Manager Keith Curle was delighted to register his first win in charge of the Cobblers after Tuesday’s richly-deserved 2-1 victory over Oxford United in the Checkatrade Trophy.
James Henry’s deflected goal midway through the first-half had Town facing the gloomy prospect of another defeat, but the visitors turned it around during an excellent performance in the second period.
Kevin van Veen’s wonder strike restored parity and then Aaron Pierre demonstrated composure under pressure to bring down Sam Foley’s cross and beat home goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.
The win was just the Cobblers’ second in 15 games in all competitions this season, and Curle was especially happy with his side’s second-half display.
“In the second-half I thought it clicked,” he said afterwards.
“We knew where we were going, we got people on the front front and we were facing their goal and played the game predominantly in their half.
“They had little bits. Their first goal was a deflection and they had another deflection that hit the post but we scored two really good goals.
“Kevin van Veen was probably the only player on the pitch who could score that type of goal and you’ve got to say Aaron Pierre’s touch was very pleasing on the eye and it was a good finish.”
Curle made five changes in all with van Veen, Lewis Ward, Dean Bowditch, Billy Waters and Daniel Powell all coming back into the team as Town kept alive their hopes of progressing from Southern Group F.
Curle added: “I’m delighted and I think the pleasing thing is we were able to introduce some more players to get game-time under myself and Colin (West) and that’s always important.
“We’re putting principles and platforms in place for us to build on so the important thing is that more members of the squad get an understanding and know the minimum requirements when they’re asked to perform.
“It was pleasing for some lads to get their first starts since I came in and get time on the pitch and winning games gives us a platform to build off.”