Edinburgh explains Cornell selection and picks out teenager McWilliams for praise

David Cornell has played five league games this season
David Cornell has played five league games this season

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh has explained why he opted for David Cornell over regular first-choice goalkeeper Adam Smith for Saturday’s clash at Bury.

Smith had been ever-present between the sticks since Edinburgh’s appointment in January but he was surprisingly dropped for the trip to Gigg Lane, giving Cornell a rare opportunity to impress.

But the former Swansea man may have wished he remained on the bench after a torrid day for his side as Bury romped to a 3-0 victory through goals from James Vaughan and George Miller.

Though not directly at fault for any of the goals, Cornell remains without a clean sheet in any of his nine appearances during his first season at Sixfields after signing for the club last summer.

“I spoke with Adam and I’ll keep those conversations private but I think David deserved a chance and I needed to have a look at him in first-team action,” revealed Edinburgh afterwards.

“I just felt that maybe some of Adam’s kicking of late has been a little bit erratic and nervous and it was time to make that change.

“Obviously we had to make other changes with personnel and suspensions but it was a disappointing afternoon.

“David had no chance with the goals and that’s disappointing because people like him have had to wait a long time to get an opportunity and then players perform like that in front of him which is tough to take.”

In the absence of several first-choice players through injury and suspension, Edinburgh selected a makeshift team for Saturday’s game at Bury, including both Shaun McWilliams and Brendan Moloney in midfield.

At just 18 years of age, it was McWilliams’ first ever professional start and his performance was the one ray of light on a thoroughly disappointing afternoon.

I just felt that maybe some of Adam’s kicking of late has been a little bit erratic and nervous and it was time to make that change.

“I thought he was excellent and I thought he showed promise,” said Edinburgh.

“I’m pleased to him and I told him in that in the dressing room afterwards. I thought he did well and showed what we expect of him.

“If he keeps working hard, which he will do, he’ll continue to try and press and become a regular in this football team.

“I also thought Neal Eardley did really well. It was a big blow that he had to come off with a calf strain at half-time because I thought he was playing well.

“Other than that we were below-par.”