Cornell left to rue 'fine margins' as Cobblers fail to take their chances at Bury
Goalkeeper David Cornell was left to rue missed chances and 'fine margins' following the Cobblers' 3-1 defeat at promotion-chasing Bury.
Town went down to defeat against a strong Shakers side at Gigg Lane, but Keith Curle's men played well at times and felt they could have returned from Greater Manchester with some reward.
The Cobblers led through a first-half header from Andy Williams, and although Bury hit back to lead 2-1 after the break, Town had chances to snatch an equaliser before the home side sealed the win with a third goal deep into stoppage time.
"I think we were competitive but we've conceded at bad times," said Cornell. "We could have been 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes.
"We scored a good goal early on and then could have nicked a 2-2 at the end, but they've got quality in their side and you can't give a player like that (Mayor) so many chances to bend one in."
The Welshman was referring to Danny Mayor's stunning strike for Bury's second, as he was allowed the time and space to pick his spot from 20 yards, but Cornell was also visibly furious at the concession of the first goal.
Town had chances to deal with the danger, but Chris Stokes was left unmarked at the far post to tap home Nicky Adams' cross from the right wing, with the goal coming five minutes before the interval.
"I just felt we could have prevented that goal," said Cornell. "We could have kept them higher up the pitch but we almost switched off.
"To be fair to Nicky Adams, he has great delivery and their boy finished it well but we could have stopped the goal.
"The timing of it was disappointing because if we go into half-time at 1-0, it's a different game."
The best chance the Cobblers had to snatch a point came in the dying minutes of normal time.
Williams was sent clear by an excellent Dean Bowditch pass, but from a tight angle he sent the ball inches wide of the far post.
The miss wasa to prove costly as Bury added a third just a few minutes later, and Cornell said; "It's unlike Willo to miss that chance at the end but those are the fine margins.
"We put that in and it's 2-2 and then potentially we go on and get more out of the game.
"Bury took the opportunities when they came and we didn't, and as I said we could have been 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes.
"Obviously we're disappointed to lose a game of football, that's standard, but I think we could and probably should have got something out of the game."
The Cobblers return to action on Saturday when they host relegation-threatened Yeovil Town at the PTS Academy Stadium (ko 3pm).