Aidy Boothroyd heaped special praise on the contribution of his captain Kelvin Langmead as the Cobblers recorded a valuable win at Southend United.
Langmead scored the game’s winning goal in injury time as Town eventually overcame a 10-man Shrimpers side to record a 2-1 victory that lifts them to seventh in npower League Two, the division’s final play-off place.
It looked as though Northampton would have to settle for a draw after Matthew Lund’s deflected effort cancelled out an intelligent early goal - and his first for the club - by Roy O’Donovan.
But Langmead had other ideas, heading home what proved to be the winner in the 90th minute for his seventh goal of the campaign in what could prove to be a vital victory.
“When that ball’s in there and there are boots flying around, he puts his face in the way,” said Boothroyd, whose team won away from home for only the fourth time this season..
“He scored and broke his nose at Torquay and that’s the kind of person you want in your team and that’s why he’s our captain.
“Ever since I’ve been here he’s been brilliant and I’m really pleased we’ve got him.”
Northampton have now won seven of their past 10 matches and will go into Tuesday night’s game at bottom-of-the-league Wimbledon with some confidence they can secure a victory that would put them third in the table.
Boothroyd admitted his team’s performance at Roots Hall was far from convincing but was delighted with the nature of it and to see two more goals produced from a long throw that is fast becoming one of the side’s trademarks.
“If you’re going to win a game, that’s the way to do it, in the dying minutes of the game,” said Boothroyd.
“When you go down to 10 men your players somehow seem to get an extra energy level from somewhere and the team that has 11 seems to think they’re all right, they drop down a gear and I think that’s what happened.
“They came right at us in the second half but we work very hard on our organisation and that long throw gets us a lot of goals. That late goal puts us in the pack again.”