Disappointed Curle rues missed opportunity after Cobblers are held by Mariners

Keith Curle. Picture: Sharon Lucey
Keith Curle. Picture: Sharon Lucey

Cobblers' failure to make the most of their first-half supremacy left manager Keith Curle to cut a frustrated figure following his side's 2-2 draw with Grimsby Town on Saturday,

Northampton were bidding to extend their winning run to five home games in all competitions and they twice looked on course do to just that through Andy Williams' early opener and then a late free-kick from Kevin van Veen.

Williams thumped home on just four minutes as Town dominated the opening half-hour, but missed chances came back to haunt them when Charles Vernam brought Grimsby level nine minutes before half-time.

That took the wind out of the home side's sails and despite van Veen's whipping home a free-kick 15 minutes from time, Harry Cardwell's close-range finish five minutes later ensured home fans were left frustrated and disappointed at full-time.

"It was a very good start from us," said Curle. "We were on the front foot, we got territorial advantage and we had opportunities to score a second goal but didn't manage to do so.

"We could have killed the game in the first half-hour. We started very well and put the ball in the box but then we didn't the simple things well to again gain territorial advantage and some of our decision-making was loose.

"We didn't get on the front foot in the second-half, we didn't get into final third and we didn't put enough balls in the box.

"They were wobbling at the start of the game and every time there was a set-piece or the ball went into their box, we were dangerous and looked a threat, but even then we still had opportunities to show more quality and more understanding of the areas we want to exploit with the quality we've got."

Town might point to an incident in the first-half that didn't go their way when Ash Taylor was seemingly taken out inside the box with the score at 1-0, but referee Trevor Kettle was unmoved.

"The analyst has seen it back and he says it was a penalty but I've not seen it and it was a game we needed that second goal," continued Curle. "If we score the second goal, it's a different game."