Curle praises a job well done after Cobblers 'exploit' Chippenham's lack of physicality in FA Cup first-round tie

Keith Curle
Keith Curle

Cobblers boss Keith Curle praised a job well done by his 'professional' players after they eased past Chippenham Town in the first round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

The damage was inflicted during a dominant first-half by Town as Harry Smith broke the deadlock on 22 minutes before Vadaine Oliver opened his account for the club with a brace.

Cobblers took a more pragmatic approach to the second 45 minutes and made sure there were no hiccups to book their spot in Monday's second-round draw.

The victory vindicated Curle's decision to name a strong team at Hardenhuish Park as his side successfully exposed Chippenham's perceived lack of physicality.

"One of the first things we noticed was that we knew we could cause them problems height-wise and with our physical presence and balls into the box," said Curle.

"Their goalkeeper made some fantastic saves and kept the scoreline down but he isn't the biggest and their two centre-backs aren't the biggest and they don't have a real physical dominance in the air so we thought we could exploit it.

"It unsettles teams. The first corner routine we had was designed to unsettle the goalkeeper and we went and got a goal from it."

Curle was also pleased with his players' mental approach to Sunday's potential banana skin.

He added: "In the early stages of the competition it's not so much about the performance but the result and the longer you stay in the cup, the better it gets and that was the message to the players before the game.

"The way the players conducted and prepared themselves and the attention to detail they had was very good and shows the focus is there as a group. If you're not focussed, you can get turned over and it can be a potential banana skin so credit to the players."