Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd said Tuesday night’s defeat at Rochdale perfectly illustrated why the respective teams are at the top and bottom of Sky Bet League Two.
And the Town manager questioned the way his defence set up the wall that faced Dale’s match-changing free-kick, from which the home side scored their vital equaliser.
Rochdale went top of the division with a 3-2 win secured through two goals in the final five minutes as Boothroyd’s men lost a game they should at least have drawn.
Luke Norris and Stuart Dallas twice gave Town the lead and they were in front with five minutes to play before a Michael Rose free-kick and George Donnelly’s breakaway goal turned the scoreline on its head.
The finish to the match, Boothroyd felt, summed up the ‘fine margins’ that often mean the difference between a successful team and one that continues to struggle as Northampton do.
“There are fine margins between winning and losing and for long periods of this game you wouldn’t be able to tell who was at the top and who was at the bottom of the league,” he said.
“But that’s why they are at the top of the league, because they keep going, and we make silly mistakes.
“I don’t know why we’ve got what we’ve got in the wall because in that situation he’s only going to have a shot.
“Then that gives the momentum and their crowd goes up - that’s when we have to slow the game down - and the third goal is poor.
“The game is finished at that point, we should be taking the draw and we’d have taken that beforehand and that’s why it’s so disappointing.”