Aidy Boothroyd refused to criticise goalkeeper Lee Nicholls for the error he made in the 2-0 defeat to Gillingham at Priestfield.
The Cobblers registered only their second defeat in seven games with the defeat, in which Cody McDonald scored after only three minutes when a long ball from the back bounced over Nicholls, who misread it in the wind to leave the striker with the simplest of finishes.
Myles Weston scored a second in the game’s final stages - also from a long ball - to seal a victory that sees Northampton slip out of the npower League Two automatic promotion places because Burton Albion picked up a point at Oxford United to overtake them.
The error by on-loan Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Nicholls was a costly one in a game of few chances, and he wrote an immediate one-word response on Twitter after the match that simply said: “Wounded!”
But he had strong backing from his manager, who said: “The wind didn’t go in one direction or the other, it was swirling and we paid the price for not getting to grips with the conditions.
“Lee has been very reliable all season and I think, along with Matt Duke at Bradford City, that he is the best goalkeeper in the division.
“I can’t criticise him because he has been excellent for us all season and after that he bounced back and made some really good saves.
“He is annoyed with the goal and I am always honest with players and I always say if I think they’ve had a bad game.
“I don’t think Lee had a bad game and I’m struggling to pick out any of our players that did.”