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Match Previews

Preview: Northampton Town

9 August 2016

The Reds Welcome League One Side Northampton Town In The EFL Cup Round One!

Barnsley v Northampton Town preview

Barnsley will look to last season’s cup heroics for inspiration when they take on Northampton Town in tonight’s League Cup first round clash.

In April the Reds secured the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy for the first time in the Club’s history after beating Oxford United 3-2 in a pulsating affair at Wembley.

With the Tykes struggling for form in the League Cup in recent years however, Paul Heckingbottom will be keen to see some of last season’s spirit as his side aims to first overcome a confident Northampton side this evening. 

The Cobblers arrive at Oakwell on the back of a fine 2015-16 campaign which saw them crowned champions of League Two after seven years in the fourth tier.

Despite that, manager Chris Wilder departed the Club in May to join fellow League One side Sheffield United and was replaced at Sixfields by Port Vale boss Rob Page.

Former Wales defender Page – who guided the Valiants to 12th place last season – has been busy in the transfer market this summer however and will be confident of consolidating the Clubs position and maybe even more in League One this term.

Previous Meetings

Tonight’s meeting between the Reds and Northampton is the first meeting between the two sides in almost 16 years.

Back in November 2004 an early goal from Scott McGleish earned the Cobblers an FA Cup win and with it a third victory on the bounce against the Reds.

That is because Northampton completed a League double over the Tykes during the 2002-03 season after they followed up their 1-0 home win with a 2-1 success at Oakwell.

All that means Barnsley have not tasted victory in this fixture in over 37 years and with only six wins in total against the Cobblers, they will be eager to move closer to Northampton’s 13 triumphs tonight.

Team News 

Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom may opt to utilise his squad for the visit of League One side Northampton this evening.

The likes of Shaun Tuton will be hoping to be involved, while several of the Club’s new signings will be eager to run out at Oakwell for the first time in a competitive fixture.

Visitors Northampton will be without former Barnsley man Jak McCourt for tonight’s game after the midfielder was ruled out for two months in July with a shoulder injury.

Several of the Club’s other summer signings should be involved however, with Gabriel Zakuani, Harry Beautyman, Alex Revell and former Premier League winger Matt Taylor all likely to feature. 

Man in the Middle 

It will be a familiar face in charge when the Reds take on Northampton tonight. Carl Boyeson – who has overseen 12 Barnsley games in the past – has not been a lucky omen for the Tykes however, with the Club failing to win in their last seven meetings with the East Yorkshire based official.

Two of those games came last season, with the Reds losing 1-0 at home to Fleetwood in October before a goalless draw at Bury in February which also saw Boyeson hand Barnsley winger Adam Hammill a straight red card.

That dismissal was one of five which the 46-year-old referee dished out last season, while he also brandished 102 yellow cards in his 31 games.

Tonight’s visitors Northampton have also experienced a mixed set of results in their six previous encounters with Boyeson; winning two, losing two and drawing two.

The most recent of those meetings came back in September 2014 when the Cobblers suffered a 5-4 home defeat against Accrington Stanley.

Their Star Man

Since re-signing for the Cobblers in 2014, Marc Richards has never looked back; hitting 36 goals in two seasons. The forward enjoyed a two-year spell with the Club between 2003 and 2005, where he netted 16 times before a move to Oakwell.

Northampton’s main man bagged 18 times for the Reds over two campaigns but in July 2007 he moved on to join Port Vale. After five years at Vale Park, the Wolverhampton-born striker began a new chapter at Chesterfield but two years later and he was back at Sixfields.

His first goal back in a Cobblers’ shirt earned the Club a last-gasp point at York in League Two but despite ending the campaign with 18 goals to his name, Northampton finished 12th.

Things would end a lot differently a year on however, after Richards’ once again hit 18 goals but this time it secured the Club’s promotion to League One.

Importantly, all 18 of the front man’s strikes came in different games with winners against Colchester, Coventry, Mansfield, Accrington, Plymouth and Oxford.

The Cobblers faithful will be hoping for more of the same this season as they look to cement their place as a League One side but at the mature age of 34, the former Tyke’s experience will be just as valuable for Rob Page’s side.

Mutual Man

Almost exactly a year ago, Newcastle United completed the signing of young Northampton Town forward Ivan Toney for an undisclosed fee on a long-term contract. The transfer came after the Northampton-born striker hit 13 goals in 60 games despite still only being 19 years of age.

With Toney’s future secured and three senior appearances for the Toon Army – including his debut against the Cobblers – Newcastle allowed their new acquisition to join Barnsley on loan in November last year.

After making his Reds bow in a 2-1 Football League Trophy success against York, the young forward netted his first goal for the Club in his sixth appearance against Wigan.

Just a week later and Northampton’s youngest ever appearance holder bagged Barnsley’s winner in their entertaining 3-2 triumph at Colchester, as he continued to impress at Oakwell.

Despite returning to St James’ Park in January, just two months later and he was back in South Yorkshire; re-joining the Reds until the end of the campaign.

The pacey front man may have failed to score in his second spell with the Club but he played his part in a memorable end to the campaign; featuring in both the Football League Trophy final and League One play-off final before returning to the North East this summer where he will be hoping to force his way into Rafael Benitez’s plans.

Previous Results

Barnsley’s last five League Cup results (WLLWL):

Barnsley 0-0 Scunthorpe United (Barnsley won on pens)

Barnsley 1-5 Southampton

Barnsley 0-2 Crewe Alexandra

Scunthorpe United 1-1 Barnsley (Barnsley won on pens)

Barnsley 3-5 Everton

Northampton’s last five League Cup results (LWLWL):

Northampton Town 1-2 Milton Keynes Dons

Wolves 2-3 Northampton Town

AFC Bournemouth 3-0 Northampton Town

Northampton Town 3-0 Blackpool

Newcastle United 4-1 Northampton Town

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