Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh hopes Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Cambridge United can be a stepping stone for things to come after his side finally stopped the rot.
Northampton came into the game having lost on their last five outings but Alex Revell's thumping first-half finish cancelled out Cambridge's earlier opener and earned them a draw in the Checkatrade Trophy clash at Sixfields.
And the Cobblers went on to claim an extra point by winning the penalty shoot-out as they scored all five spot-kicks while Luke Coddington made the crucial save.
"I'm really pleased for the players," said Edinburgh "It was a difficult situation with the circumstances at the minute on the back of a real tough couple of days.
"We got a result and that's what we needed, just psychologically for everyone connected with the club. It's a draw and we won the penalty shoot-out but it gives us an opportunity to go into the Doncaster game and have a better morale amongst the group.
"We'll go and do a lot of work on the training ground and give us a platform to try and build on something."
Alex Revell, Joe Iaciofano, Shaun McWilliams, Billy Waters and Ash Taylor all scored their penalties in a high-quality shoot-out.
"We scored five out of five penalties and Luke made a good save to win us the tie," added Edinburgh.
"I asked for some honesty in the performance tonight. Again I think we perhaps played better in spells in different games this season but I feel we got a trust back within the squad and we worked very hard.
"It became a bit scrappy in the second-half but we dug deep and saw the game out. We had one or two chances in the first-half and we might have had the lead but one of the big positives was the reaction after we went behind.
"There were small achievements and they might seem minor to the outside but they're huge benefit and huge belief we can take from it."
One notable feature of the evening came on the touchline where there was little sign of Edinburgh's usually frantic instructions, instead he spent much of the game sitting down and out of sight.
"It was a deliberate ploy," he explained. "I'm not hiding away from anything, it was the fact that it's not about me - it's about the players on the pitch and the supporters gave their support to them.
"I felt that if I'm there I might antagonise and it might become about me and I don't want that, I don't want it to be about me. I want it to be about what goes on out on the pitch for the 90 minutes.
"So I thought for me to take a back seat it might diffuse the atmosphere in here tonight and I think that worked."