‘You got beat, take it on the chin!’ – O’Toole and Powell laugh off Crewe complaints

John-Joe O’Toole brushed off suggestions that the Cobblers used ‘roughhouse’ tactics during their 2-0 victory at Gresty Road on Saturday, telling Crewe Alexandra to ‘take defeat on the chin’.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 11:43 am
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 11:55 am
John-Joe O'Toole had this early effort cleared off the line against Crewe. Picture: Kirsty Edmonds

Crewe boss David Artell had spent much of last week preparing his side for a ‘physical’ test against the Cobblers, but despite those warnings, his side were comfortably beaten by Keith Curle’s men for the second time this season.

Daniel Powell headed in the first and then John-Joe O’Toole added a second before Town defended their lead with relative comfort in the second-half for a third win in four away games and fifth successive match unbeaten.

Afterwards, Crewe tweeted that Northampton’s ‘roughhouse tactics’ had ‘won the day’ while Artell criticised his players for failing to match the visitors’ ‘physicality’ throughout the contest.

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But O’Toole laughed off such accusations and felt the home side could have been more gracious in defeat, saying: “Roughhouse? Who would do such a thing? I don’t know what they mean by that. You got beat, take it on the chin!

“I think it was a good win for us and the boys played really well. We did what we needed to do.”

Fellow scorer Powell, who’s netted two of his three goals this season against Crewe, echoed those sentiments, adding: “You’d think they’d take it better but our gameplan worked. We were aggressive, we got in their faces and they couldn’t really handle it.”

Saturday’s well-earned victory has raised a glimmer of hope that Town could mount a late challenge for the play-offs this season, despite sitting nine points adrift with only 11 games remaining.

O’Toole added: “Yeah, why not? Listen, we’re on a good run at the moment and it’s good that we’re now looking up and not looking down. If we can make a late surge, who knows?”

If the Cobblers are to even get close to the top seven this season, their home form will have to improve following a run of one win in eight at the PTS, starting with Saturday’s visit of fifth-placed Exeter City.

The last time they played on home soil, Town’s players were booed off after a drab goalless draw with Crawley Town a little over two weeks ago.

O’Toole continued: “When you’re not playing well at home, the fans can get a little bit annoyed and that’s understandable because you can see why. We need to improve our home form for sure.”