Northampton Town boss Keith Curle happy with a point on his return to Mansfield Town

Former Mansfield Town boss Keith Curle was delighted with a 1-1 draw and point on his return with high-flying Northampton Town today.

Saturday, 21st December 2019, 6:18 pm
Updated Saturday, 21st December 2019, 6:18 pm
Mansfield's Danny Rose attempts an over head kick against Northampton today.
Mansfield's Danny Rose attempts an over head kick against Northampton today.

Curle knew the Stags had new boss Graham Coughlan in charge for the first time and the home fans behind them, so was satisfied to leave with a point from Harry Smith's late equaliser.

“Away from home and with the manner of the game you'd say it was definitely a point gained,” said Curle.

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“I know this club and that it's a difficult place to come.

“I know what this place is like when you get it rocking and I know what it's like when things are not going your way as well.

“If we'd got a goal in that first half I think that may have put some jitters and uncertainly into Mansfield with the new manager coming in.”

Northampton had the edge in the first half and Curle admitted: “When Sam (Hoskins) hit the crossbar in the first 30 seconds, had that gone in that might have set some anxiety back among their players.

“First half we had the best three chances and second half they had the best three chances.

“Getting a draw showed the character, the bravery and the honesty within the group.”

He added: “Things were not going our way, but conditions were difficult with the pitch and I think the referee is going to need a new whistle for Christmas as it seemed like every 20 seconds he was blowing it. But it was a very honest, competitive game.

“It wasn't the prettiest game, it was about two teams both wanting to get on the front foot and that ends up in a clash. Neither team was prepared to go on the back foot and give an inch so credit to both teams.”

The draw lifted the Stags a place into 17th in League Two while the Cobblers stayed in the final play-offs spot in seventh place 12 points ahead of Graham Coughlan's men, who have now not won for seven games and face Port Vale at home on Boxing Day.