Dave Buchanan insists the Cobblers players didn’t take Tuesday’s FA Cup tie at Stourbridge lightly, but admitted the non-League outfit were ‘the better side from start to finish’
The experienced left-back refuted any suggestion that Town may have been complacenct ahead of the 1-0 defeat to the Northern League Premier Division side, and just felt it was as simple as team not performing on the night.
We can’t butter it up, from start to finish they were better than us in terms of the dirty stuff. In terms of getting to second balls, winning fouls, putting the ball in behind, and from set-pieces. Everything they did they tested us, and I don’t think we created many chancesCobblers defender Dave Buchanan
Jack Duggan’s goal four minutes from time settled a contest in which the home side, who play in the seventh tier of English football, were the dominant team throughout.
“We didn’t underestimate Stourbridge, we are not that type of group,” said Buchanan, who endured a difficult night up against Stourbridge livewire winger Matt Dodd.
“The fans have seen that, certainly since I have been at the club, we don’t understimate anybody, whether it’s Manchester United or Stourbridge.
“We prepare the same for every single game and we work hard every single week.”
And he added: “You have to give Stourbridge massive credit, and from start to finish they were the better team.
“We went into the game with plenty of confidence after Saturday’s win, but on the night we just weren’t good enough.
“Myself and the players are hurting. I have been in Stourbridge’s shoes when we have knocked teams out of cup competitions, and it’s not nice for us.
“I am embarrassed for myself and so disappointed.”
Duggan’s winning goal came after goalkeeper David Cornell had failed to connect properly as he tried to punch clear a free-kick, but Buchanan said it wasn’t all about goalkeeping error, and he admitted the team have to stop conceding late goals.
“The goal was a collection of errors,” said Buchanan. “We could clear the first ball and hook it on, and then we have to stand up and not commit the foul.
“We have to be better organised as a team, because the amount of goals we have been conceding late on in games is a massive problem for us and we now have to dust ourselves down.
“We have a massive game against Rochdale on Saturday, and that is what we have to prepare for.
“When you are on the back end of a defeat like that in the FA Cup it is not nice.
“We can’t butter it up, from start to finish they were better than us in terms of the dirty stuff. In terms of getting to second balls, winning fouls, putting the ball in behind, and from set-pieces.
“Everything they did they tested us, and I don’t think we created many chances.
“We had a lot of set-pieces and we were very wasteful with those.”
The 400 travelling Cobblers fans were not impressed with the team’s performance, with sections voicing their displeasure at the end, but Buchanan has pleaded with the supporters to stick with the team.
“I would say to the fans that we have let you down,” said the former Preston North End man.
“We are very disappointed with the result as players, believe me.
“I know it hurts the fans but it hurts the players more than anybody, and it is important now, with a tough game against Rochdale who are fifth in the league, that they get back to Sixfields and get back behind us.
“Hopefully then on Saturday we can get the three points for them and put a smile back on their faces.
“When these things happen, it is upsetting and it is embarrassing, but we have a chance to put it right on Saturday.
“We aren’t happy, we have been beaten by a team we should have been beating, but it is back to the league now and we have the chance to get a win against Rochdale.
“If we do that we will be knocking on the door of the play-offs again.”