Northampton boss Keith Curle was understandably delighted to see his League Two side pass a tricky test against League One Burton to ease into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 4-2 victory at the Pirelli Stadium.
Town never trailed after Nicky Adams’ 10th-minute opener and were worthy victors, with Curle pleased to reward the travelling supporters.
“The away support we had today was merited by the performance we saw on the pitch today. The club can be very proud of the performance and its support today,” he said.
“Defensively the lads had a good understanding and good shape after we did a lot of work on it in the week and attacking-wise we had two plans. Plan A was to get the ball into Vadaine (Oliver) and upset them aerially and get runners off him, and plan B was for more of the same.”
It was a plan that worked as Town opened the scoring when a long throw into the box caused problems for Albion and fell nicely for Adams to steer the ball home, before Ryan Watson and Charlie Goode both showed aerial strength to head past Kieran O’Hara.
Ryan Edwards replied, but Sam Hoskins extended Town’s lead on 70 minutes before a late consolation from Scott Fraser.
“Burton started well, we had a couple of warning shots in and around us but Nicky’s goal came at the right time and the second was vitally important,” Curle added.
“The third one was the icing on the cake. The only disappointing thing in the first half was them scoring that gave them some sort of foothold and belief in the game.
“If they get to 3-2 they have a head of steam and they had the lion’s share of the possession and it can be difficult but we got the fourth goal and then it is a case of seeing it through.”
For Burton boss Nigel Clough it was a major disappointment as he looked for the financial rewards from the game to possibly influence his business in the January window.
“It’s not just about losing the game at home today and getting knocked out. It’s a financial blow for the club. Big prize money at stake today and you never know what the fourth-round draw could bring so that limits us in
terms of what we can do in the next three or four weeks,” he said.
“Today is a feeling of pure disappointment. We have conceded another four goals, that’s 11 in the last four games and we haven’t kept a clean sheet for quite some time. To go 3-0 down inside 40-odd minutes is extremely poor from our point of view.
“They have scored from two set-plays and a cross and we are doing nowhere near enough to keep the ball out of our net. It’s not just a back four thing. The whole team has to do more to protect our goal.
“Although even at two down we were still playing well and creating chances, you are asking an awful lot to score four goals at home just to get a replay.”