James Heneghan’s Northampton Town v Colchester United preview

John-Joe O'Toole, who could be recalled to the Cobblers side tonight having been left out of the squad on Saturday, spent three years at Colchester
John-Joe O'Toole, who could be recalled to the Cobblers side tonight having been left out of the squad on Saturday, spent three years at Colchester

Fixture: Northampton Town v Colchester United, Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round

Date/time: Tuesday, September 1, 7.45pm kick-off

Venue: Sixfields

Forecast: 15C, cloudy

Outs and doubts: Cobblers: Ricky Holmes (back), Zander Diamond (dead leg), Brendan Moloney (knee), Evan Horwood (groin). Colchester: Chris Porter (ankle), Darren Ambrose (foot)

Betting: Northampton 6/5, draw 12/5, Colchester 11/5

Form guide: Cobblers DLLLWW, United DLDLLD

Possible line-ups: Cobblers (4-2-3-1): Clarke; Lelan, Cresswell, McDonald, Buchanan; Byrom, Watson; Hackett, Hoskins, D’Ath; Calvert-Lewin. 
Colchester (4-4-2): Parish; Brindley, Wynter, Eastman, Vincent-Young; Harriott, Edwards, Garvan, Moncur; Bonne, Sembie-Ferris.

Man in the middle: Darren Deadman

Last time out: Accrington 1 (Windass) Northampton 1 (Richards); Colchester 2 (Moncur, Elokobi) Scunthorpe 2 (Van Veen, Madden)

Most recent meeting: October 9, 2012 - Northampton 2 (Akinfenwa, Mukendi) Colchester 1 (Sears)

Cobblers connection: Current England U20s manager Aidy Boothroyd has had spells in charge at both of these clubs. In September 2009, the former Watford boss took over at Colchester following the departure of Paul Lambert and initially things began well with United pushing for promotion for most of the 2009/10 season. A poor finish to the campaign followed, however, and Boothroyd left the club in May 2010 to take over at Coventry City.

After a miserable 10 months at the Sky Blues, Boothroyd was sacked by the club and then appointed Northampton manager, where he oversaw two very contrasting seasons, taking the Cobblers to the play-off final in 2012/13 before getting the boot barely six months later with Town bottom of League Two.

Preview: If Northampton fans feel underwhelmed by their side’s start to the season, who knows what Colchester supporters must be thinking. Six games in and United are yet to register a win with three draws and three defeats and just five goals scored.

The U’s needed a dramatic final day win over Preston North End to escape relegation by the narrowest of margins last season, and the early indications suggest they may be in for a similar battle this time around with tonight’s game a chance to kick-start their season.

These two sides have met 73 teams in total but it’s been three years since their last meeting, which also came in the JPT, when goals from Adebayo Akinfenwa and Henoc Mukendi saw the Cobblers through to the third round with a 2-1 victory.

Both Chris Wilder and Tony Humes will undoubtedly shake things up this evening, though they are restricted to the amount of changes they can make due to the competition’s rules.

The rules state that teams must play at least six players who either started the previous match, will start the upcoming league match or are in the top six appearance makers of the season so far. Got it?

For Northampton, Ryan Clarke is expected to return to goal, Josh Lelan may replace Adam Yates at right-back but Zander Diamond is likely to sit out as he recovers from a dead leg sustained in the defeat to Plymouth last week.

Chris Hackett, Sam Hoskins and Dominic Calvert-Lewin could also all come in, and there may even be a recall for former Colchester man John-Joe O’Toole, who has played just 30 minutes of football since starting and scoring in the opening day win over Bristol Rovers.

Prediction: Cobblers 2 Colchester 1