We take a look at a selection of players who have played for both Northampton Town and tomorrow's opponents, Walsall.
Striker Alex Nicholls began his career at Walsall, breaking in to the first team in the 2005/06 season. Nicholls was at Walsall for the first six years of his senior career between 2005 and 2012. In this time Nicholls managed to play for the Saddlers 213 times in all competitions, finding the back of the net 28 times and providing 11 assists during his time at the Banks’s Stadium.
Alex left Walsall to sign for Northampton Town in the summer of 2012. It didn’t take Nicholls long to establish himself as a fans favourite at the club, scoring 8 times in his first 16 appearances in League Two before his season was ended early following a horror double leg break on 27th October. The injury would keep the striker out of action for just short of two years. Nicholls made an emotional return in 2014 and following a loan spell at Exeter returned to the Cobblers and scored against AFC Wimbledon sparking wild celebrations in the stands. In all competitions Alex made 29 appearances in the claret and white, scoring 9 times and providing 1 assist.
Shay Facey signed for the Cobblers under former manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in January 2018, penning an 18-month deal at Sixfields. Facey nailed down a regular position in his first season at the club, making 15 league appearances in the second half of the season, scoring once in a 1-1 draw vs Shrewsbury Town. Following the conclusion of the 2018/19 season Facey was released after his contract expired. In all competitions Shay made 42 appearances, scoring once.
Following his release from the Cobblers, Shay signed for Walsall, signing a one year deal. Facey made 17 appearances in total for Walsall, setting up 2 goals during his stay at the Banks’s Stadium before retiring from football altogether at the end of that season at the age of 25.
Jon Guthrie signed for Northampton Town at the beginning of this season after leaving Scottish Premier League side, Livingston. Jon has quickly cemented his position in the starting eleven at the club, often partnering vice-captain Fraser Horsfall at the heart of defence. As well as contributing to a very healthy 12 league clean sheets so far he has also chipped in at the other end of the pitch too, managing to score an impressive 6 goals already this season and providing 1 assist.
Guthrie signed for Walsall in June 2017 on a two-year deal. Guthrie was a mainstay in the Saddlers side throughout his spell at the Banks’s Stadium, playing in every single league match in his first season and making 42 league appearances in his second season. In total Jon made 101 appearances in all competitions, scoring 3 goals and providing 1 assist.
Darren Byfield signed for Northampton Town from Aston Villa on loan under ex-manager Ian Atkins in August 1999. Byfield made 6 appearances for Northampton Town, scoring once. Darren has since returned to the Cobblers and now works for the club in the academy.
After leaving Aston Villa, Byfield signed for Walsall, staying at the club for two years, making 77 appearances and finding the back of the net 13 times. He returned to Walsall 7 years later in 2009 where he struck a formidable partnership with Troy Deeney. He made a further 55 appearances and scored another 12 goals for the Saddlers in his second spell before leaving at the end of the 2010/11 season.
Jamie signed for Walsall from Dutch club FC Utrecht on a short-term loan. His stay at the Banks’s Stadium was a brief one, making just 5 appearances for the Saddlers.
Forrester signed for Northampton Town following the conclusion of his loan at Walsall, signing similar terms from FC Utrecht. His loan spell at the Cobblers was a huge success, scoring 6 goals in 9 games, prompting Northampton Town to make the deal permanent. During his three years at Sixfields, Jamie won a promotion with the club and made 121 appearances in total, scoring 45 times.