It is the first game of 2022; Swindon Town entertain second place Northampton in the second of three home games in a row. Swindon Town will be looking to put the disappointing result of Wednesday night draw against Stevenage behind them and start 2022 in a positive manner.
Swindon Town ended 2021 in a damp squib of a home draw against then second bottom Stevenage. This was Swindon first game in eighteen days, and it showed. The two previous games were postponed due to Covid 19. It was then revealed pre and post-match on Wednesday that sixteen players and seven members of staff at Swindon Town were wiped out with Covid19.
That would explain the Swindon sluggish performance on Wednesday, it was not a great home performance to end out the year. Something was missing a bit of spark and a bit of creativity. It is understandable that with the sixteen players out with covid and not having a game for close to three weeks, the first game back would be difficult. You could see that some of the players who had been affected were struggling as the game was going on. I do not think the people around by me in the DRS were thinking the same as they were bemoaning the intensity and creativeness of Swindon play. A point after being ravaged by Covid19 against a team struggling for form is not the worst result of the season, hindsight being a wonderful thing.
Predicted line up vs Northampton Town
Wollacott, Hunt, Odimayo, Critchlow, Kesler-Hayden, Reed, Williams, Payne, Iandolo, Mckirdy, Simpson.
Northampton Town are the visitors on new years day to the County Ground in their first game since December 11th. Northampton Town have had their last three games called off against Barrow and Walsall at home and the midweek round of action away at Scunthorpe. Like Swindon Town, Northampton Town squad has been hit hard with Covid19 in the last few weeks and had to postpone the previous three league games.
Before the three postponements, Northampton Town form under Jon Brady was outstanding. Eight wins, one draw and one defeat in the previous ten games. Including winning the last four games. The sole defeat was a 2-1 away defeat at Bristol Rovers on November 13th. A week later was the sole draw away at Bradford city 1-1. Sandwiched between the draw and the defeat were eight wins, both in a pattern of four wins in succession. Mansfield Town, Stevenage, Tranmere Rovers and Carlisle United were all defeated before the Bristol Rovers defeat. Northampton Town did not concede a goal in those four victories. The last four wins were back-to-back home wins over Oldham Athletic and Leyton Orient, which was followed up by back-to-back away wins by at Exeter City and Harrogate Town. Both by the score line of 2-1.
Jon Brady is the Northampton manager, took on the reigns in February 2021. Struggled to find form and consistency with the cobblers last season, five wins from twenty games as Northampton were relegated to league two along with Swindon Town. This season has been a different story, twelve wins from twenty-one League two games this season has seen his side rise to second in the league standings and four points behind league leaders Forest Green Rovers. Brady assistant manager is a Swindon Town legend and former Northampton Town manager in Colin Calderwood.
By Scot Munroe