Curle critical of Cobblers' defending for 'avoidable' goal at Mansfield

Cobblers boss Keith Curle was unhappy with his side's defending for Mansfield's 'avoidable' opening goal during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Field Mill.

Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 4:33 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 4:34 pm
Keith Curle rocking the jeans at Field Mill. Picture: Pete Norton

With the game goalless after 74 minutes, Andy Cook was able to control a throw-in, bring the ball infield and fire between David Cornell and his near post, handing the Stags a 1-0 lead.

Harry Smith's superb header 10 minutes later grabbed a point for the Cobblers, but Curle didn't allow that to mask his disappointment with Cook's strike.

"It's definitely avoidable." he said. "If you have a look at it, the set was wrong from the throw-in because they're able to throw it into the lad and he's able to bring the ball down on his chest.

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"He was allowed to turn and get in shooting range and let one go so there's a lot of things within that which is wrong.

"I take onboard that I had just made a couple of substitutions because roles and responsibilities do change, but it was too easy to get a throw-in into somebody's chest.

"Worst way, you let the ball go back and you don't let him play forward."

Goalkeeper Cornell may also feel disappointed to have been beaten at his near post from a long-range strike, although Curle was reluctant to blame individuals.

"Until I've gone back and reviewed the footage and analysed it, we don't criticise," he said. "We work on areas we think we can improve on.

"Before it gets to Dai, the ball's out of play but is our shape right? Are we in a position to defend our goal?

"The lad gets it, takes it on his chest, turns and fires a shot off so before the ball gets to Dai, there were issues that we need to address."