One defender in, one out for Northampton Town in Leyton Orient JPT tie


Left-back Joe Widdowson will be available for selection for the Cobblers in their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game against in-form Leyton Orient at Sixfields on Wednesday, but Clarke Carlisle will miss the tie.

Carlisle will be unable to play as he is cup-tied, having already featured for York City in a previous round.

It is still unclear, but it is thought this means the centre-back will have to serve his one-match suspension for his red card at Oxford United on Saturday, when Cheltenham Town visit for an npower League Two fixture.

It’s a grey area, but the Football Association website states that Carlisle is ‘suspended from all first teamn football, until the club have completed one first team match’.

Town will still be without David Artell, Luke Guttridge and John Johnson, who are sidelined until January, and Alex Nicholls, whose broken leg is expected to keep him out for the remainder of the season.

But despite having a clean bill of health otherwise, and the benefit of extra time on the training ground due to the club not having an FA Cup fixture at the weekend, the absence of Carlisle through suspension still annoys manager Aidy Boothroyd.

“On reflection the officials made some very bad decisions in that game and reports have gone in but it’s gone now.

“Clarke’s sending off, at the time, I thought was fair. But watching it back, the linesman is very quick to draw attention to it and to himself.

“It’s one of those where any good professional who is one-on-one with someone who has been booked and who they are quicker than, will knock it past him and run into him to get him sent off, it’s just what happens in professional sport.

“The official was naïve, he put his flag up straight away and it’s one of those that you can’t argue against but you find hard to accept.

“Clarke should never have got himself in a position to be booked in the first place but they’re all lessons that you learn.”