Aidy Boothroyd admitted he set the Cobblers up for a draw at Wimbledon - and then watched them record a first away win of the season.
Lee Collins, who played in central midfield, scored his first goal of the campaign - and Northampton’s maiden score on the road - before on-loan Brentford winger Stuart Dallas struck in the second half to secure a 2-0 win.
Dallas, whose signing was completed on Friday night but only made public an hour before kick-off, made an excellent first impression as a replacement for Chris Hackett, who picked up a slight groin injury midway through the second half.
The win is not enough to move Town out of the Sky Bet League Two relegation zone but the accrual of a second consecutive clean sheet and three precious points delighted Boothroyd, who admitted his pre-match targets were not quite so ambitious.
“I think this result was due,” he said. “We set up to not get beat in this game but we knew we had enough players in our side to be able to get something out of it.
“I’ve been really pleased with how we have performed in the past two games and we stuck at it, were very solid and if I have got a complaint it’s that we could have scored more goals than we did.
“It could have been more comprehensive but Wimbledon are where they are in the league for a reason and they made it tough for us.”
All four of Boothroyd’s defenders contributed to the victory, although special mention must go to Kevin Amankwaah, who was excellent at right-back, and Collins, who performed admirably as the midfield stopper.
Boothroyd is confident that a settled defence and the ability to stop other teams from scoring will provide a platform for recovery in what has been a woeful season so far.
“It was very important that we got something out of the game and I would have settled for a clean sheet but I’m delighted that we won as well,” he said.
“This result gives us something to build on and it’s a very good result for us.”