NORTHAMPTON Town boss Keith Curle was left to rue some 'lazy defending' from his side after they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Colchester United.

The Cobblers suffered their third defeat of the League Two campaign, after Luke Norris' second-half penalty bagged the hosts all three points.

Colchester were awarded the spot-kick following full-back Shaun McWilliams' foul on midfielder Ben Stevenson in the area, prompting Northampton manager Curle to question his side's defending.

Curle said: “I don’t think that there was a lot in the game.

“I thought both teams huffed and puffed but their ball retention was better than ours.

“The goal was disappointing and it was lazy defending.

“If you stick a leg out, people are going to find a way to go over it.

“In our final third, I think we’ve had four shots go over the crossbar.

“We need to work harder to get more under the crossbar.

“We didn’t move the ball quickly enough and I don’t think we worked hard enough off the ball and in the final third.

“We need to be a bit more creative up front and fight for the ball and retain it more.

“At times, we didn’t work hard enough to get on the ball.

“But I think defensively, the shape was OK and I thought we nullified a lot of their threat and danger.

"We stifled and nulified the game at times but there were other times where we could have got on the ball and played more."