Boss Curle hails 'brave' Cobblers as 10-man Town tough it out for crucial win

Keith Curle gets his point across during the Cobblers' 1-0 win at Stevenage (Picture: Pete Norton)
Keith Curle gets his point across during the Cobblers' 1-0 win at Stevenage (Picture: Pete Norton)

Cobblers boss Keith Curle hailed his side's second-half performance and in particular their battling qualities with 10 men after Tuesday's gritty 1-0 win at struggling Stevenage.

A low-key first-half made way for a frantic and incident-packed second as Harry Smith, on at the break, headed Town ahead 11 minutes later before he picked up two yellow cards in the space of two minutes.

That left the visitors with a quarter of the game to survive with 10 men but survive they did thanks to some desperate, last-ditch defending as Curle's men recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

"It had a little bit of everything," said Curle afterwards.

"I was disappointed with the first-half performance from ourselves because we didn't do what we wanted to do.

"We took an extra touch and therefore we didn't get on the front foot and people came short to supply the pass to go in behind and then we end up with one man less going forward.

"I thought we needed another presence up top so we made the substitutions and it was a game of two halves but within that we showed characteristics that are needed as a changing room and as a team and as a football club.

"We were brave, energetic, willing to work, willing to do our share of another man's job, we covered distance and got lots of blocks and great headers in.

"We defended our goal very well and our goalkeeper was there when needed. It was a bit frantic but it was always going to be with 10 men against a team that's just throwing balls in from everywhere."