Cobblers 'just needed a break' in Rovers defeat - Curle

Keith Curle gives out the orders during Tuesday's game. Picture: Kirsty Edmonds
Keith Curle gives out the orders during Tuesday's game. Picture: Kirsty Edmonds

Cobblers boss Keith Curle felt luck was against his during their 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday.

Town matched the League One outfit for much of the first-half but fell behind a minute before half-time when they failed to clear their lines and Tom Broadbent scored from close-range.

Stefan Payne lashed in a second 13 minutes into the second-half and though Matt Crooks pulled one back late on, the Cobblers crashed out of the competition.

"I think they had three attempts and scored two and we had about 10 attempts and only scored one," said Curle afterwards. "We just needed the ball to land favourably inside the box.

"We had a great bit of play in the first-half that ended with a good block from Dean Bowditch's shot and I thought we really opened them up then.

"We got behind them. We got people forward and got into the box but we just needed that little break. There was lots of effort and lots of commitment and we finished the game on the front foot."

The manner of Rovers' two goals disappointed Curle with the first coming on the stroke of half-time and the second a result of Shay Facey's miscued headed clearance.

He added: "It's never a good time to concede and it came from a ricochet after a corner. We couldn't get a clear head on the ball, it's pinball in the box and it lands to one of their players.

"I think we had about three opportunities when the ball was scrambling around in the box but we weren't able to get a clean strike at goal.

"The second goal was disappointing because it's elementary defending. You need height and distance on the clearance and make better contact to get it out of the danger area."