Cobblers succumbed to a deeply frustrating 1-0 home defeat against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday despite dominating much of the game at Sixfields.
The decisive goal of the contest arrived after only five minutes when poor defending from a free-kick allowed Richard Keogh to smuggle the ball over the line.
From then on it was pretty much one-way traffic as Cobblers dominated and created a string of chances but there was no final touch to go with their excellent, positive approach play.
The hosts racked up a final total of 20 shots to Wycombe’s seven, including six on target, but it would prove a day of frustration and disappointment as the visitors held on for a smash and grab victory.
Cobblers named the same side that started against Cheltenham last time out but they were on the back foot inside five minutes after giving away a poor early goal.
Goalkeeper Max Thompson fumbled Luke Leahy’s free-kick and messy goalmouth scrambled followed before the ball was eventually forced over the line by Richard Keogh.
The Northampton response was a good one, however, as Patrick Brough side-footed wide from Mitch Pinnock’s cross while Sam Hoskins went close with two efforts, his first saved by Max Stryjek from a quick set-piece routine before he sent a second effort not far wide of the far post.
Sam Sherring headed over the bar from Marc Leonard’s corner and the best chance yet then fell to Louis Appéré but his shot lacked the power and precision to beat Stryjek after excellent work by Hoskins.
The opportunities kept coming for the hosts as Kieron Bowie curled wide and Hoskins was so close to picking out the bottom corner before Leahy’s free-kick dropped just the wrong side of the post after a rare Wycombe attack.
Cobblers remained dominant team though and another opening came and went on the cusp of half-time, Appéré prodding wide, as Wycombe somehow survived through to the break with their lead intact.
Town were straight back on the attack at the second half when Hoskins’ flying volley was held by Stryjek, and the visiting goalkeeper denied the same man again when smothering at his feet from Pinnock’s through pass.
Stryjek was having a busy afternoon and he got his body behind Appéré’s drilled shot, but Cobblers some momentum midway through the second period and Wycombe were able to gain more control.
Brady freshened things up by making four changes but his side's attacking threat had waned and they were struggled to regain any impetus as the minutes ticked by.
Substitute Tyreece Simpson headed wide at the end of the 90, however despite eight minutes of stoppage-time, Wycombe were relatively comfortable in seeing out the win.
Cobblers: Thompson, Odimayo (Lintott 81), Sherring, Guthrie ©, Brough, Sowerby (Monthé 81), Leonard, Pinnock (Dyche 90), Hoskins, Bowie (McWilliams 81), Appéré (Simpson 67)
Subs not used: Dadge, McGowan
Wycombe: Stryjek, Scowen, Vincent-Young, Forino, McLeary (Barr 82), Keogh (Boyes 53), Low, Potts, Phillips (Wheeler 53), Leahy, Vokes (Hanlan 53)
Subs not used: Shala, Breckin, McCarthy
Referee: Tom Reeves
Wycombe fans: 863