Preview: Northampton Town v Wycombe Wanderers
Wycombe Wanderers travel to Northampton Town on Saturday for their 4th league game of the season.
The early table shows Wycombe in 7th place with 5 points while Northampton occupy 20th spot with 2 points - both sides having played just 3 games.
Northampton are yet to record a win in the league, but have already claimed two higher-division scalps in the Carling Cup. Following a first-round victory over Brighton, the Cobblers travelled to Championship side Reading earlier this week and dumped their hosts out of the competition on penalties.
Although they're still coming to terms with losing star-striker Adebayo Akinfenwa to Gillingham during the summer, Northampton have scored six goals already this season, including three at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Newly signed striker Tadhg Purcell has spent much of his time on the bench so far, with manager Ian Sampson preferring to start with transfer-listed veteran Steve Guinan.
Guinan has been taking some stick from Cobblers' fans recently - leading him to tell the Northampton Chronicle: "You can always hear stuff shouted at you on the pitch, but even when I've been scoring 15, 20 goals a season I've had rubbish shouted at me. The fans can do what they want. I've got a contract at Northampton at the moment and I'm just playing when the manager picks me. It doesn't help when you get fans shouting abuse at you but I'm 34 not 21 now and it's just water off a duck's back. I just get on with it."
The Cobblers have conceded seven goals on their travels but have kept a clean-sheet in both their home games so far.
Home is the 7,653 capacity Sixfields Stadium which hosted its first game in October 1994.
Wycombe Wanderers' performances so far have left their fans slightly bewildered. Many expected their side to score goals for fun this season while shipping a fair few at the other end. Now they're unsure whether to be pleasantly surprised at keeping three clean-sheets or disappointed at scoring only one goal from open play in 270 minutes of league football.
With two new strikers on board and manager Gary Waddock's reputation for all-out attacking football, Blues' fans were licking their lips in anticipation ahead of Morecambe's visit on the opening day of the season.
True to expectation, the Chairboys came charging out of the blocks and put the Shrimps to the sword during a first forty-five minutes in which they created numerous chances and really should have buried their hapless visitors. The second-half was a different matter - with only Jon-Paul Pittman's superbly struck goal brightening up what was otherwise a disappointing drop in performance.
Since then, Wycombe have failed to trouble the opposition keeper in league games against Stockport County and Oxford United - and Pittman's goal against Morecambe remains their last significant shot on target.
Against County, the Chairboys created almost nothing, but last week against Oxford they fashioned three glorious chances only to fire each one into the crowd behind the goal.
At the other end of the pitch, a combination of keeper Nikki Bull's brilliance, the woodwork (three times), poor finishing from the opposition and sheer luck has kept the Chairboys' goal intact.
Wycombe can play a lot better, and an unbeaten start with five points banked and clean-sheets kept in all three games is not to be sneezed at, but the fans will assess how successful August has been after Saturday's game against the Cobblers.
A win will keep the Chairboys among the early pacesetters with a very healthy eight points from four games, anything less will see them drop into mid-table and represent nothing more than an average start to the season.
Northampton's season so far
LG2: Torquay (A)...............Lost 0-3
Ccp: Brighton (H)..............Won 2-0
LG2: Accrington (H)..........Drew 0-0
LG2: Bury (A)..................Drew 1-1
Ccp: Reading (A)...............Won 3-3 (AET 4-2 on pens)
Wycombe's season so far
LG2: Morecambe (H).......Won 2-0
Ccp: Millwall (H)..............Lost 1-2 (AET)
LG2: Stockport (A).........Drew 0-0
LG2: Oxford (H).............Drew 0-0
Northampton's summer signings
Oscar Jansson (Goalkeeper) On-loan from Spurs
John Johnson (Defender) Middlesborough *
Marcus Hall (Defender) Coventry
Alistair Slowe (Midfielder) Onisilos Sotira
Nathaniel Wedderburn (Midfielder) Stoke
Tadhg Purcell (Striker) Darlington
* on-loan at Northampton last season - now signed permanently
Wycombe's summer signings
Nikki Bull (Goalkeeper) Brentford
Dave Winfield (Defender) Aldershot
Danny Foster (Defender) Brentford
Andy Sandell (Defender) Aldershot
Alan Bennett (Defender) Brentford
Marvin McCoy (Defender) Wealdstone
Kieran Murtagh (Midfielder) Yeovil
Ben Strevens (Striker) Brentford
Scott Rendell (Striker) Peterborough
Northampton Goal Stats (5 games in all Competitions)
Goals Scored (Total).........6
Goals Conceded (Total).....7
Goals Scored (Home)........2
Goals Conceded (Home)....0
Wycombe Goal Stats (4 games in all Competitions)
Goals Scored (Total).........3
Goals Conceded (Total).....2
Goals Scored (Away)........0
Goals Conceded (Away)....0
Northampton's Top Goal Scorers (All Competitions)
Steve Guinan............1 (inc 1 pen)
Wycombe's Top Goal Scorers (All Competitions)
Scott Rendell.............1 (inc 1 pen)
Northampton Shooting (Top-3)
Michael Jacobs.....6 on-target...6 off-target...2 against woodwork
Billy McKay..........6 on-target...4 off-target...0 against woodwork
Kevin Thornton....4 on-target...1 off-target...0 against woodwork
Wycombe Shooting (Top-3)
Kevin Betsy...........2 on-target...7 off-target...0 against woodwork
Matt Phillips...........1 on-target...4 off-target...0 against woodwork
Gareth Ainsworth...2 on-target...2 off-target...0 against woodwork
Northampton....27 on target...12 off target...2 against w'work (Rank-9)
Wycombe.........11 on target...18 off target...1 against w'work (Rank-19)
In 19 previous meetings there have been 6 wins for Northampton, 4 for Wycombe and 9 draws.
In Northampton the home side have recorded 3 wins to Wycombe's 1, with 5 games drawn
1958/59 FAC: Northampton 2 Wycombe 0
1993/94 LG2: Northampton 1 Wycombe 1
1997/98 LG1: Northampton 2 Wycombe 0
1998/99 LG1: Northampton 1 Wycombe 1
2000/01 LG1: Northampton 2 Wycombe 2
2001/02 LG1: Northampton 4 Wycombe 1
2002/03 LG1: Northampton 0 Wycombe 5
2004/05 LG2: Northampton 1 Wycombe 1
2005/06 LG2: Northampton 0 Wycombe 0
The Man In The Middle
Saturday's referee is Carl Boyeson from East Yorkshire who joined the National List of Referees in 2002. His most recent Wycombe game was last season's 1-1 draw at Brentford. So far this campaign he's issued 10 yellow and 0 red cards in 3 games.
On this day in history - 28th August
Northampton....Played 21 - Won 9 - Drawn 4 - Lost 8
Wycombe..........Played 5 - Won 1 - Drawn 4 - Lost 0
Northampton 1 Wycombe 1
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