Reaction and highlights: Cobblers 'building belief and momentum' after disposing Bluebirds and making it five unbeaten

An upset never looked on the cards for Keith Curle's team at Hardenhuish Park on Sunday. Picture: Pete Norton
An upset never looked on the cards for Keith Curle's team at Hardenhuish Park on Sunday. Picture: Pete Norton

It might only end up as a minor footnote in the overall context of their season but Sunday's 3-0 victory at Chippenham Town was important for the Cobblers to keep confidence high and the momentum building.

The television cameras headed to Hardenhuish Park hoping to witness an upset but while Chippenham, who ply their trade two divisions and 52 places below Town, were spirited and certainly not overawed, the efficiency and quality of the visitors meant they were left disappointed.

A clinical first-half was followed by a pragmatic second as Vadaine Oliver's well-taken brace backed up Harry Smith's simple headed opener and effectively put the contest to bed before half-time.

You can only beat what's put in front of you and that's what the Cobblers did with refreshing ease here, making it four wins in five and extending their unbeaten run to five games.

"We're building that momentum and we're building that belief within the squad," said manager Keith Curle afterwards. "But there are still basics we need to improve on.

"There are fundamentals for individuals and as a collective that we need to hammer home to the players consistently, but they conducted themselves very well and took the information we gave them onboard.

"That shows the focus is there as a group and if you don't have that focus, you can get turned over, but the players were professional and conducted themselves as they should do."

In truth, three goals was the very least the Cobblers could have scored on Sunday and if it hadn't have been for the busy but impressive Will Puddy in Chippenham's goal, they might have doubled their tally.

He three times kept out Matty Warburton, twice denied Nicky Adams and also thwarted Alan McCormack, while the pick of his numerous saves came from Charlie Goode, whose superb strike was only bettered by Puddy's finger-tip stop.

And although they were in such control of the tie for so long, Town fans would have been relieved when Oliver improvised cleverly to flick home a third in first-half stoppage-time, which made sure a 2-0 lead wouldn't be squandered on this occasion.

Curle added: "I think a lot of supporters would have been glad we got the third goal just before half-time because they might have been nervous at 2-0!

"Other results today (defeats for Southend and Leyton Orient) show what can go wrong and I think that's the beauty of the FA Cup, but right from the offset the players understood that when they put the Northampton Town shirt on, there's an expectancy and a level of performance that's required.

"That is a minimum and it doesn't and won't change no matter who we play in the next round or who we play in the league - there's always an expectancy on the players that they need to produce."