Oxford draw leaves Cobblers boss Edinburgh with mixed emotions

HALF CENTURY: Saturday's draw against Oxford took Cobblers to 50 points for the season. Picture by Kirsty Edmonds
HALF CENTURY: Saturday's draw against Oxford took Cobblers to 50 points for the season. Picture by Kirsty Edmonds

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh admitted he felt a tinge of frustration after his side were unable to eke out another victory at Sixfields on Saturday, held to a goalless draw by Oxford United.

The final 0-0 scoreline was perhaps a fair reflection of a competitive game that only really kicked into life in the second period following a drab first 45 minutes.

There were chances to win it at both ends, most notably just short of the hour-mark when Northampton won a penalty for a foul on Paul Anderson.

Matty Taylor stepped up from 12 yards but for the second time this season he failed to convert, denied by a fine save from Simon Eastwood, and that was the closest either side would come to scoring.

“I thought it was a really fierce, competitive game,” assessed Edinburgh afterwards. “Both teams didn’t give up an inch but unfortunately the penalty we missed has again come back to haunt us.

“But I can’t fault the players. In swirling winds the game was fairly contested and neither defence was willing to give a yard.

“We started very well and had some good balls go into the box without really threatening and the execution wasn’t quite right, certainly first-half.

“To be fair to Oxford, with the wind behind them, they got into the ascendancy and we had to defend our box really well, which we’re doing ever so well now and I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made.”

Irrespective of Taylor’s missed spot-kick, Edinburgh was again encouraged by what he saw on Saturday as his side dug deep and battled to an important point, one which takes their tally for the season to 50.

“I said to the players afterwards that when I first took over, this is a game we might have lost,” added the Town manager.

“The wind doesn’t always help and I thought we started well but possession was turned over far too easy time and time again, and then when we regained it we were out of shape and we were a bit ragged.

“I thought we got going again second-half and playing into the wind suited us.

“We got a foothold in the game and goals change games and I think if the penalty goes in then I think we would have gone on to win the game.

“But defences came out on top. There was a lot of good blocks and positional play from defenders that didn’t allow strikers to have opportunities at goal and it just didn’t quite fall for us in the areas we wanted to, but it wasn’t for the lack of effort.”