Dale Jenkins profiles the Cobblers.
Northampton were formed in 1897 and play their home games at the 7,653 capacity Sixfields Stadium, having moved in 1994 from the County Ground which they shared with the owners, Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.
The 1990s began badly for the club, as they were relegated to the Fourth Division at the end of the 1989–90 season. Northampton went into administration in April 1992, with debts of around £1.6 million. The Northampton Town Supporters Trust formed as a result, which still has a share holding in the club and a representative on the Board of Directors.
The 1993–94 season saw Northampton finish bottom of the Football League but escape relegation due to Kidderminster Harriers’ stadium not being up to Football League regulations. Northampton Town they moved to Sixfields Stadium and after two seasons manager Ian Atkins led the Cobblers to Wembley success in 1996-97, beating Swansea City in the play-off final. After more yo-yoing between divisions, the new millennium began with a takeover by a consortium led by Andrew Ellis in 2002-03.
After some brief stints in charge by various managers, Colin Calderwood managed to bring some stability, leading Northampton to consecutive play-off finishes before promotion to the third tier in 2005-06. Calderwood left for Nottingham Forest and was replaced by John Gorman who later resigned due to personal issues with the club struggling again. Ian Sampson failed to arrest the slump despite leading the club to a remarkable Football League cup upset at Anfield, with the Cobblers eventually winning on penalties.
Gary Johnson couldn’t prevent further struggle at the lower reaches of the Football League but did guide the club to survival before leaving in late 2011, facilitating the appointment of ex-Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd. After initial consolidation he led the club to Wembley in 2012-13, where the Cobblers lost 3–0 to Bradford City.
Northampton ground shared with Coventry City from the beginning of last season but the Cobblers struggled at the bottom end of the division under Aidy Boothroyd before a 4-1 home defeat to the Chairboys signalled the end of his reign in charge. In January, Chairman David Cardoza appointed former Oxford manager Chris Wilder as the new manager of the club, and he steered them to final day safety with a win against his former employers in front of a capacity crowd.
Leaving Sixfields in a mass exodus this summer were Leon McSweeney, Joe Widdowson, JJ Hooper, Gary Deegan, Alan Connell, Claudio Dias, Matty Harriott and Ben McNamara.
The Cobblers have been active in the transfer market, as manager Chris Wilder acted to bring in strikers Marc Richards and Kaid Mohamed. John-Joe O’Toole has signed a three year deal after exercising a release clause in his contract at Bristol Rovers, while former Reading midfielder Lawson D'Ath has also made the switch to Sixfields. Keeper Jordan Archer has arrived from Tottenham, centre half Zander Diamond has made an initial loan move permanent, and full backs Evan Horwood and Daniel Alfei have also joined the club, from Tranmere Rovers and Swansea City respectively, the latter on a season long loan deal.
The Cobblers travel to Adams Park on Saturday 4th October 2014.
The reverse fixture at Sixfields is the final League game of the season on Saturday 2nd May 2015.