This summer we’re taking a closer look at the teams who are joining Barrow in League Two for 2021/22 – next up, we’re off to Sixfields Stadium.
How did they get here?
After winning promotion with an emphatic Play-Off Final win over Exeter City last season, Northampton Town struggled to deliver their best form during their 2020/21 League One campaign.
The Cobblers tasted victory just three times in their first 12 league outings and by November they were already fighting to stay out of the bottom four.
Wins remained hard to come by as 2020 turned into 2021, and a six-game winless run which culminated in home defeat to Wigan Athletic prompted Town to sack Keith Curle in February.
By that point, The Cobblers were 23rd and, while there was an upturn in form during the run-in, the damage was already done, and relegation was confirmed after a 3-0 defeat at Blackpool at the start of May.
Who’s in charge?
Northampton Town confirmed that interim boss Jon Brady had been appointed as their new permanent Manager after he put pen to paper on a two-year deal.
Brady took the reins at Northampton in February following the departure of Keith Curle and he oversaw five victories during his 19 games at the helm last term.
The Australian-born coach began his playing career with Brentford but made his name with lengthy stints in the colours of Hayes and then Rushden & Diamonds.
He went on to play for the likes of Chester City, Stevenage, Hereford United, Cambridge United and Kettering before moving into management at Brackley Town in 2009.
Brady first joined Northampton as Under 16s coach in 2016, progressing through the ranks of the club’s Academy before impressing the hierarchy during his spell in temporary charge.
Where do they play?
Northampton Town have been playing their home fixtures at Sixfields Stadium since October 1994 when the club moved from The County Ground.
Sixfields is an all-seater stadium which boasts a capacity of just short of 8,000 and it also played host to Coventry City in 2013/14 when they unable to play at The Ricoh Stadium.
When did we last meet?
Northampton Town were in Division Four alongside Barrow during our final season in the Football League back in 1971/72.
On that occasion, The Cobblers completed a league double over us by winning 1-0 in Cumbria during the first month of the campaign before enjoying a 2-0 triumph on home soil in October 1971.
In total, the two clubs have clashed 14 times in competitive action and Town have won 10 of the previous contests.
What do the locals think?
James Heneghan (Northampton Chronicle):
“Northampton Town are back in League Two after just one season away following a disappointing and underwhelming first campaign back in League One.
“The Cobblers recruited poorly and started the season slowly and manager Keith Curle, despite leading the club to play-off success only six months earlier, paid the price for too many poor performances in early February.
“Youth Team coach Jon Brady stepped up but whilst he oversaw an improvement, especially defensively, Northampton lacked the quality and creativity to score enough goals and subsequently they succumbed to the drop with one game to spare.
“With Brady, a passionate and knowledgeable coach, appointed full-time manager, The Cobblers will be expected to challenge for promotion back to League Two.”