Missed opportunities, a poorly-defended set-piece and an opening-day defeat all contributed to a frustrating debut as Cobblers skipper for defender Charlie Goode.
Appointed captain by Keith Curle during pre-season, the summer signing from Scunthorpe United led Northampton out against Walsall for Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two curtain-raiser at the PTS Stadium.
To concede from a set-piece, which are massive in this league, you can’t do that. We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen.
But it would be disappointing afternoon for Goode and his team, who made a sluggish start to the new campaign when beaten by James Clarke’s first-half header.
The nature of the winning goal – from a corner – was a source of frustration for Goode, particularly given his position as centre-back and captain of the team.
“To concede from a set-piece, which are massive in this league, you can’t do that,” he admitted. “We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again and we’ve also got to get on the end of some ourselves, even myself.
“We got a few headers off today but we want to score them. To lose 1-0 in the first game at home is disappointing but there’s loads of time to bounce back.”
It was notable that Cobblers opted to zonal mark from set-pieces on Saturday but that approach backfired when Clarke was given the room to nod in Danny Guthrie’s corner.
“Their goal is something we’ll look at as defenders,” Goode continued. “It was an outswinging corner so I think we can all take another yard to the right and one of us would have headed it.
“But you can’t concede set-piece goals and it’s something we’ll work on this week to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Goode was one of a number of Northampton players who threatened to score at the other end, with Nicky Adams’ crosses causing problems for the Saddlers.
“I think we deserved something out of the game,” added the centre-back. “We started OK, Nicky Adams put in some great crosses and on another day we get on the end of a couple of them.
“I think the centre-backs and the strikers should be getting a load of goals from Nicky’s crosses because it’s very rare that you see him put a bad one in - I’d like to think he’d be up there on the assists again.”