Boss Keith Curle delighted as strong start sets up Cobblers success

Keith Curle shouts instructions from the touchline during the Cobblers' 1-0 Leasing.com Trophy win at Cambridge United on Tuesday (Picture: Pete Norton)
Keith Curle shouts instructions from the touchline during the Cobblers' 1-0 Leasing.com Trophy win at Cambridge United on Tuesday (Picture: Pete Norton)

Cobblers boss Keith Curle felt his side's strong start to the game set the tone for their 1-0 victory over Cambridge United in Tuesday's EFL Trophy clash.

Town were fast out of the traps at the Abbey Stadium and moved into a deserved lead after 17 minutes when Reece Hall-Johnson found Harry Smith in the penalty box and he poked the ball into the net.

Andy Williams fights for the ball during the Cobblers' win at Cambridge

Andy Williams fights for the ball during the Cobblers' win at Cambridge

That ultimately proved the game's decisive moment as Cobblers continued to make the running in the first-half before protecting their lead doggedly in the second.

With five points from three games, Town have now completed their Southern Group H campaign and must wait for Cambridge to play Arsenal Under-21s and Peterborough next month before knowing their fate.

"It was a competitive game and I thought we started the game very well, which was pleasing," said Curle following Tuesday's win.

"The new lads that came into the team adjusted very well and in the first-half we had some very good passages of play.

"I thought we ran out of steam a bit in the second-half and when the players that haven't been playing lack that little bit of energy, the quality can dip.

"But we played some nice stuff and I said to that players beforehand that there were three elements.

"You've got to be brave enough to get on the ball and play when it's on, you need the discipline and the understanding to put the ball into good areas with quality when it's not on to play and then you need that arrogance to showcase your ability."