MATTY TREBLES AS PAGE RAGES
NORTHAMPTON boss Rob Page fumed about two of Rochdale’s three goals as the promotion chasers edged a five-goal thriller.
Irish midfielder Matty Lund grabbed a first career hat-trick for Keith Hill’s stylish side despite Northampton twice taking the lead.
“I’ve had another look at the winning goal and how two match officials can’t see that beggars belief,” said Page, regarding an alleged foul on goalkeeper David Cornell for the winning goal.
“Our silly errors have cost us twice after going in front although their first goal should have been ruled out for handball.
“I’ve had a long chat with the players in the dressing room and we can’t afford to feel sorry for ourselves.
“We continue to start well in games but when we switch off the ball ends up in the back of our net.”
Page’s verdict was harsh on Rochdale whose contribution to an exciting afternoon was outstanding.
They pushed forward with bright, adventurous passing from the start and thoroughly deserved their slice of luck over Lund’s winner.
Matty Taylor caught out goalkeeper Conrad Logan with a whipped free kick from 25 yards to give Cobblers a 16th minute lead.
But Joe Bunney, who looked more like a left winger than a left-back, quickly set up Lund’s first from close range.
Rochdale continued to dominate with their clever football although the chances were evenly split before a costly loss of possession allowed substitute Marc Richards to slip Sam Hoskins through for a superblytaken second for Northampton after 57 minutes.
Yet the lead barely lasted any longer as Joe Thompson’s tenacity took full toll of poor Northampton defending and Lund again finished expertly.
The winner came from another Bunney cross with Lund heading home after Cornell appeared to have been fouled under the high ball.
Northampton launched a late rally but Dale continued to create chances with Ian Henderson twice going desperately close to increasing the margin.
Defeat was the sixth in seven starts for Northampton but the perfect present for Hill, celebrating ten years since he first took the Rochdale hot seat.
“I thought we played some great stuff but set ourselves a couple of traps by not moving the ball into the final third quickly enough and getting caught in possession,” he said.
“Matty has responded well to a bit of criticism from me. He knows the areas in which I am looking for him to improve and he is working hard to make sure that he does so.
“It was the perfect hat trick – left foot, right foot and a header.
“I want to be entertained as a spectator and that’s the way I will continue to play.”
STAR MAN MATTY LUND Rochdale HAT-TRICK HERO: Rochdale midfielder Matty Lund scores and celebrates Inset: Northampton Town striker Sam Hoskins slides the ball home