Alexander rues early strikes as Cobblers power past Fleetwood

Fleetwood Town manager Graham Alexander thinks the timing of the Cobblers’ goals was crucial as his side recorded their first loss in six games.

Town ran out 3-1 winners for the second week in a row to continue their good run of form, which has seen them climb to ninth in the npower League Two table.

Jake Robinson, Clive Platt and an own goal from Alex Marrow gave the Cobblers a 3-0 lead before Jamie Allen scored a late goal from an exquisite half volley after a defensive mistake from Clarke Carlisle.

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Fleetwood struggled to pose a genuine threat to Lee Nicholls’ goal and Alexander was disappointed with a first-half performance that saw his promotion-chasing players head in 2-0 down at half time.

“It was a disappointing day, disappointing for the fact we didn’t play like us in the first half,” he said. “In the second half I thought we did a lot better, we got the ball down and passed it through the midfield.

“We did some good stuff but it wasn’t enough to get back in the game. We conceded two poor goals early on in both halves and that puts you on the back foot.”

As has been the case this season, the Cobblers utilised the height and strength of Kelvin Langmead, Adebayo Akinfenwa and Platt at set plays with Ben Tozer causing problems from long throws, a tactic Alexander is not sure his team coped with particularly well.

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“What can you do when throws are coming in from 40 yards outside your box, corners are coming in and things are going on around the goal?” Alexander said.

“You have to deal with it, it’s a side of football which is there and it’s been successful for them so hats off to them.

“You’re going to get crosses, you’re going to get things coming in your box and you have to deal with it, but we didn’t, we didn’t deal with the initial attack either.”

Alexander’s double substitution at half-time evened the game a little but was not sufficient to stage a comeback.

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“We were 2-0 down, we had to play a different way, add more width and attacking threat and those two did that for us.”

“I thought the other players that were already on changed the way they played as well and had a bit more courage on the ball and in what they were doing.

“It’s a disappointing day but there is always positives to get out of something and those two were good.”