Knill disappointed as Cobblers miss big opportunity

Alan Knill says Cobblers missed a big opportunity in failing to beat 10-man Rochdale (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Alan Knill says Cobblers missed a big opportunity in failing to beat 10-man Rochdale (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Alan Knill felt the Cobblers missed a big opportunity to reach the second round of the FA Cup by failing to beat Rochdale at Sixfields.

Town were held to a goalless draw by Dale, who played for 75 minutes with 10 men after the sending-off of Ian Henderson for a kick at Ben Tozer.

Rochdale twice struck the woodwork and Northampton’s best chances fell to Ivan Toney and were all headers, the third of which was a particularly good opportunity late in the game.

On that occasion the ball sailed over the bar and with it, felt assistant manager Knill, perhaps the home side’s best chance of winning the tie.

“It was very disappointing for us not to have gone through today,” he said. “It was a missed opportunity for us, we created enough chances to win the game in the second half.

“Rochdale are a very good side, they’re going very well in League One. When the draw was made we knew it was going to be a tough tie and that’s how it turned out.

“Playing against a ten-man Rochdale side is tough enough but against 11 it will be even harder for us. But we’re still in the competition and, judging by our first half performance, we were lucky to still be in it by the interval.

“Rochdale are a top side and we just couldn’t get close to them in the first half. But we changed things around at half-time and I thought we dominated the second half, even allowing for them being down to 10 men.

“We should be in the second round because we had the best chances to win it in the second half. One goal would have won the game against 10 men but we didn’t take our chances.

“We’ve kept a clean sheet, that’s two on the trot, so that is a positive for us. We took the game to them in the second half but today was our best chance of going through.”