There has been no need for the dubious goals committee to get involved with either of Andy Williams’ past two goals, both scored this week.
After seeing his effort at Exeter City correctly ruled as a Jayden Stockley own goal having initially claimed it as his own, Williams took matters into his own hands with thumping, decisive finishes against Grimsby Town on Saturday and then Newport County in midweek.
Unfortunately though, neither goal was in a winning cause as the Cobblers followed Saturday’s draw with a disappointing defeat in south Wales where their defensive problems resurfaced during five calamitous first-half minutes.
Williams’ instinctive 11th-minute strike had cancelled out Josh Sheehan’s rapid opener when Jamille Matt and Padraig Amond scored twice in a matter of moments, both benefiting from Town’s all-too generous defending.
From there, just a second defeat in 10 league games under Keith Curle was inevitable.
“It was a very disappointing night,” admitted Williams. “We wanted to start the game well but we didn’t do that, I think we barely touched the ball before their first goal.
“We came to life for a little bit and managed to get one back but we faded out at the end of the first half again so it was very frustrating.
“I don’t think we then got going in the second half and we didn’t show the best of us and therefore the the game just fizzled out and it was a comfortable 3-1 win for them.
“The fans were incredible. It’s a long way to go and it’s nice to have that support and score in front of them, but unfortunately we weren’t able to make the journey home any better for them so apologies for that.”
Without wanting to read too much into one game, there’s no doubt the defeat at Rodney Parade signalled the end of Keith Curle’s honeymoon period as manager.
With the Cobblers threatening to revert to type after his appointment sparked an uplift, Curle’s work has only just begun.
It’s probably a good thing that he and his players now have a rare weekend off as he seeks a swift solution.
“There’s a lot of frustrated and disappointed lads in the changing room,” said Williams after Tuesday’s loss.
“It’s a hard one to take after the run we’ve been on but the gaffer’s going to go through things with us over the next few days.
“We’ll be looking to sort things out during the rest of the week and then we’ve got a Checkatrade Trophy game on Tuesday, so we don’t go too long without a match, which is important at this time of year.
“The games tend to come thick and fast and I normally like playing at this time of year so hopefully my form continues, but more importantly hopefully we get back on a run.”
After taking 12 games to get off the mark, Williams now has four goals in his past nine, although he still remains adrift of strike partner Kevin van Veen in Town’s scoring charts this season.
His past two goals were both of the classic poacher’s variety, well-placed in the penalty box to slam home.
But with the team four without a win and comfortably beaten at Newport, there’s only so much pleasure Williams can take from scoring.
He added: “It’s obviously always nice to score goals, but they don’t feel like they mean anything when you don’t get the result.
“I had a couple of other chances. A great tackle late on stopped me getting another one and forcing a nervy end.
“It’s good to keep the run going personally but if the team’s not doing well it doesn’t mean anything.”