Cambridge United manager Shaun Derry insisted his side “absolutely deserved” to come away from Sixfields with a point after holding Northampton to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
The Cobblers dominated throughout but a tenacious defensive performance from Derry’s men, aided by some questionable time-wasting tactics, restricted the league leaders to few clear openings.
John Marquis did head Northampton ahead on 72 minutes, though, and that looked to be enough to earn the victory until James Spencer’s 90th minute strike.
“I thought it was a fantastic point and a point that we absolutely deserved because we stuck in there and deserved something,” said Derry afterwards.
“I don’t care what people say – you’re up against an opponent that is 20 odd points ahead of fourth place and people will just roll over here and we sure didn’t do that this afternoon.
“We stuck in the game with a real gritty, determined performance that I’m really proud of.
“We really put our bodies on the line in certain areas and we were ruthless with the one chance that we had.
“I thought it was an outstanding finish by James and one we thoroughly deserved.
“They had more of the ball but it was in a defensive area. They didn’t have more of the ball in the attacking areas and we had the better half chances and there were only half chances up until their goal.
“We’re disappointed with the goal we conceded but I have to look at the positives and everyone played their part today and the fans were exceptional once again.
“I’m going home with a smile on my face.”
Derry also apologised for his reaction to Cambridge’s equaliser when he went running down the touchline before turning to the home crowd to celebrate.
He added: “I lost the plot for a moment and I’ve apologised to Chris (Wilder) because I’ve known him for a long time but I thought I was the 12th man for a minute and I couldn’t help myself.
“I’ll always hold the opposition with respect but I’m only interested in Cambridge and the job I’ve got to do.
“It’s a war out there for 95 minutes and I’m glad that we’ve come out equal today.”