Cobblers striker Collins available for selection for Stevenage trip

James Collins

James Collins

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Shamed striker James Collins is available for selection for Sky Bet League Two leaders Cobblers’ trip to Stevenage on Saturday.

The 25-year-old hit the headlines for the wrong reasons this week when he was pictured urinating in a glass, and then depositing the liquid over the edge of the balcony he was standing on at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.

The club moved swiftly to discipline the front man, who is on loan at Sixfields from Shrewsbury Town until the end of the season, fining him two weeks’ wages, but stopped short of enforcing any sort of playing ban.

Milton Keynes Dons midfielder Samir Carruthers, who was with Collins and was also caught on camera urinating into a glass, has been hit with a one-match ban on top of his two weeks’ wages fine and misses his team’s trip to Brighton on Saturday.

Collins has avoided that punishment, and manager Chris Wilder will now have to decide whether or not to start with Collins at Broadhall Way.

The striker has been a key man since signing in January, netting five goals in 11 games, and has started every game since his switch from the Shrews.

Top scorer Marc Richards is closing in on full fitness after an Achilles strain, but is unlikely to be able to start this weekend, so that should lead to Collins keeping his place.

Richards, who has returned to full-time training this week, could well be named on the bench at Stevenage, and everybody else, aside from Paul Corry, is available.

Meanwhile, the Cobblers remain 17 points clear of fourth-place in Sky Bet League Two, as Accrington Stanley missed the chance to close the gap to 16 and move up to fourth when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Wycombe Wanderers on Wednesday night.