since 2015, Crawley have faced the Cobblers on nine occasions, and before this season’s narrow home defeat, Crawley were undefeated in their last five meetings in League Two competition, having lost the three games previous to this between 2015 and 2018.
In the 2021/22 season, Crawley achieved four out of a possible six points against Brady’s men, not conceding a single goal with a 0-0 home game and 0-1 victory away at Sixfields, when Tom Nichols’ strike was the decider in a game full of heroic Crawley defending.
Our most famous meeting at Broadfield Stadium was when he hosted Northampton on Boxing Day of 2019 in a fixture that was very close to being called off due to the excess of 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.
HOW THEY BET*
Northampton Town 1/2
Crawley Town 19/4
*Odds correct at the time of writing as of our league betting partners Sky Bet. Please gamble responsibly.