Daggers v Northampton Town MATCH PREVIEW

FOURTH in the League Two form table, Northampton Town are flying at the moment.

by MIKE SIMMONDS

FOURTH in the League Two form table, Northampton Town are flying at the moment.

A 3-1 home defeat by Hereford United on December 1 was the lowest point for the Cobblers, but since then, the turnaround has been dramatic.

Back-to-back draws at Cheltenham and at home to Port Vale followed, before the Daggers slipped up 1-0 at Sixfields on Boxing Day.


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It's Northampton's away form that has been most impressive though as victories at Bournemouth (2-0), Macclesfield (2-0) and Darlington (2-1), sandwiched between two home draws have lifted the Cobblers up to possible play-off candidates.

Even more impressive has been Northampton's defensive record as the goal at Darlington was the first that keeper Chris Dunn had conceded in 523 minutes of league football.

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Before the midweek matches, they had climbed up to 13th in the table and are now just five points away from the top seven.

Former player Ian Sampson is now in charge of the club and the defender was something of a legend, making over 400 appearances for the Cobblers.

Since moving into the hotseat, he has signed Peter Gilbert on a free from Oldham and Irish striker Stephen O'Flynn from Limerick.

Another new face to join the club on a short-team contract is former Coventry midfielder Kevin Thornton.

The 23-year-old had been at Nuneaton Borough after his release from the Sky Blues in July.

Leading the line for the Cobblers is imposing striker Adebayo Akinfenwa, who is easily their top scorer with 10 goals this season.

Although the former Swansea man has managed just one in his last six appearances, 32 goals in 80 games is a decent return from the frontman.

The forward is a major injury doubt for Saturday's clash with a calf injury, while winger Liam Davis will miss out, as does veteran frontman Steve Guinan.

FRIENDLY FACES

Defender Dean Beckwith, who spent a month on loan at Daggers back in 2003 has been part of the Northampton backline which has proved so difficult to break down in recent weeks.

The 26-year-old said: "We've done well defensively over the last couple of months.

"But we have conceded two sloppy goals in our last two games.

"We need to get back to keeping it tight and keeping clean sheets. If we do that we'll win more games."

WE'VE MET BEFORE

Daggers and Northampton have just had the one previous meeting this season, with the Cobblers running out 1-0 winners on Boxing Day courtesy of Billy McKay's late strike, which was controversially adjudged to have crossed the line, despite the best efforts of Tony Roberts.

The Post is now on Twitter, so if you follow twitter.com/Post_DagRed then you will get up to the minute updates on goings on at Victoria Road

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