Preview: Northampton Town (A)

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Orient travel to Sixfields on Saturday to take on Northampton Town in a crucial game towards the top end of the table.

After a disappointing draw midweek at Scunthorpe United when The O’s couldn’t make their chances count, the side are aiming to make a statement at early promotion contenders Northampton Town.

The O’s now head into the game with the longest unbeaten in the league with eight, but just two league wins it that spell.

Craig Clay withdrew from the action at Glanford Park with a suspected ankle injury, and will be Kenny Jackett’s only fresh injury concern ahead of the game.

THE COBBLERS

Jon Brady and his side are looking for an immediate return to League One after suffering relegation last season from the third tier.

The Cobblers started the campaign with back-to-back wins against Port Vale and Colchester United before suffering defeat against Rochdale.

A positive September saw Northampton lose just one of their five league games. The Cobblers defeated Scunthorpe and Newport while taking a point at both Swindon and Salford, before disappointing defeats to newly promoted Sutton and Hartlepool followed.

Northampton did turn that form around with four consecutive wins which came against Mansfield Town, Stevenage, Tranmere and Carlisle. November started with a defeat to Bristol Rovers followed with a point away at Bradford.

Last time out, they beat a struggling Oldham side to put them fourth in the league and a single point from the automatic promotion spots.

Set-pieces have been an area that they’ve seen plenty of joy from – with ten scored. This is one less than Orient, however, who lead the table in that respect.

KEY PLAYER

Sam Hoskins has been a crucial player for The Cobblers for many seasons now.

The attacking midfielder has played 266 games for Northampton, scoring 45 times. Hoskins started his career at Southampton, coming through their famous academy in 2011.

He had loan spells at Preston, Rotherham United and Stevenage before making a permanent move to Yeovil Town in the Championship.

Hoskins played 19 times in the second tier for The Glovers but couldn’t help them avoid the drop back to League One. He made 12 appearances in League One the following season before being loaned to Barnet in the National League.

At the end of that season Hoskins made his move to Northampton where he played 34 times in his debut season and scored six goals to secure them promotion to League One.

The 28-year-old played over 50 League One games for The Cobblers in their two year stay in the third tier before being relegated. It took Northampton two seasons to bounce back with Hoskins being a crucial part of the squad.

They weren’t to stay in the league for long as they were relegated after a single season back in League One.

This season Hoskins has scored five goals to help his side sit fourth in the table as they look to secure promotion back to League One.

KENNY JACKETT

Listen to Kenny Jackett’s thoughts ahead of Saturday’s clash with Northampton Town as well as his reflection on Tuesday night’s draw away at Scunthorpe United.

THE OFFICIALS

Referee: Andrew Kitchen

Assistants: Grant Taylor and Kevin Morris

Fourth Official: Michael Chard

Kitchen has been in charge of 12 games this season across league one and two, showing 33 yellow cards and one red.

The official was in charge of the O’s opening game of the season away at Salford City. He distributed two yellow cards that afternoon with both Salford and Orient taking one each.

 

HOW TO FOLLOW

Tickets for the game are available at the ground, on the day, with a healthy contingent expected to travel.

For those who can’t make the journey, audio streaming will be available in the UK – whilst video streaming is available overseas.

T0 buy your pass click here.

TOCA Social

Book your post-match night out at TOCA Social in the O2, the world’s first interactive football and dining experience, combining immersive gaming and world class food and drink. O’s fans get a 10% discount on box bookings and free O’s Sharing Cocktail or Mocktail on arrival!