Opposition view: 'We should have been 3-0 up' - Artell laments poor finishing and questions 'blocking' tactics

Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell lamented his side's wasteful finishing after claiming they should have been 3-0 up instead of 3-0 down during their 4-1 defeat to Northampton on Saturday.

Saturday, 16th November 2019, 6:45 pm
Updated Saturday, 16th November 2019, 6:46 pm
David Artell cut a frustrated figure throughout Saturday's game. Picture: Pete Norton

Chris Kirk missed two fine chances and Tommy Lowery was also a threat in the first-half but it was the Cobblers who raced into a 3-0 lead with just 24 minutes played.

Chris Porter did eventually take one of Crewe's many chances but with Andy Williams on target shortly after half-time, the three points were claimed by Keith Curle's men.

"In the first-half we should have been 3-0 up but we went 3-0 down," bemoaned Artell, whose side had lost just one away game prior to Saturday.

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"We had our chances but Northampton were clinical from set-pieces and that just about sums the game up.

"There were some real good performances in possession and some real poor ones out of possession and that's what has cost us the game.

"You can't give anyone a three-goal start. Northampton are going well at the minute and it'll be a tough place to come as their team progresses.

"It was two contrasting styles of play and we weren't able to handle their style at times and it's as simple as that.

"We can't expect any team to give us an easy ride and Northampton did what we expected and they were clinical when the chances came.

"They had a helping hand or two but that takes nothing away from them. The game was won and lost in the first half-an-hour."

Artell also questioned Northampton's 'blocking' tactics for the first two goals, particularly second time around when Scott Wharton volleyed in Nicky Adams' free-kick.

"It was exactly the same as the first goal," he said. "We said to the ref that they were going to block our player but he still gives the goal.

"I think we've got grounds to be a bit miffed but we don't expect any better."

Artell went on to add: "Credit to Northampton, they executed their plans well. They took their chances, we missed ours but had we been 3-0 up at half-time I don't think anybody would have complained.

"But we can't shoot ourselves in the foot like we did. When you come up against a team with a contrasting style, you can't just expect them to conform to you - that's not how it works.

"You have to impose yourself and you have to stop them whatever their style is so we have to be better at that.

"But take the goals out of it, I thought we were terrific. Anybody who wasn't at the game would think I'm an idiot for saying that but people who saw the game would be able to see why.

"Three of their lads said we are the best team they've played and yet we've just lost 4-1!"