Plenty of positives in defeat for Cobblers boss Curle

Sam Foley heads home the Cobblers' equaliser at Forest Green (Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Sam Foley heads home the Cobblers' equaliser at Forest Green (Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Cobblers boss Keith Curle was pleased with his team’s performance despite their agonising late defeat to Forest Green Rovers on New Year’s Day.

Town made the worst possible start when conceding after just 61 seconds as Reece Brown capitalised on hesitant defending to set up George Williams for an easy tap-in.

But the visitors responded positively and warranted their equaliser when it came four minutes into the second-half through Sam Foley’s well-placed header from Jordan Turnbull’s cross.

Either side could have won it in the remaining time as Matt Crooks and Sam Hoskins almost put the Cobblers ahead but, like in the reverse fixture, a late goal decided it with Theo Archibald firing home in injury-time.

But Curle, by and large, was happy with what he witnessed from his team, particularly after half-time, saying: “I thought we dominated possession in the second-half and we had the territorial advantage.

“We dealt with the majority of their attacks and I thought we won the battles in midfield, but again we just needed that break.

“I thought it was going to come from the cross for Sam Hoskins’ chance and that would have been a perfect day’s work.”

Curle rung the changes for Town’s fourth game in 11 days, making five in all from the 2-2 draw with MK Dons on Saturday.

He added: “We set up with a slightly different formation and different personnel but I thought we looked fresh and we looked bright.

“Take the first two or three minutes out of it when we got caught with the goal, we settled into a rhythm, we stopped them from playing, we got close to them and we caused them problems on the break with the willingness to get into the box.

“I still say we need more quality in the final third area and we can manipulate the ball and work the ball better because sometimes in the first-half we had opportunities to break, but overall it a very positive game.”