Relieved Page has mixed emotions after Cobblers edge out Bury
Cobblers boss Rob Page was a relieved man after his side withstood a late Bury onslaught to run out 3-2 winners in Saturday's frantic contest at Sixfields.
The three points looked to be safely in the bag when Marc Richards’ double and Matty Taylor’s sublime free-kick had Northampton cruising at 3-0 up.
Bury rallied though and two goals in eight minutes set up a nerve-shredding finale which saw Town come under intense pressure, but the hosts somehow clung on and survived a remarkable nine minutes of stoppage time to claim three precious points.
“I was disappointed with the goals because at 3-0 we were absolutely cruising and on another day we could have scored eight – we were that good going forward,” said Page afterwards.
“We’ve got to be more clinical with our finishing and I’m saying that on the back of scoring three goals and we went into today’s game as the join-second highest scorers in the division, so that’s encouraging.
“We know we’re a threat for anybody from an attacking point of view but defensively we need to tidy up a little bit.
“I think Smudge (Adam Smith) has been outstanding for us but the first goal is in the air for a long time and I look at my centre-backs and the goalkeeper as a defender myself and perhaps have an opinion on it.
“That gave them a lift to get into the game and then 3-2 makes for an interesting last 10 minutes.
“It made the scoreline look like they were in the game but for me they weren’t.
“Sam Hoskins was outstanding again and Matty Taylor showed why we’ve brought him into the football club - his free-kick was outstanding.
“There are far too many positives from an attacking point of view, but we’ll address the defensive side of it because they’re sloppy goals and we’ll put it right.
“It’s pleasing that we feel disappointed after winning at home.”
After a scrappy opening 30 minutes, Northampton seized control with the opening goal against Bury and could have doubled their goal tally had their finishing been more accurate.
Page added: “I thought we were flat in the first 20-25 minutes and we played a bit too long into Rico which suited them but we changed it and then we were brave to get on the ball, we got the full-backs forward and that helped us.
“We knew they wouldn’t press us high and we played into their hands at first but when we got the ball down and played, the game opened up, we got the goal, we got the lead and could have had many more.”