We may recognise some familiar faces when Northampton Town  come to the New Lawn on September 11th.  Their captain Joe Mills is well known to Rovers fans and some will remember goalkeeper Jonny Maxted.

Maxted played for Northampton in the recent Papa John’s Trophy match against Northampton, which the Cobblers won on penalties following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.  A 14th minute Harriman own-goal was cancelled out by a 51st minute goal by Pollock.

Joe Mills was a regular in FGR’s starting line-up after he joined us in 2018.  He captained FGR during his 70 appearances for us and will be very fondly remembered.  Goals against Cheltenham at The New Lawn and a last-minute equaliser against Swindon Town live long in the memory.  Many were sad to see Joe move to Northampton in 2020, where he now captains The Cobblers.

Sadly, for Joe, breaking his leg in a recent match means he won’t figure in Northampton’s plans against Rovers.

Joe Mills celebrating his last-minute goal against Swindon.

Keeper Jonny Maxted made 20 appearances for Rovers between 2015 and 2016 before moves to Guiseley, Accrington and Exeter City.  Jonny was released by Exeter at the end of last season having made 26 appearances in his 2 years with The Grecians.  He was signed by Northampton at the start of this season.

Northampton were relegated back to League 2 this season after just one season in League 1.  They made a good start to their campaign this season with a 1-0 home win against Port Vale followed by a 1-0 away win at Colchester.  Their 3rd game was a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Rochdale, while, last time out The Cobblers had a comfortable 2-0 home win against Scunthorpe after the visitors were reduced to 10 men after 20 minutes of the match.  

Northampton are 5th in the table, 3 points behind Rovers with a game in hand.

Two of their goals have come from defender Jon Guthrie, while striker Benny Ashley-Seal has also scored.  Ashley-Seal used to be part of Wolves u-23 squad, so may be familiar to Rob Edwards.  Northampton manager Keith Curle says of Ashley-Seal, “He is a big, strong and powerful striker.”

Benny Ashley-Seal has already been on the mark for Northampton since his signing at the start of the season.

  • Northampton’s  nickname of the Cobblers reflects the town’s long association with the shoe-making industry.  The club crest even features a shoe at its centre.
  • One of the club’s most memorable moments was when they won promotion to the top tier of the football league in 1965.  However, they lasted only one season in the top flight and, during this time they achieved a record – the fastest rise from the 4th tier to the top tier and back again to the 4th tier in just 9 seasons.  Nobody else has done this quicker!
  • Other than the flurry of activity mentioned above, Northampton have spent their entire time in the 3rd and 4th tiers of english football since they were admitted to the league in 1921.
  • Memorable dates in Northampton history include a record 8-2 loss to Manchester United in the FA Cup 6th round in 1970 when George Best scored 6 times in the match.  Best was presented with the matchball signed by all the Northampton players to commemorate his feat.  A better day out for Northampton that lives in the memory is when they beat Liverpool at Anfield in the Football League Cup in 2010 (winning on penalties after a 2-2 draw).
  • Recent Northampton managers include Chris Wilder between 2014-16 (Wilder later guided Sheffield United to the Premiership, of course) and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink between 2017-18.


Chris Wilder in his Northampton days.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as Northampton manager in 2017-18