John Coleman’s second spell as Stanley manager begins with a trip to Sixfields to take on Northampton Town.
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Following one of the most dramatic weeks in Stanley’s recent history, a new era begins tomorrow at Sixfields tomorrow.
John Coleman takes charge for the first time since January 2012 just two days after being reappointed manager at the Store First Stadium.
The first test for Coleman and his players is a big one against a Northampton side in fine form that won 5-1 against Hartlepool United in midweek.
That means that Coleman will have to make at least one change for the game, with a number of options available to come in up front.
New loan signing John O’Sullivan, who has just completed a switch from Blackburn Rovers, could make his Stanley debut.
Northampton are likely to be unchanged after hammering Hartlepool in midweek.
The Cobblers have spent seven of the last ten seasons in League Two, with the other three seasons spent in League One. The Cobblers gained automatic promotion to League One after finishing in 2nd place in the 2005/06 season.
They then spent the following three seasons in League One, before being relegated in the 2008/09 season, after finishing in 21st place in the table.
Since their relegation the Cobblers have spent the last five seasons in League Two and the closest they have come to gaining promotion back to League One was in the 2012/13 season when they suffered defeat to Bradford City in the play-off final. Last season the club finished in 21st place in League Two, after an excellent end of season run saw them escape relegation.
46 year old Wilder is currently in his fourth managerial role, after taking over as manager of the Cobblers in January this year. Wilder started his managerial career at Alfreton Town and has also managed Halifax Town and Oxford United, before resigning as manager of Oxford to join the Cobblers.
Prior to being a manager, Wilder had a successful career as a full back playing for clubs including Sheffield United, Rotherham United and Halifax Town.
32 year old Richards signed for a second spell at the club in the summer from Chesterfield and has made an excellent start to his Cobblers career, scoring seven goals in his first eight appearances including a brace on Tuesday night.
The Wolverhampton born striker started his career at Blackburn Rovers and during his time at the club had spells on loan at Crewe Alexandra, Oldham Athletic, Halifax Town and Swansea City. Richards then joined Northampton and scored 11 goals in 55 appearances and also had a spell on loan at Rochdale, where he scored two goals in five appearances.
He then signed for Barnsley, where he scored 18 goals in 72 appearances, before joining Port Vale where he had the most successful spell of his career, netting 67 goals in 181 appearances. Richards then joined Chesterfield, where he scored 20 goals in 72 appearances before joining the Cobblers.
The last meeting came in April when the Cobblers won 1-0 at the Store First Stadium and the scoreline was the same in the corresponding fixture at Sixfields.
The Reds have made five previous trips to Sixfields and only mustered two draws. They are yet to score a goal.
Stanley have won two of their last three games but couldn’t make it three on the spin when they were defeated at Oxford in midweek.
The Reds are yet to win away from home this season.
Northampton are one of the form teams in the division with three wins from their last five league games.
Chris Wilder’s side are fifth in League Two and five points from the summit.
James Gray 5
Kal Naismith 3
Marcus Carver 2
Luke Joyce 1
Marc Richards 7
Lawson D’Ath 4
Kaid Mohamed 3
Emile Sinclair 1
Ivan Toney 1
Several players have appeared for both clubs, including Joel Byrom, Gordon Armstrong and Paul Rachubka. Byrom is currently on loan at the Cobblers and has made five appearances for the club. He also had a spell at Stanley in the 2006/07 season and made one appearance for the club.
Armstrong also had a spell on loan at Northampton in the 1995/96 season and made four appearances and scored one goal. Armstrong also made 12 appearances for Stanley in a spell between 2003 and 2004.
Finally Rachubka had a spell on loan at the Cobblers from Manchester United in 2004 and made 10 appearances for the club. He then had a spell on loan at Stanley from Leeds United in the 2012/13 season and made 21 appearances for the club.
The Cobblers moved to Sixfields in 1994, after previously playing at the County Ground. The current capacity of Sixfields is 7653 and the record attendance inside the stadium is 7557, which was set when the Cobblers hosted Manchester City in Division Two in the 1998-99 season.
The club’s highest ever attendance was set at the County Ground in the 1965-66 season, when 24,523 people watched the Cobblers against Fulham in Division One.
For more information on Northampton Town, why not visit their official website www.ntfc.co.uk or their Twitter feed @ntfc