Northampton boss Jon Brady admitted his players used the disappointment of their defeat at Forest Green last weekend to inspire them to win 1-0 against Newport at Rodney Parade.
The 1-0 defeat four days earlier was turned on its head as they restricted the home side to one tame shot on target in a game that went to 105 minutes following a lengthy injury to Newport midfielder Scot Bennett.
Jon Guthrie netted the winner in the 43rd minute to move the Cobblers up to third in League Two.
“The players came in after the Forest Green game and were really deflated because they felt they should have got at least a point. We used that disappointment as fuel to fire us up tonight and what a way to bounce back,” said Brady.
“These are difficult places to come and to take three points from these two games is not a bad return. I’m delighted with the effort.
“We dominated the game in the first half and played some good football. In the second half we showed resilience when they threw players forward.
“We created the two best chances of the game and nullified them down to one tame header in the 104th minute. To come to a team that made the play-off final last year and get a result like that is really pleasing.”
The only goal of the game came from centre-back Guthrie, who lashed home with his left foot after picking up a second ball on the edge of the six-yard box.
“Jon Guthrie is our top scorer from centre-half. What a warrior he is because he could have come off with an injury to his left leg and I just hope he is OK for the weekend,” added Brady.
“We allowed them into our final third more than I would have liked and we could have been better on the ball. But they all put their bodies on the line and you cannot question the courage of this team at the moment.”
Newport missed the chance to move into the top half of the table.
It was a result and display that left County manager Michael Flynn willing to take the blame for his selection, but furious at his players.
“I will take the blame for the team selection, but there were only a couple of players tonight who can actually say they did well,” said Flynn.
“We were the better team in the second half, but we were dreadful in the first half. We have got a lot to learn.
“I can’t get too angry because I am still getting the odd headache as I get over Covid. That’s why I’m sitting down during the games.
“But the players had it at half-time and they have just been given the brutal truth after the game. It is up to them which way they want to take it.
“But as far as I’m concerned, if they are going to dish that up they might as well stay at home. It’s the most forceful I’ve been with a team since I’ve been the manager here.
“You can’t have a game plan and work on everything and then toss it out the window. Two players kicked the ball out of play tonight, completely unopposed.
“There were sloppy passes, a lack of concentration and a lack of professionalism. We have given away five shocking goals in a row and for us to lose in that manner again is not good enough.”
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