Cobblers boss Dean Austin has given a detailed explanation as to why Ash Taylor was the designated penalty-taker during Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie at Wycombe Wanderers.
Trailing 1-0 to Randell Williams’ goal heading into the final 10 minutes at Adams Park, a clumsy foul on Jack Bridge handed Town a wonderful opportunity to level things up from the spot.
With the likes of Sam Hoskins, Matt Crooks, Dean Bowditch and Billy Waters all on the pitch, it was something of a surprise when centre-back Taylor grabbed the ball and took responsibility, only for his low penalty to be beaten away by home goalkeeper Yves Ma-Kalambay.
Taylor’s miss mattered not when Hoskins fired into the bottom corner just two minutes later but it still caused a stir on social media, though the captain did make amends in the following shoot-out as his spot-kick just about squirmed beyond the grasp of Ma-Kalambay.
Asked why Taylor was on penalties, Austin explained: “That was the plan. Every game we play we have our designated penalty-takers. We take penalties in training and for the first game of the season it was Shaun McWilliams.
“We had penalty competitions on the last week of pre-season and Shaun won. He scored every single penalty he took so he was our penalty-taker until he picked up the injury.
“Ash, out of 26 or 27 penalties they took, he missed just one so he was number two and Sammy Hoskins was number three.
“It’s on the board and that’s how much detail we go into with the stuff we do. Shaun got injured so Ash has been on penalties and Sammy is number two with Kevin van Veen number three.
“For Tuesday, Ash was number one, Billy was two and I think Dean Bowditch was number three so we do the plan and we stick to the plan.
“Anyone can miss a penalty, it happens to the best. People have to have the courage to step up and take them.”