There’s only one thing better than winning away from home and that’s winning away from home with two homegrown youngsters playing starring roles.
For the Cobblers at Carlisle United on Tuesday, that became reality as teenager Scott Pollock, scorer of his first goal in senior football, and Shaun McWilliams, a ball-winning machine in central midfield, were the architects of an impressive away victory.
“It’s a proud moment for us,” said McWilliams, who at 21 was the elder statesmen in Town’s midfield at Brunton Park. “We had a setback in our last away game at Scunthorpe but I think that was a boost for us in a way because we needed to show the fans something and give them a reason to go home happy. I think we did that.
“In the first-half we were a bit on the back foot but we were away from home and they’re a good footballing side so you have to give it to them.
“But we came out in the second-half, we changed the shape and it worked well. Scotty had a bit more licence to get forward and we put two up front and I think it worked.
“We got the goal and then Sammy got the second so we went 2-0 up away from home – what more can you ask for!"
This was the classic game of two halves but although the Cobblers took a while to warm up at Brunton Park, once they did so their victory was secured in impressively accomplished fashion.
Their inability to hold onto leads has been well-documented this season but there were no such problems here, largely thanks to an on-form goalkeeper and a resolute defence, not to mention the scurrying and scampering of the busy McWilliams.
But it was his younger midfield partner that stole the headlines with a terrific instinctive finish, his first goal since his promotion into the Cobblers first-team.
“Obviously I’m a bit older than Scotty so I’ve seen him come through the ranks and whenever he’s been called upon he’s done the job asked of him,” McWilliams added.
“He took his goal really well and I don’t think he looked out of place at all. He’s been on the bench a few times this season but when he’s played he’s done a very good job and I’m pleased for him to get the goal because he deserves it.”
Pollock and McWilliams were joined by another academy graduate in Cumbria as Shaun's younger brother, 18-year-old Camron, made the bench.
"He's been injured for a while and I think it was a bit too soon for him to get on the pitch but he's in and amongst it," said the older McWilliams.
"I think he can be happy about that because he's taken his rehab well and he's back in training. He's getting better by the day so I can't see why he won't be on the pitch in the future but for now he's taking it step by step and maintaining his fitness."
It never ceases to amaze how quickly things can change in football.
The picture looked bleak after losing to Scunthorpe recently but Tuesday’s win sent Cobblers soaring up the table to ninth place and suddenly they have eyes on a play-off position ahead of Cambridge United’s visit this afternoon.
“Before the game last Saturday we said we have a big week coming up and we want to get maximum points,” continued McWilliams.
“We’ve come away with two wins so far but we’re not going to rest up there because we want every point we can get.
“We’ll celebrate and enjoy the feeling of winning but once the next day comes we’ll forget about it and prepare for the next game because we want three more points.”