James Heneghan’s Macclesfield Town v Northampton Town preview

Matt Crooks is back from suspension
Matt Crooks is back from suspension

Fixture: Macclesfield Town v Northampton Town, Sky Bet League Two

Date/time: Tuesday, October 23, 7.45pm kick-off

Venue: The Moss Rose Ground

Forecast: 11C, cloudy

Outs and doubts: Macclesfield: Elliott Durrell, Ryan Lloyd, Callum Evans, Danny Whitaker. Northampton: Junior Morias, Shay Facey, Ash Taylor, Leon Barnett

Betting: Macclesfield 15/8, draw 12/5, Cobblers 8/5

Form guide: Silkmen WLLLDD, Cobblers LWWDDL

Possible line-ups: Macclesfield (4-3-3): Taylor; Hodgkiss, Lowe, Grimes, Fitzpatrick; Vincenti, Rose, Maycock; Marsh, Blissett, Napa. Northampton (3-5-2): Cornell; Odoffin, Turnbull, Pierre; Powell, Foley, O’Toole, Crooks, Buchanan; Hoskins, Williams.

Man in the middle: Seb Stockbridge

Last time out: Macclesfield 2 (Rose, Vincenti) Carlisle 1 (Nadesan); MK Dons 1 (Agard) Northampton 0

Had it not been for two goals in a late four-minute burst during their victory over Carlisle at the weekend, Macclesfield would be coming into tonight’s home game against the Cobblers as the new but certainly not proud holders of an unwanted English Football League record.

Most recent meeting: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 – Northampton Town 3 (Jacobs, Guttridge, Akinfenwa) Macclesfield Town 2 (Donnelly, Tomlinson)

Record v Macclesfield: P16 W9 D2 L5

James Heneghan’s preview: Had it not been for two goals in a late four-minute burst during their victory over Carlisle United at the weekend, Macclesfield Town would be coming into tonight’s home game against the Cobblers as the new but certainly not proud owners of English football’s most unwanted record.

Trailing 1-0 with 11 minutes to go, failure to beat the Cumbrians would have extended Macclesfield’s remarkable run of games without a Football League victory to 37 and therefore a new record in English football. They last tasted success in the EFL way back on New Year’s Eve in 2011, winning 2-1 at home to Port Vale.

The Silkmen were relegated to the National League at the end of that season and their exile in the National League was only ended in May of this year, though the loss of manager and club legend John Askey to Shrewsbury clearly hit them hard over the summer.

Thirteen games without a win to start their League Two campaign, initially under Mark Yates and then co-managers Danny Whitaker and Neil Howarth following Yates’ sacking, put them alongside Derby County as the joint-holders of the longest run of English league matches without a win. Seventy-nine minutes into Saturday’s game against Carlisle, they were set to hold the outright record.

But Michael Rose levelled from the penalty spot and then Peter Vicenti scored the winning goal with just seven minutes left, meaning every single EFL team have now won at least one game this season and giving them a timely boost for their next game, conveniently against Keith Curle’s Cobblers on Tuesday evening.

The three points, taking their tally to seven from 14 games, were still not enough to lift Macclesfield off the bottom of League Two ahead of tonight’s visit of Northampton.

Town will be hoping it’s not a case of wins arriving like buses for their hosts as they go about bouncing back from a first defeat under Curle, disappointing and deservedly beaten 1-0 by MK Dons on Saturday.

Matt Crooks returns from suspension and will likely to start but Curle remained characteristically coy on his several injury absentees with defensive trio Leon Barnett, Ash Taylor and Shay Facey all doubts, while Junior Morias is eyeing a November return from his hamstring problem.

Logic and statistics dictate the Cobblers are favourites for tonight’s clash but anyone who has kept even a vague eye on their fortunes over the past 18 months will not be quite so certain.

Prediction: Macclesfield Town 1 Northampton Town 2