Cornell back in goal for his kicking as Curle takes encouragement from Cheltenham draw

David Cornell's superior 'distribution' was the reason for his return to the Cobblers net against Cheltenham Town on Sunday, according to manager Keith Curle.

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 11:36 am
David Cornell

Cornell had started 19 league games in a row before being replaced by summer signing Steve Arnold for Town's heavy Boxing Day defeat at Crawley.

Curle said he was 'disappointed' with Cornell for his part in Andy Cook's opener in the 1-1 draw at Mansfield before Christmas, but the Welshman was back between the sticks in place of Arnold against Cheltenham.

And he might have added another clean sheet to his impressive tally of eight this season if not for Conor Thomas' third-minute penalty, which was Cheltenham's first and last shot on target.

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"I thought it was going to be a game where Dai's distribution would be important and we needed to get up the pitch," said Curle.

"We needed to have an out ball and that accuracy in his kicks onto Vadaine (Oliver) so then we could put more people in the areas to land on second balls.

"I think Dai will be disappointed because he would have earned a clean sheet if not for the penalty."

Cobblers were much-improved on their limp display at Crawley but couldn't force victory despite dominating the second-half.

Jordan Turnbull cancelled out Thomas' opener before Scott Flinders saved from Ryan Watson and Vadaine Oliver and Andy Williams struck the woodwork.

"I think we had a 20, 25 minute spell in the second-half where we had them and we just needed that final ball because we got good balls into the box but things weren't quite dropping for us," Curle added.

"They cleared the ball, we landed on the second ball and we put it back in the box and that kept happening and that's what we want to do.

"If one option doesn't come off, when the ball comes out we land on the second ball. We didn't do that enough in the first-half and if anything we got too many people forward at the wrong time."