It was not the result he or the team wanted but Hakeem Odoffin still enjoyed his first proper taste as a Cobbler following his debut at the PTS Academy Stadium in Saturday’s League Two curtain-raiser - despite being involved in an angry confrontation with skipper Ash Taylor.
With Shay Facey still working his way back from an ankle injury suffered in pre-season, Odoffin was handed an immediate chance to impress his new fans for the visit of Lincoln City.
The 20-year-old defender, who was snapped up on a free transfer earlier in the summer, took the opportunity with a steady performance at right-back, solid in defence and composed in possession while offering the occasional threat in the final third.
“There were a lot of positives for me,” he said afterwards. “It was brilliant to get out there and play 90 minutes.
“I’m loving it here. The players and the staff have all been brilliant and made me feel very welcome so I’m enjoying it.
“It was my first full 90 minutes in a while on Saturday so I’m glad to get that over and done with and now I want to kick-on from here and get the results we want and the fans deserve.”
We’ve had a talk about it and there are no hard feelings – it’s part of the game and I want him to do that because we don’t want to let in those kind of goals. I expect it from him and he expects it from me so it’s all good.
Town’s defence, and Odoffin in particular, coped well with Lincoln’s physical and aerial threat throughout the game, bar one costly lapse when Matt Green eluded Taylor to nod home Neal Eardley’s cross three minutes into the second-half.
Odoffin and Taylor appeared to share a heated exchange in the immediate aftermath of Green’s goal, which proved the match-winner as Cobblers paid the price for wasteful finishing.
“It shows the passion we have about conceding because we never want to concede goals like that or any goal in general,” Odoffin explained. “We’ve had a talk about it and there are no hard feelings - it’s part of the game and I want him to do that because we don’t want to let in those kind of goals. I expect it from him and he expects it from me so it’s all good.
“Anyone can take what they want from it. People will have their opinion on it but we’re a team and whatever happens, happens together. We win together and we lose together.”
At the other end, Cobblers were repeatedly thwarted by the heroics of Imps goalkeeper Josh Vickers who kept out Daniel Powell, Sam Hoskins and Andy Williams when all three were presented with clear openings.
“It was a frustrating game,” admitted Odoffin. “I think everyone could see that we were definitely the better team but, at the end of the day, it doesn’t mean much if you don’t put your chances away.
“I think the performance was there. We have to see it as an anomaly. If we keep playing like that, keep getting into the right areas and creating those chances, the goals will come and the results will follow.
“I think their reaction at the end shows the kind of team we are and that teams really want to beat us. We just have to live up that and make sure results match our performances and match the team that we can be in this league.”