Oxford United manager Chris Wilder said he was disappointed his side did not pick up a point against the Cobblers - because they deserved all three.
And Wilder believes his central midfielder Andy Whing was fouled by Clive Platt in the build-up to the game’s only goal, scoring by Ben Harding in first-half injury time.
Town sank the Us 1-0 through Harding’s second of the season to go fourth in npower League Two.
Oxford remain six points outside the play-off places but have played two games more than seventh-placed Rotherham United and are running out of fixtures in which to make a late break into the top slots.
But their manager feels the situation should be dramatically different and that his team deserved to get some kind of return for their second-half performance.
“I’m disappointed not to be going away with all three points let alone one,” he said.” I don’t think we deserved to get beaten, especially on our second half performance.
“But, as has been the case all season, we’ve not done it in the final third. We got into some great positions in the second half and I also thought we had the better chances in the first half.
“But we conceded more than two minutes into first half stoppage-time, Andy Whing got took out by Clive Platt and before we know the ball is in the back of the net.
“We gave it a right go in the second half but for the second week running we’ve not punished teams. We need players to be brave enough to take a chance.
“We kept going right to the end and that’s we’ll do right to the end of the season but we know we’ve got to win a lot of games now to get into the play-offs. Northampton are a very strong side, especially at home, and we pushed them all the way.”