'We scored three but we could have had six!' - Cobblers 'not flattered at all' by Plymouth victory

Keith Curle had plenty to smile about after Saturday's win. Picture: Pete Norton
Keith Curle had plenty to smile about after Saturday's win. Picture: Pete Norton

The Cobblers can often be an unpredictable team and they stayed true to form with a terrific 3-1 victory over second-placed Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, but whilst the result may have confounded expectations, it was by no means a flattering final scoreline.

These were two sides heading in opposite directions ahead of their meeting at the PTS. Plymouth, relegated from League One last season, had three wins from six and were second in the table, six points and 18 places above their slow-starting hosts.

But part of the beauty of football is its unpredictability and that was in evidence on Saturday when Andy Williams' brace followed an early penalty from Ryan Watson and helped hand the Cobblers a well-deserved 3-1 victory, their first at home of the campaign.

The result was only bettered by the performance as Plymouth were outplayed and run ragged for the entire 90 minutes. As Curle alluded to afterwards, three goals were the least his team could have scored.

"We scored three goals and could have had two or three more as their goalkeeper made some really good saves," said Curle, referring to several fine stops from Plymouth's Alex Palmer who twice denied Sam Hoskins and also kept out Joe Bunney late on.

"That shows that, from a defensive platform, you can mount attacks and look dangerous, but we weren't a counter-attacking team today, we took the game to them, we got on the front foot and pressed high up the pitch."

In the past, Curle has sometimes been accused of worrying too much about the opposition as opposed to focusing on his own team, but he feels Saturday's performance, when Town completely nullified Plymouth and turned their strengths into weaknesses, justified his approach.

"People can say you're more worried about the opposition but you have to be respectful and that means being half a yard closer, work half a yard more and then hurt the opposition once you've stopped their flow - we did that today," he added.

"We want to be an attacking threat but likewise we have to be respectful of the opposition because every opposition is completely different and they all have different strengths and play in different ways.

"You've got to have good organisation and a willingness to believe in what you're doing."

Striker Williams, who took his tally for the season to three goals, added: "I thought we were brilliant. We set the tone early on, pressed them high and didn't them any room to play.

"We won the ball back early on a few times and I didn't think the 3-1 scoreline flattered us at all."