Skipper Richards rues missed opportunity for Cobblers at Newport

Marc Richards battles for the ball during Saturday's 2-2 draw at Newport, and (below) celebrates his goal at Rodney Parade (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)
Marc Richards battles for the ball during Saturday's 2-2 draw at Newport, and (below) celebrates his goal at Rodney Parade (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Skipper Marc Richards admitted it felt like ‘two points dropped’ after the Cobblers surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Newport County on Saturday.

The visitors raced into a 2-0 lead inside half an hour as Richards added to Sam Hoskins’ early goal, but Newport rallied and scored twice in eight minutes to earn a share of the spoils.

And though the Cobblers captain felt the final score was a fair result, he was frustrated by the manner in which Town relinquished their early advantage.

“I think it’s a fair result in the end but it should never get back to 2-2,” acknowledged Richards.

“At 2-0 up we should take control of the game and pass them off the park.

“But obviously we let a two goal lead slip away with two bad goals from our point of view.

“They’ve not really created anything other than the goals and not opened us up so we’re disappointed with the draw, but I think in fairness they dug deep and battled hard so overall perhaps 2-2 was fair.”

The result was made harder to swallow after Northampton were denied what seemed a clear-cut penalty in the final minute of normal time when John-Joe O’Toole appeared to have been brought down after a neat drag back in the Newport box.

And there was no doubt in Richards’ mind, with the 33-year-old adamant that his side should have been awarded a penalty.

He said: “I thought it was 100 per cent a penalty and we still can’t believe that the referee hasn’t given it.

“JJ asked the question, I asked the question because we felt it was a stonewall penalty.

“JJ did really well to to get into the position and put the ball through the defender’s legs but he didn’t get his just rewards.”

Richards took his goal tally to nine for the season during Saturday’s clash when he unleashed a venomous, swerving free-kick that deceived the flapping Joe Day who could only parry the ball into his own net.

“I caught it sweet and there was a lot of dip and a lot of whip on the ball and the keeper didn’t know which way it was going,” said the Town skipper.

“He got a palm to it but it went in the net which was the main thing for me.

“Obviously I’m delighted to get it on the score sheet but ultimately we’ve dropped two points today.”

The build-up to this game had once again been dominated by Northampton’s off-field woes with all club staff not paid on time this month, something which Richards admits is on their minds.

But he insists the focus will remain on getting results on the pitch, adding: “Of course we want things sorted out as quickly as possible.

“People live to their means and you’ve got young lads who spend every penny they’ve got.

“Although it might be league two wages, it’s still not great and everyone’s still got bills to pay and everyone’s got a mortgage, so it’s something that’s in the back of your head.

“But you’ve got to push it to the side as much as possible and concentrate on what’s really important and that’s getting results on Saturdays.”