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Club News

Match Preview: Northampton Town vs U's

24 November 2023

Club News

Match Preview: Northampton Town vs U's

24 November 2023

Cambridge United return to Sky Bet League One action on Saturday afternoon as they make the short trip to Sixfields Stadium to take on Northampton Town…

The U’s are looking to immediately recapture winning ways after tasting defeat for the first time in six prior to the international break, whereas the hosts are out to improve on their current form of one win in eight and bridge the three-point gap between the sides.

How to Watch

The allocation of 1,473 away tickets is rapidly approaching its capacity ahead of this weekend’s match-up, which gets underway at 3pm. U’s fans who wish to snap up the remaining couple of hundred can secure their place online at

Unable to attend? Fans in the UK can listen to full match commentary with iFollow or on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, whilst overseas supporters can stream the game live with an iFollow Video Match Pass.

Opposition Focus

Founded in 1897, our opponents were admitted into the Football League just 23 years later and were a regular feature in the Third Division South. A remarkable rise in the 1960s under Dave Bowen saw the club achieve three promotions as they secured their place in the top tier of English football for the solitary campaign in 1965/66. Contrastingly, they had returned to the Fourth Division by 1969 – a new record of moving to and from the levels in the space of nine years. A steady few decades followed, with a recent battle ensuing between League Two and One. Under Jon Brady, the Cobblers achieved promotion at the second attempt last season after finishing 3rd and are now hungry to consolidate.

19-year-old Max Thompson has donned the sticks of late – covering for Lee Burge – but has certainly staked a claim thanks to three clean sheets from six over the course of 2023/24. Patrick Brough and former U Sam Sherring are nailed figures at the back, with Akin Odimayo and Manny Monthe also regular features depending on the switch in formation. In the middle of the park, Shaun McWilliams is a dependable asset and has attained over 200 appearances for the club, whereas Marc Leonard – on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion – has been a breath of fresh air thanks to his ability to dictate a game. In the attacking department, Mitch Pinnock and Sam Hoskins hug the flanks, with the latter plundering nine strikes so far – the club legend is joint-eighth in their list of all-time leading goalscorers. Returning Scot Kieron Bowie was a star man in the fourth tier and is now hoping to get up and running at this level, with fellow strikers Tyreece Simpson and Louis Appere looming.

Requiring time to build up steam, the Shoe Army tasted defeat to fellow newcomers Stevenage and Wigan Athletic in their opening matches, but dramatically rescuing a 2-2 draw against Lincoln City gave them the impetus to register back-to-back last-gasp 1-0 triumphs against bitter rivals Peterborough and Cheltenham Town. Form dipped from here as they suffered three consecutive losses, but immediately bounced back by overcoming Exeter City and Reading to rise to 16th. However, a run of four defeats and one draw followed, but concerns have hopefully been diminished after dispatching Burton Albion 2-0 last time out. With a tally of 17 points, the Cobblers occupy 19th position with a one-point advantage from the bottom four.

Form Guide

Northampton Town: LLLWL

Cambridge United: WDWWL

United’s Approach

An instant response is a necessity for the U’s, who enter the field for the first time since succumbing to derby day defeat at the Weston Homes Stadium as Peterborough United claimed a ruthless 5-0 victory.

The visitors started in a positive manner, but a devastating six-minute spell on the eve of half-time from the hosts saw them steam ahead thanks to Ephron Mason-Clark’s brace and Kwame Poku’s strike. Unable to muster a response, Posh remained on top, with the latter grabbing his second moments after the break before an own goal near the death compounded a testing afternoon for United.

Reacting to the loss, Mark Bonner admitted: “They had too much for us so that hurts. You want to come here and put on a performance and make a bit of history… It hurts me more than anyone to say it but they’re miles ahead of us… We need the break and I hope it will be good for us. We’ll use it as best as we can and come back ready. We’ve got some work to do for sure.”

With their five-game unbeaten run now over, the task is to etch a new one heading into the Christmas schedule. The league form does read one victory in 11, but in that time the U’s have shown defensive prowess to grind out results, but first must ensure the defeat at Posh was an anomaly as they hunt a first away win since August and eye up a place in the top half of the division.

For the latest team news and quotes ahead of the weekend, be sure to tune into the Head Coach’s pre-match press conference, which will be released over the club’s social media channels on Friday morning.


Northampton Town Wins: 18

Cambridge United Wins: 16

Draws: 13

Down Memory Lane

The U’s and the Cobblers meet for the first time in league competition since October 2019, where a Covid-stricken campaign saw the hosts eventually earn promotion, before the sides switched places come the end of the following season.

The last three encounters have all been cup clashes, with an FA Cup First Round duo occurring in November 2021 when Conor Masterson helped force a replay which the U’s would eventually win at CB5 thanks to a comfortable Tuesday night success. Harvey Knibbs, Sam Smith and Ben Worman were all on the scoresheet as they marked the start of a memorable run. Just over a year ago, Fejiri Okenabirhie opened his account by notching a brace during a 0-2 success in the EFL Trophy.

It extended the unbeaten run to three games against Town and improved a thoroughly impressive record in Northamptonshire, which now reads at the sole defeat in 14 meetings stretching back to 1995. Since returning to the Football League in 2014, Cambridge have won six compared to the Cobblers’ three.

Match Officials

Referee: Lewis Smith

Assistant Referee: Darren Wilding

Assistant Referee: Scott Williams

Fourth Official: Conor Farrell

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