Curle backs Lines as Cobblers' penalty-taker despite miss as midfielder reveals fatal last-second mind change

Keith Curle had no problem with Chris Lines taking both spot-kicks during Saturday's 2-2 draw against Crawley Town despite the Cobblers midfielder confessing to a fatal, last-second change of heart when he stepped up for a second time..

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 12:05 am
Glenn Morris guesses right and keeps out Chris Lines' second spot-kick. Picture: Pete Norton

Ryan Watson has been designated Town's first-choice penalty taker this season but, with injury ruling him out, the responsibility fell to Lines when Charlie Goode was tripped 15 minutes into Saturday's game visit of in-form Crawley.

He made no mistake and calmly rolled into the bottom corner, however when Michael Harriman won a second spot-kick shortly after the restart, Lines failed to repeat the dose as he changed his mind at the last second and Crawley goalkeeper Glenn Morris guessed right to keep the score at 1-0.

"Watto wasn't playing so I stepped up and scored the first one," said Lines. "I should have scored the second one as well but I changed my mind at the last minute.

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"It is what it is - there's never a dull moment in my life! I was going to go the same way and had I done we would have seen that silly GIF on Twitter again but at the last minute I changed it.

"I was going to go the same way but I thought I saw their goalkeeper make a slight movement that side and then he's gone the other way and he's held onto it.

"Maybe I should have let someone else take it but I was confident to score again and if I had gone the same way it would have gone in."

Teams sometimes opt to change their penalty-taker when they win two in a game, irrespective of whether or not the first one was converted, as it can hand the opposition goalkeeper a slight psychological advantage.

However, Curle had no issue with Lines stepping up both times on Saturday, saying: "You try and get the ball off Chris Lines! I used to be a penalty-taker myself and it's a different type of pressure.

"We back his technique and if anything he's probably over-thought it, which is going to happen because the second penalty is difficult, but it's a good save from the goalkeeper - he stayed late and held his ground so I've got no problems with it.

"It was disappointing because it would have been at a very good time. We had just come out after half-time, got on the front foot and showed good intent and played where we thought their weakness would be.

"I understand the question but I don't have a problem with Chris Lines taking the penalty and had we won a third penalty, he would have taken it."